Investors displayed a fresh hunger for blue-chip stocks today despite a profits slump at the world’s largest foodservices firm.
Compass Group was restraining progress by the FTSE 100 Index after the caterer capped a disappointing first-half performance with a 7.8% drop in pre-tax profits, sending its shares down 6% or 13p to 223p.
But positive economic news across the Atlantic and a stronger US dollar were the catalysts for the Footsie to climb 29.4 points to 4927.9 by mid-morning.
On the corporate front, telecoms group O2 added 2.75p to 117.25p after saying full year profits had tripled.
But joining Compass at the top of the Footsie fallers board was Sainsbury’s which lost 5.5p to 282.25p after unveiling a 62% slump in annual profits.
Clothing giant Next was also faring poorly – off 2% or 30p to 1475p – after reporting a 3.2% retreat in like-for-like sales over the past 15 weeks.
Elsewhere, Holidaybreak rose 5.5p to 629.5p after posting its first operating profits after scaling back its camping division.