FTSE 250 movers: Sports Direct slumps; Balfour Beatty surges on results
London's FTSE 250 was down 1.3% at 18,757.63 in afternoon trade on Wednesday as recession fears rocked markets.
Mike Ashley's Sports Direct was under pressure as it announced that Grant Thornton has quit after more than a decade as its auditor, leaving the company less than a month to find a new one.
Premier Oil, Cairn Energy and Wood Group were all lower as oil prices slid, with Brent crude down 3.4% and West Texas Intermediate 3.6% weaker.
On the upside, construction group Balfour Beatty was sitting pretty at the top of the index after it posted a rise in first-half pre-tax profit and said it was on track to deliver a full-year performance in line with market expectations.
In the half year to 28 June, pre-tax profit increased to £63m from £50 in the same period a year earlier, as revenue ticked up 1.2% to £3.88bn. The order book rose 5% to £13.2bn and the company hiked its interim dividend by 31% to 2.1p a share.
Balfour said the trading environment in its chosen markets remains "favourable", notwithstanding decisions to proceed with HS2 and Heathrow expansion would "significantly" improve the outlook.
Avast was also a high riser as the cybersecurity company said full-year revenue growth will be at the upper end of its high single-digit percentage range following a solid first half.
In the six months to the end of June, adjusted revenue rose 9.2% on a like-for-like basis to $421.7m, with adjusted billings up by $29.4m to $459.6m, driven by double-digit growth in its consumer direct desktop business.
Meanwhile, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation were up 6.5% to $236.5m.
CLS Holdings advanced as it posted a double-digit first-half profit increase and improvement in its net asset value per share.
FTSE 250 - Risers
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 218.20p 8.13%
Avast (AVST) 353.60p 7.94%
Intu Properties (INTU) 38.20p 5.23%
Funding Circle Holdings (FCH) 119.40p 3.47%
McCarthy & Stone (MCS) 137.50p 3.46%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,430.00p 3.40%
Man Group (EMG) 162.20p 2.69%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 226.50p 2.03%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,083.00p 1.83%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 175.60p 1.74%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Sports Direct International (SPD) 212.60p -10.60%
Premier Oil (PMO) 68.52p -7.88%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 159.90p -6.27%
Sirius Minerals (SXX) 8.95p -5.83%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 446.10p -5.77%
Amigo Holdings (AMGO) 138.20p -5.60%
CYBG (CYBG) 137.50p -4.65%
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 104.95p -4.59%
Elementis (ELM) 134.60p -4.54%
Investec (INVP) 400.60p -4.44%