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FTSE 250 movers: Investors ring AJ Bell; Future looks bleak

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Thursday 07 Dec 2023

(Sharecast News) - FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,597.17 -0.37%

Investment platform AJ Bell reported a record financial performance in its final results on Thursday, with revenue rising 33% year-on-year to £218.2m.

The FTSE 250 company said its profit before tax jumped 50% in the 12 months ended 30 September, to £87.7m, while its profit before tax margin improved to 40.2% from 35.6%.

It put the improvement down to an increased revenue margin of 29.8 basis points, coupled with total cost growth in line with its prior guidance.

Diluted earnings per share saw a substantial rise of 46%, amounting to 16.53p.

AJ Bell's board proposed a final dividend of 7.25p per share, resulting in a 46% increase in the total ordinary dividend for the year, which now stood at 10.75p, aligning with its stated dividend policy and marking the 19th consecutive year of ordinary dividend growth.

Shares in thread manufacturing group Coats surged on Thursday after the company decided to switch off pension deficit repair payments from next month.

After reaching an agreement with the trustee of its UK pension scheme, Coats will pay a one-off lump sum of £10m to move the scheme into a surplus.

The deal will result in a free cash flow benefit of £2m per month while the payments are switched off - which can continue so long as the scheme's assets remain above 99% of its technical provisions, Coats said.

Shares in Future slumped in early morning trading on Thursday, after full-year revenues were hit by weaker trading in the US.

The media and publishing group - which owns a number of magazines, including Country Life, Homes & Gardens and Cyclingnews, as well as comparison website Go.Compare - said revenues in the year to 30 September were £788.9m, down 4% or by 10% on an organic basis.

Adjusted operating profits slid 6% to £256.4m, while pre-tax profits fell 19% to £138.1m.

Energean announced its entry into a new venture offshore Morocco on Thursday by farming into Chariot's acreage.

The FTSE 250 company said the move included the acquisition of 45% of the Lixus licence, with the option to increase its stake to 55% following drilling results and 37.5% of the Rissana licence.

In addition to those interests, Energean said it would assume operatorship of both licences.

FTSE 250 - Risers

AJ Bell (AJB) 303.20p 17.52%
Coats Group (COA) 75.80p 12.46%
Ibstock (IBST) 137.20p 3.86%
Paragon Banking Group (PAG) 550.50p 3.48%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 607.50p 3.32%
FirstGroup (FGP) 168.30p 2.62%
Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 1,568.00p 2.48%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 1,605.00p 2.20%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 451.80p 2.17%
Bytes Technology Group (BYIT) 550.00p 2.04%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Future (FUTR) 635.50p -15.49%
Games Workshop Group (GAW) 9,390.00p -11.42%
Moonpig Group (MOON) 150.90p -4.07%
IP Group (IPO) 47.75p -4.02%
Investec (INVP) 493.30p -3.92%
CAB Payments Holdings (CABP) 54.10p -3.91%
Ninety One (N91) 169.90p -3.41%
Auction Technology Group (ATG) 476.50p -3.25%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 226.40p -3.25%
Energean (ENOG) 997.00p -3.20%


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