Hellman's and Unilver make early gains on FTSE

Hellmann’s and Dove soap maker Unilever topped the FTSE 100 Index risers board today after impressing investors with third quarter trading figures.

Hellmann’s and Dove soap maker Unilever topped the FTSE 100 Index risers board today after impressing investors with third quarter trading figures.

Shares in the household goods firm rose 3% amid a better session for the wider London market, with the top flight 33.2 points higher at 5837.6.

This was despite a fall of 3%, or 24.25p to 783.75p, for advertising and marketing giant WPP after it cut its full-year growth outlook due to fears over the prospects for trading in the United States and Europe.

Most other blue-chip stocks were on the front foot, with Barclays up 3.45p to 233.35p and Lloyds Banking Group ahead 0.7p to 41.2p. Unilever was 72.5p higher at 2337.5p after it reported a better-than-expected 5.9% rise in underlying sales growth for the quarter to September 30.

Debenhams surged to the top of the FTSE 250 Index risers board after it reported a 4.2% rise in pre-tax profits to £158.3 million for the year to September 1. The figures, which were better than expected, were accompanied by plans for another 17 stores over the next five years. Shares jumped 7%, or 7.3p to 116.3p, and helped other retail stocks to make headway.

They included JD Sports Fashion, which lifted 13.75p to 329.85p, and Dixons Retail Group with an improvement of 0.2p to 20.9p.

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