Market Report: TalkTalk rang up gains as it headed towards nearly one million TV customers

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The Independent Online

Traders' chat was largely focused on a telecoms-to-TV group with a set of figures worth talking about yesterday. TalkTalk said it had added 167,000 customers to its TV business in the second quarter, putting it on track for nearly 1 million by its financial year end.

It has raised full-year sales guidance to 3 per cent which means it expects 4 per cent growth in the second half. Investors were convinced of its potential, and it rang up a 25.5p gain to 275.4p.

The wider market was subdued as traders retained concerns about US monetary policy tapering, and the FTSE 100 was 1.58 points weaker at 6,726.79.

Construction company CRH was top of the blue-chips after revealing a 2 per cent third-quarter sales rise, and it added 50p to 1,609p. At the other end of the index was Aberdeen Asset Management, down 19.7p to 416.9p on renewed fears it will enter an expensive bidding war for Lloyds' Scottish Widows Investment Partnership with rival MacQuarie.

Engineer Babcock International reported a 32 per cent jump in half-year profits, and Investec said its "very strong performance" was "best in class". But profit-takers helped it down 15p to 1,306p.

The new heart disease drug from GlaxoSmithKline failed to meet targets in a major clinical study, and it was 13p weaker at 1,637.5p.

Royal Bank of Scotland lost 8.2p to 331.6p after the incoming UKFI chairman said its capital issue and strategy must be sorted before the Government starts to sell any shares.

Distribution specialist John Menzies fell 52.5p to 767p as it warned returns of sticker collections from newsagents and weak marketing services were causing it problems.

Healthcare group BTG revealed first-half profits up 18 per cent, and it was 30.6p better at 454.9p. Pensions provider Just Retirement listed yesterday at 225p a share but finished down 12p at 213p. However, online video-rights management group Rightster ended the day up 12p at 72p as it raised £20.4m in its listing.

Algy Cluff's Cluff Natural Resources raised £2m when it placed new shares at 3p each but declined 0.75p to 3.125p.