(Sharecast News) – London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.6% at 7,540.71 in afternoon trade on Tuesday.
Associated British Foods was the standout gainer as it lifted annual guidance again, boosted by a recovery at its Primark retail chain and a strong performance from food operations.
AB Foods said it now expected full-year adjusted operating profit to be “slightly better” than previous guidance, when it said earnings would be “moderately ahead” of 2021/22’s £1.43bn.
Primark like-for-like sales growth for the financial year is now tipped to be around 9%, with like-for-like sales likely to be around 7% in the second half. For the financial year as a whole, sales are forecast to be around 15% ahead year on year, it added.
Smurfit Kappa slumped after it agreed to merge with US rival WestRock in a deal that will create a $20bn packaging giant.
Under the terms of the transaction, shareholders of WestRock will receive one new Smurfit WestRock share and $5 in cash. This represents a total consideration to WestRock shareholders equivalent to $43.51 per share, based on the Smurfit closing price on Monday.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “The market doesn’t seem to think this is a good deal for Smurfit despite the potential economy of scale benefits from parking the two companies together.”
Peers DS Smith and Mondi also lost ground.
FTSE 100 – Risers
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,107.00p 5.30%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 77.47p 3.11%
BT Group (BT.A) 115.90p 2.48%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 116.60p 2.19%
Next (NXT) 7,294.00p 1.90%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 580.20p 1.75%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 273.70p 1.71%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 10,668.00p 1.58%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 42.19p 1.47%
Endeavour Mining (EDV) 1,542.00p 1.45%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 2,788.00p -9.13%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,460.00p -3.28%
Croda International (CRDA) 5,020.00p -2.37%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 285.10p -1.86%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 1,717.50p -1.74%
CRH (CDI) (CRH) 4,301.00p -1.56%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,021.50p -1.49%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,288.50p -1.26%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 14,080.00p -1.26%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 5,096.00p -1.05%