Updates from A.G.Barr, Rentokil and Greggs
The FTSE 100 crept almost 13 points higher on Friday ending at 5,914.3, or +0.22% higher. Polymetal International was the biggest gainer, up +2.0% while International Consolidated Airlines Group was the biggest faller, down -1.83%.
Overnight, the Japanese Nikkei rose a smidge higher to 9,533 points, up +0.07% while the Hang Seng climbed +0.21%.
We start the week with an interim from soft drinks maker A.G.Barr, now to merge with Britvic (the two companies commence trading shares as a joint entity by start of February). Revenues for the 18 weeks to 1 December 2012 fizz 9.0% higher, with volume increasing by +6.6% compared to the same period last year.
Year-to-date revenues as at 1 December have increased +6.5% growing ahead of the prior year comparative figure of +4.6% says the drinks maker.
"Our core brands," says A.G.Barr have performed well in what has continued to be a competitive but robust soft drinks market. The market, as measured by Nielsen, increased in value by +3.3% over the 26 week period ending 24 November 2012 with volume flat."
Next, Rentokil Initial claims it has completed the acquisition of Western Exterminator Company for an initial cash consideration of $92.6m, plus a deferred consideration of up to $6m payable within 18 months from existing financial facilities.
Western is a leading pest control company in California with annualised revenues of $149m. Rentokil also claims it has completed the acquisition of Eden Advanced Pest Technologies, a full service pest control company servicing commercial and residential customers within the West Coast states of Washington and Oregon.
Eden, founded in 1989, has annualised revenues of $7m. The acquisitions position Rentokil as the third largest pest control company in the USA with coast to coast coverage.
Finally, Greggs looks set to lose its chief exec, Ken McMeikan, to the Brakes Group. McMeikan - he joined the baker in 2008 - has agreed to stay in his role, and as a member of the Board, whilst a successor is appointed.
"We are very grateful," says Derek Netherton, Greggs chairman, "for the valuable contribution he [McMeikan] has made to Greggs. He has led the company through the major changes that have put us in a strong position for the future with a clear strategy for growth in a difficult environment. We wish Ken well in his new role."
Gregg's shares are currently trading at the £4.86 point, some distance from its £5.67 point earlier in the year.