Market Report: Recycled packaging specialist DS Smith shined on the mid-cap index


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The Independent Online

It was a tale of two Smiths – one a star performer, the other a straggler.

Recycled packaging specialist DS Smith shined on the mid-cap index on Wednesday, adding 13.9p to 286.9p after a solid trading update. Once seen as a bit of a dog due to its lack of control over pricing, David Miller of fund manager Quilter Cheviot said the company was now “timely”, thanks to its decision to swallow its main European competitor during the recession and the recent rise of online shopping sites such as Amazon, that are ravenous for cardboard.

But elsewhere Smiths Group, no relation, had a sorry time of it. The manufacturer of airport security scanners and other detection devices found itself at the bottom of the blue-chip index after full-year pre-tax profits slumped by 11 per cent. Smiths Group lost 81p to 1,268p.

On the eve of That Vote, the FTSE 100 continued to drift lower – 11.34 points down at 6,780.90. But as one investment manager put it: “If people were going to make a move they would have done it by now.”

News that Sky Deutschland has called for shareholders to snub BSkyB’s takeover offer failed to shake the pay-TV giant. BSkyB, off just 0.5p at 875.5p, already has the consent of 21st Century Fox, which holds 57 per cent of the German broadcaster.

Rumours continue that SABMiller, down 84p at 3,577p, and Diageo, off 34.5p at 1,812.5p, could be interested in SodaStream, the Israeli maker of a drinks’ carbonating gadget. Private equity group KKR has also been thrown into the mixer as a potential suitor.

Despite the calamitous recent performance of Asos, which slumped 27p to 2,180p, Shore Capital was brave enough to back rival online retailer Boohoo. The broker reckons Boohoo, 2.5p up at 50p, is wise to deal in local currencies abroad.

Mariana Resources jumped 0.3p to 1.85p on AIM after sealing a $6m (£4m) investment to fund the growth of its precious metal and copper mines in South America.

Sable Mining Africa fell 1.42p to 2.4p as pre-tax losses widened to $36.6m in the year to March, due to further writedowns on its coal mines in Zimbabwe.