Market Report: Retailers fought back as investors bought into B&M and Boohoo

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The Independent Online

Britain's retailers came out fighting yesterday. The former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy made a successful return to the stock market with the float of the discount chain B&M Retail. Despite fears of waning appetite for new listings, the Woolworths-like retailer, which Sir Terry chairs, climbed 15p to 285p on its debut.

Asos rival Boohoo, which has been spurned by investors since floating earlier in the year, also proved worth a second look. The online fashion retailer revealed a 63 per cent leap in full-year sales to £110m, while pre-tax profits more than trebled to £10.7m. Boohoo climbed 4.5p to 50.5p, beating its 50p float price.

But Pets at Home, 3.25p lower at 213.75p, disappointed; full-year profits fell 15 per cent to £22.5m.

The recently listed Game Digital, down 1p at 197p, has had its fair share of sceptics in the City, but Invesco is not among them. The investment manager revealed it has built up a 6.72 per cent stake in the console retailer.

ITV climbed 2.8p to 179.4p on the blue-chip index after reports that the advertising giant Omnicom has pulled its advertising with Channel 5 and plans to redirect the cash to ITV.

The Footsie was quiet again, up just 4.24 points at 6,843.11. The miners Anglo American, down 46.5p to 1,418p, and Rio Tinto, 98.5p lower at 3,058p, suffered after Merrill Lynch cut its forecasts for iron ore prices.

It was a different story for the mid-cap platinum producer Lonmin, which rocketed 21p to 257.7p after announcing tentative progress in talks with unions striking at its South African mines.

The electronic parts distributor Premier Farnell built up 6.8p to 215.2p after announcing plans to combine its marketing and distribution businesses in America, Europe and Asia.

Hardy Oil and Gas lost 7p to 97.5p after the Indian explorer posted a $5.4m (£3.2m) pre-tax loss for the 15 months to March, down from $12.7m a year earlier.

On AIM, Max Petroleum tumbled 0.51p to 1.39p despite announcing an 11 per cent increase in provable oil reserves at its sites. Investors were disappointed the figure was lower than a year earlier.

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