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FTSE 100 movers: Pearson sinks on outlook, Halma gains after acquisition news

By Josh White

Date: Friday 21 Feb 2020

FTSE 100 movers: Pearson sinks on outlook, Halma gains after acquisition news

(Sharecast News) - The FTSE 100 remained below the waterline in afternoon trading on Friday, as investors digested reports of another increase in coronavirus cases in South Korea, and data showing that companies across the UK and the Continent were facing increasing difficulties in keeping their supply chains properly stocked with inputs.
Pearson shares were down more than 5% in afternoon trading, after the education publisher said it expected profit to fall in 2020 after a 6% increase for 2019.

The company's adjusted operating profit for the year to the end of December rose to ?581m from ?546m a year earlier, as underlying revenue remained unchanged at ?3.9bn.

Unadjusted operating profit halved to ?275m from ?553m as sales fell 6% to ?260m.

Pearson forecast adjusted operating profit between ?410m and ?490m for 2020, excluding its 25% stake in Penguin Random House.

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the firm's decision to shift from textbooks to digital products had proved correct, as sales of physical books tumbled in the US, although it had lost market share as people were reluctant to pay top prices for ebooks.

Hammerson, meanwhile, was down more than 1% after it sold a portfolio of seven retail parks and two others individually for a total of ?455m.

The portfolio deal was its largest sale in the past decade, following its decision in 2018 to exit the sector.

In total, Hammerson has sold 14 retail parks since July 2018, generating ?764m to reduce debt and further strengthen the balance sheet.

The group still has an interest in one remaining retail park, Brent South, part of the Brent Cross estate in London, which is held in a joint venture with Aberdeen Standard Investments and is marked for sale.

Intertek was off more than half a percent, after analysts at Shore Capital downgraded the testing and assurance firm from 'hold' to 'sell', stating it now anticipated a "slightly negative" earnings performance for 2020.

On the upside, health, safety and environmental technology company Halma managed gains of almost 1% after announcing the acquisition of Utah-based Maxtec, which designs, manufactures and distributes oxygen analysis and delivery products for medical and non-medical applications.

The company paid cash consideration for Maxtec of $20m (?15.3m), on a cash and debt free basis, funded from its existing facilities.

It said Maxtec's revenue and adjusted EBIT for the 12 months to the end of March were $20.4m and $1.8m, respectively.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,401.02 -0.48%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Polymetal International (POLY) 1,345.00p 3.03%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 5,478.00p 2.35%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 7,718.00p 1.90%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 1,064.50p 1.72%
BAE Systems (BA.) 667.60p 1.71%
NMC Health (NMC) 870.00p 1.47%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,796.00p 1.35%
Centrica (CNA) 79.04p 1.33%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 232.90p 1.22%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,711.00p 1.04%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Pearson (PSON) 553.00p -5.31%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,866.50p -2.79%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 1,873.60p -2.76%
BP (BP.) 454.95p -2.41%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 1,877.20p -2.28%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 649.60p -2.26%
Glencore (GLEN) 223.85p -2.23%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,717.00p -2.20%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 5,009.00p -2.19%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,937.50p -2.10%


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