FTSE 100 movers: WPP slumps on results; Hikma bucks trend
London’s FTSE 100 was down 2.8% at 6,843.65 in afternoon trade on Thursday amid a deluge of corporate news, as markets were gripped by worries about the coronavirus.
Advertising giant WPP was the standout loser as it reported a fall in full-year pre-tax profits and forecast flat organic growth and operating profit margin for the current fiscal year.
Travel stocks easyJet, IAG and TUI were all weaker amid growing concerns about the spread and impact of the coronavirus.
Luxury brand Burberry was also on the back foot after a downgrade to ‘sell’ from ‘neutral’ at UBS.
"UBS Evidence Lab data suggest Burberry brand momentum is weakening at the crucial point of its turnaround plan - we see risk of another strategic reset," it said.
Steelmaker Evraz and housebuilder Persimmon were both down after results.
On the upside, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, RSA Insurance, Polymetal and British American Tobacco all rose after updates.
Rentokil was higher after it posted a rise in full-year profit as it benefited from an increasing presence in growth markets and higher levels of customer retention. In the year to the end of December 2019, adjusted pre-tax profit at actual exchange rates rose 10.7% to £340.90m, reflecting growth in all operating regions, while revenue was up 9.8% to £2.7bn.
Packaging and paper manufacturer Mondi advanced even as it reported a decline in full-year revenue amid "challenging" trading conditions. In the year to the end of December 2019, group revenue fell 3% to £7.3bn amid lower average selling prices and lower sales volumes.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,909.50p 4.60%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 503.80p 1.65%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 540.60p 1.62%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,317.00p 0.65%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,237.00p 0.54%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,624.00p 0.25%
National Grid (NG.) 1,050.60p 0.23%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 172.60p -0.38%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,626.20p -0.39%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,574.00p -0.58%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
WPP (WPP) 764.20p -15.87%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,071.00p -10.94%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 503.60p -10.01%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 651.60p -8.74%
Evraz (EVR) 344.20p -8.60%
Barclays (BARC) 153.84p -7.29%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,898.00p -5.85%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 271.90p -5.82%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 738.80p -5.74%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,651.50p -5.71%