Market Report: Despite a profit slide, Homeserve shares rise on talk of a payday for investors

Homeserve leapt yesterday after the broker Liberum hinted that investors could be in for a windfall. The emergency repairs insurer revealed that pre-tax profit fell to £24.4m in the year to March, from £107.6m a year earlier. It was hit with a £30.6m fine for mis-selling in February and the whole incident cost it £46.7m.

But Liberum thinks an increase in free cashflow and a planned review of spending could lead to a share buyback or dividend hike. The talk saw Homeserve jump 23.2p to 340.3p.

The FTSE 100 struggled to stay above 6,800 yesterday, just a week after threatening to hit an all-time high. Some in the City fear that equity markets could be heading for a hefty correction; bond yields for riskier eurozone economies such as Italy and Portugal have been steadily rising over the past few days, which is a sign of growing economic pessimism. The blue-chip index closed down 42.55 points at 6,802.

Vodafone, off 11.85p at 205.3p, accounted for much of the loss, while oil and gas operators took 9.64 points off and miners accounted for a 5.21-point fall. It wasn't all bad: the cruise operator Carnival sailed up 78p to 2,380 and ITV put on 3.8p to 176.6p.

The oil and gas explorer Afren lagged on the mid-cap index, 8.8p lower at 145.3p, as first-quarter revenue and profit declined. Oriel Securities warned that the current run-rate of costs means the business does not look like generating free cashflow this year.

The world's largest sandwich maker, Greencore, jumped 11.9p to 259p after revealing an 8.2 per cent increase in revenue and a 14 per cent rise in operating profit.

Even though the Chelsea Flower Show began, the Aim-listed compost supplier William Sinclair issued a profit warning, admitting that it expects "a significant underlying net loss for the year". The shares dug down 51p to 60.5p.

The health technology provider Totally added 0.07p to 0.70p after sealing a NHS contract worth £84,000 over the next year.

UBC Media announced a reverse merger with the music service 7digital, with a £6m placing to fund the purchase of the company. The shares lost 3p to 3.25p as they headed toward the 2.7p placing level.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'