TOP NEWS: Bullish ARM Holdings Lifts Interim Dividend As Profits Rise
(Alliance News Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) LONDON (Alliance News) - The following is a summary of top news stories Tuesday.----------COMPANIES----------ARM Holdings PLC raised its interim dividend as it saw pretax profit rise in the half year to end-June, driven by a strong performance from its licensing operations which offset weaker royalty revenues. The chipmaker proposed an interim dividend of 2.25 pence, up from 2.1 pence in the previous year. The company said it enters the second half of the year with a healthy pipeline of opportunities, and expects to see its royalty revenue grow in the second half as the semiconductor industry improves. As a result of this improvement, it expects to meet market expectations for US dollar revenues for the full year. ----------Royal Mail PLC said revenue in its first quarter rose 2%, supported by good trading in its letters business, while increased competition hit the UK parcels division. In an interim management statement, the company said the low single-digit growth in group revenue was in line with its strategy. On a divisional basis, UK parcel volumes rose 1%, while revenue declined 1%, impacted by the phasing of customers' reaction to the introduction of size-based pricing in April 2013, said Royal Mail. Export parcel volumes were lower than expected due to the impact of stronger sterling and increasing competition in the export market, resulting in UK parcels revenue growth reducing by around 150 basis points during the period. This is not expected to reverse in the full-year, said Royal Mail.----------Anglo American PLC subsidiary Kumba Iron Ore Ltd said it will provide the parent company with a lower contribution to underlying earnings, due to lower iron ore prices and higher costs. The announcement comes ahead of Anglo American's half-year results release on Friday. The major iron ore mining subsidiary, which operates in South Africa, will contribute USD409 million to Anglo American for the six months ended June 30, a fall of 29% from USD579 million the previous year. The subsidiary said its IFRS headline earnings fell 28% to USD606 million from USD840 million as operating profit fell 14% due to lower export iron ore prices and costs from increased mining activities. ----------AstraZeneca PLC said its research and development arm MedImmune has teamed up with US biotechnology company Advaxis Inc for a clinical trial combining MedImmune's MED14736 compound with Advaxis' ADSX-HPV. The two treatments are both immunotherapies, which use the body's immune system to treat cancer, the company said. ----------Trading in Barclays PLC's dark pool has seen a dramatic fall since the New York State Attorney General's allegations that the bank gave an unfair advantage to high-frequency traders at the expense of its other investor clients, despite presenting the trading platform as having special safeguards to protect against "predatory" or "toxic" traders. According to data published by the US's Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the number of shares traded in Barclays' dark pool, LX Liquidity Cross, fell by two-thirds in the week of June 30, from the week of June 23. The number of shares traded in the pool fell to 66.4 million from 197.0 million. The data is for NMS Tier 1 equities. Data for NMS Tier 2 and over-the-counter equities is not as recent as for NMS Tier 1.----------Reed Elsevier PLC said its LexisNexis Legal & Professional subsidiary will buy Wolters Kluwer's Canadian legal publishing activities. The acquisition will extend the LexisNexis portfolio of next-generation products and solutions for customers within the Canadian market, Reed Elsevier said in a statement. The Canadian legal assets to be sold include print and online information products for law firms, corporate counsel, and human resources professionals. "The agreement with Wolters Kluwer will allow us to better serve customers in Canada and supports our strategy to build leading positions in our core markets," said Mike Walsh, CEO of LexisNexis Legal & Professional.----------Croda International PLC said its pretax profit fell in its first half and it again warned of lower pretax profit for the full year as reduced demand in Europe and currency translation losses hit the company. The speciality chemicals company said its pretax profit fell 6.0% to GBP125.1 million for the six months ended June 30 from GBP133.1 million in the previous year, as sales fell 4.5% to GBP537.4 million from GBP562.7 million. The company said its results were also hit significantly by currency translation, which reduced sales by GBP38.3 million and operating profit by GBP11.4 million as the sterling and euro showed relative strength versus other currencies.----------QinetiQ Group PLC said it retains its outlook for the full year as its Europe, Middle East and Asia Services division performed in line with expectations during the first quarter, benefitting from continuing productivity improvements. In an interim management statement released ahead of its annual general meeting Tuesday, the defence company said however that its Global Products division has been impacted by the draw-down of overseas military forces, due to the fact that it has shorter order cycles than the EMEA Services business. The EMEA Services business has benefited from continuing productivity improvements and better project execution embedded during QinetiQ's self-help phase eighteen months ago, the company said.----------IG Group Holdings PLC reported a 1.3% increase in pretax profit in its last financial year, boosted by stronger revenue figures in the UK and Ireland, as well as in the rest of Europe. The FTSE 250 online trading company also increased its full-year dividend by 21% to 28.15 pence, from 23.25 a year earlier, representing approximately 70% of the group's full-year earnings. IG Group said it will continue to monitor its capital structure closely as it looks to fund its growth and to adapt and respond to any changes in regulation or the financial environment. In a statement, IG Group said that it made a GBP194.7 million pretax profit in the year ended May 31, compared with GBP192.2 million a year earlier. Revenue increased to GBP413.7 million, from GBP406.4 million, due to increases in the UK and Europe more than offsetting falls in Australia and the rest of the world. ----------MARKETS----------UK stocks are trading higher as investors tentatively move back into riskier assets, betting that the geopolitical issues which have weighed on sentiment in recent sessions won't derail the global economic recovery.----------FTSE 100: up 0.8% at 6780.13FTSE 250: up 0.6% at 15576.18AIM ALL-SHARE: up 0.2% at 770.5----------The pound moved a little lower against the dollar following the disappointing UK debt data, but volatility within the foreign exchange majors remains extremely low.----------GBP-USD: down at USD1.7063EUR-USD: down at USD1.3479GOLD: down at USD1306.88 per ounceOIL (Brent): up at USD108.14 a barrel(changes since end of previous GMT day)----------ECONOMICS AND GENERAL----------The UK budget deficit excluding financial interventions increased in June, data from the Office for National Statistics showed. Public sector net borrowing excluding financial interventions totalled GBP11.4 billion, which was GBP3.8 billion more than last June. It was forecast to rise to GBP10.5 billion in June. Excluding transfers to Asset Purchase Facility Fund, net borrowing was GBP11.5 billion. For the financial year 2013/14, PSNB excluding interventions was GBP93.7 billion. This was GBP13.0 billion higher than the same period in 2012/13. At the end of June, public sector net debt was equivalent to 77.3% of gross domestic product.----------Pro-Russian rebels delivered the flight data and voice recorders of a downed passenger plane to Malaysian officials Tuesday, a government source said. The instruments were handed over in Donetsk, Ukraine to a group of Malaysian officials led by National Security Council member Colonel Mohamed Shukri. The source said the equipment appeared to be in good condition. "Malaysia will keep it for safekeeping temporarily and will eventually hand it to the proper investigating body," he said. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed Thursday, killing all 298 people aboard, in eastern Ukraine. It was suspected to have been shot down by a missile.----------Dozens more people have been killed in fighting between the Israeli army and Islamist militants in the Gaza Strip, officials said. The number of Palestinians to have died rose by at least 30 since late Monday, bringing the total to 585, Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra said. Two Israeli soldiers were killed in Gaza, the Israeli military said early Tuesday. Their deaths Monday brought the total number of Israeli military personnel who have died in the operation to 27.----------The International Monetary Fund lifted its outlook for German economy and urged authorities to boost public investment on infrastructure, while adhering to the European fiscal rules. The Washington-based lender forecast the largest Eurozone economy to grow 1.9% this year, up from the prior estimate of 1.7%. The outlook for next year was revised to 1.7% from 1.6%.----------A leading indicator of economic activity in China rose at an accelerated pace in June, the results of a survey by the Conference Board showed. The Conference Board's leading economic indicators index for China increased 1.3% month-on-month in June followed by the 0.7% rise in May.----------
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