Market Report: Plunge in revenues makes bwin a loser

The odds were stacked against bwin.party yesterday after a 17 per cent fall in first-quarter revenues. The FTSE 250 gambling group, which is best-known for sponsoring Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid, missed the jackpot with a lukewarm trading update that failed to inspire investors.

The company blamed revenues of £180.2m on a shift in strategy – from "volume to value", as one analyst put it – which sent its shares down 4.1p to 139.2p. Analysts were a little more upbeat and Panmure Gordon reiterated a Buy on the stock, citing expected cost savings of €70m (£59.4m) this year.

"The expected decline in the top line has been offset by cost savings," the broker said. "Regulatory risk has subsided in Germany and the group is well-positioned to capitalise on the shifting US regulatory landscape."

Further up the ladder, shares in Capita reached an all-time high as the outsourcing group closed in on a lucrative 10-year deal with O2, worth an estimated £1.2bn. The company said it was in "final negotiations" to provide customer services for the telecoms group in a move that sent its shares soaring more than 8 per cent to 1025p before they settled at 1005p.

"Capita is now clearly going to deliver strong organic growth through 2013," Espirito Santo's analysts said. The company confirmed it has won contracts worth about £2bn so far this year.

Citigroup was equally bullish: "We view this contract as a strategically important step change in Capita's private-sector market positioning. "Following this contract win, management now expects to deliver 8 per cent organic growth in 2013, ahead of market expectations. In terms of contract phasing, we expect £80m of revenues this year, followed by £150m in 2014 and £150m in 2015."

The news helped London's FTSE 100 build on Monday's highest close since September 2000, edging up a further 48.24 points to 6803.87. The wider FTSE 250 was up 84.53 to 14805.45.

Hamzeh Ajjour, a trader at Capital Spreads said: "With the FTSE 100 breaking recent highs yesterday, it comes as no surprise that it has pushed higher since, as any pullbacks or retracements are gobbled up by investors, leaving shorts wondering if, rather than when, this may turn. In the UK, healthy CPI and RPI data released yesterday coupled with a growing GDP figure in the previous quarter indicate a positive outlook ahead of the new Bank of England governor.

Despite these developments, all eyes will be fixed on Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, tomorrow. He will be stepping in front of congress and the Federal Open Market Committee to address the economic outlook and recent asset purchasing as investors eagerly await any clues or signs of danger."

Among the midcaps, Britain's oldest private-equity group 3i rose 9.6p to 366.6p after completing its latest disposal. The company, which is being restructured by (new-ish) boss Simon Borrows, said it had agreed to sell Xellia Pharmaceuticals to Danish healthcare group Novo.

The sale, which was overseen by investment bank Moelis, will net the group about £143m. Analysts at Investec raised their target price on the company from 278p to 347p, but maintained a Hold rating.

"3i Group reported full-year 2013 results last week and provided the market with an update on the strong progress of the restructuring programme," they said in a note. "Though there should be further net asset value growth to come, we currently see greater value elsewhere in the listed private-equity sector, such as SVG Capital and Electra Private Equity."

Balfour Beatty rose 6.7p to 233p on vague rumours of a sizeable asset disposal to a private equity suitor.

Elsewhere, Legal & General was out and about splashing the cash, increasing its stake above 3 per cent in a host of companies including Bunzl, Debenhams, Greggs and Marks & Spencer.

And finally, Quixant, a gaming and slot machines specialist, joined London's junior Aim market. The company's shares opened up 2.5p at 48.5p before closing at 49p.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
life
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Life and Style
Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
health
News
Joan Rivers has reportedly been hospitalised after she stopped breathing during surgery
people81-year-old 'stopped breathing' during vocal chord surgery
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
fashion

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

Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, UI, JMX, FIX)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, U...

Structured Finance

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - An excellent new instruction w...

SQL Server Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Server Developer SQL, PHP, C#, Real Time,...

C#.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone