FTSE 100 opened lower, down 29 points to 7,234. Ocado group was the largest faller on London’s blue-chip index after sales fell 8% in its half-year results, wildly missing previous expectations.
Frasers Group reported a jump in profits despite a “significant increase” in running costs. Sports Direct’s parent firm recorded a profit of more than £300mln, compared to a loss the previous year.
Russia resumed pumping gas through its biggest pipeline to Germany on Thursday after a 10-day outage. Resumption eases supply concerns after Nord Stream 1 gas was turned off for annual maintenance.
JD Sports entered talks to sell Footasylum following a months-long battle with Britain’s competition watchdog. JD is attempting to negotiate a sale to a private equity firm, despite growing difficulties in obtaining financing for corporate deals.
Among the small caps, Cambridge Cognition said it followed up its strong performance last year with order and revenue growth in the first half of 2022. The company said it has a “healthy and growing qualified pipeline of opportunities for the second half.”
Fuller Smith & Turner said sales returned to pre-pandemic levels as supply chain management and its “premium” offering provide “a degree of protection.” Sales in the City and West End are recovering strongest.
IXICO said it once again has been picked by a leading global pharma company to support its ongoing drug development programme in Huntington’s disease. Under the new contract, IXICO will provide services to support the phase II dose-finding study.