Morning Paper Roundup: Sequels boost Cineworld, Vernalis sold to Ligand, EKF soars
07:45, 10th August 2018

small cap stocks

Below are the key morning headlines from today's papers, featuring the Financial Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail & more - see the full Press section here.

- Savills (SVS)  profits drop on ‘challenging’ global conditions. Estate agency group says quieter markets in UK and Asia-Pacific have hit margins. Chief executive Jeremy Helsby said it was also because of investments being made by the firm, but pointed to rising political and economic uncertainty as the UK continued fractious Brexit talks with EU negotiators.

- Card Factory (CARD)  blames weather as it tempers earnings expectations. Shares in the UK high street retailer dropped 10% after with a lower-than-expected earnings forecast.

- New Main Market listing Amigo Holdings (AMGO)  edged down 0.5p to 282.5p despite RBC, Macquarie and JP Morgan initiating coverage of the lender with an “outperform” rating.

- Sequels are proving box office gold for Cineworld Group (CINE) . The world’s second-biggest cinema chain has predicted a strong year on the back of releases including Mission: Impossible — Fallout, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Incredibles 2.

- Worsening life expectancy trend lifts Legal & General Group (LGEN) . Life expectancy increasing slower means that insurers need to set aside less cash for pension payments and that let L&G release reserves last year that had been held back to pay customers.

- EKF Diagnostics Holdings (EKF)  soared after the Cardiff-based company said first-half earnings were ahead of its expectations. Investors were also buoyed by an update on new deals, including a distribution agreement with the US-based McKesson Medical-Surgical for its haemoglobin analyser Diaspect, which has regulatory clearance.

- Vernalis plc (VER)  which has recently focused on selling prescription cough medicine in the US, has agreed a sale to Ligand UK at 6.2p per share in cash, valuing it at about £32.7m.

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