The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is looking uninspired so far today, up just one point to 6,611 approaching midday. News that the eurozone is officially out of recession did not warm London’s hearts, after GDP in the second quarter slightly beat forecasts by rising 0.3%. Improving prospects for the UK’s jobs market also failed to cheer, but instead stirred fears of a possible sooner-than-hoped rise in interest rates.
Still, some companies were shining today. Here are three from the FTSE indices that are on the up:
MITIE Group (LSE: MTO) shares got a gentle nudge this morning, rising 2.6p (1%) to 281p on the news that the outsourcing specialist has acquired UK CRBs Ltd, one of the UK’s largest criminal records checking companies. The new acquisition will now be integrated into MITIE’s employee screening services, with chief executive Ruby McGregor-Smith saying “The acquisition offers synergies with our existing security business and will allow us to bid for larger scale screening and vetting contracts“.
MITIE shares had been on a bit of a slide, but since the start of July the price has been picking up. It’s just about flat over the past 12 months now, with the shares on a forward P/E of 11 and offering a potential 4% dividend yield.
An impressive set of first-half figures from Interserve (LSE: IRV) sent the support services and construction group’s shares up 20.5p (3.8%) to 555p in morning trading, and up around 70% over the past 12 months. Chief executive Adrian Ringrose told us “We have delivered record revenues and further improved our overall margin in the face of a challenging operating environment based, in particular, on a strong performance in our UK Support Services division“.
Revenue rose by 8.6% to £1.07bn, with headline pre-tax profit up 7.6% to £36.8m and earnings per share up 5.4% to 21.4p. The firm saw fit to lift its interim dividend by 6.3% to 6.8p per share.
Interserve also told us this morning that a subsidiary, Landmarc Support Services, has secured a contract extension with the Ministry of Defence worth around £110m.
A trading update gave shares in Quindell Portfolio (LSE: QPP) a boost this morning, sending them up 0.7p (6.2%) to 12.6p. The firm, which provides software and services to the insurance, telecommunications and other related markets, told us that cash collection has been meeting targets and in some cases is progressing ahead of plan.
Gross sales were also up by 33% compared to the previous six months, after the firm’s legal services business won “significant new business” following a regulatory change in April.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.