FTSE 100 Ticks Lower As Vodafone and Land Securities Shares Decline

The FTSE 100 opened down 0.23% at 7,693.33 amid a slew of financial results including EasyJet, Land Securities and CYBG and changes at the helm of Vodafone.

The FTSE 100 opened down 0.23% at 7,693.33 amid a slew of financial results including EasyJet, Land Securities and CYBG and changes at the helm of Vodafone.

Vodafone led the decliners with a 3.06% fall after the company said that chief executive Vittorio Colao, who has been at the helm of the company for 10 years, will step down in October. 

He will be succeeded by Nick Read, the company’s finance director. The decline came despite Vodafone reporting a 1.4% fourth quarter increase in service revenue, ahead of forecasts of a 1.1% rise. 

The group’s earnings rose 11.8% to €14.7 billion. Vodafone expects its 2019 core earnings to increase by between 1%-5% and to have free cash flow of €5.2 billion, marginally less than in 2018.

Shares in the UK’s largest listed property developer Land Securities also traded lower, down 0.7%, as the company reported a £251 million loss for the full year to March 31. 

Its adjusted diluted net asset value per share declined to 1,403p, a drop attributed to the cost of refinancing £1.5 billion of bonds. Cressida Hogg will become the company’s new chairwoman.

In contrast, easyJet PLC shares rose 3.7% on news that the company managed to significantly cut down its pretax loss for the first half of fiscal 2018 as it benefited from the closing down of other budget airlines. 

The company saw a large increase in the number of passengers and saw revenues rise to a record high of £2.18 billion. The budget airline’s loss narrowed to £68 million from £236 million a year earlier and against expectations of a £134.5 million loss.

CYBG banking group, which has tendered an £1.6 billion offer for Virgin Money earlier this week, reported a loss of £76 million for the financial first half because of a previously-announced £350 million charge for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance. 

The group, which owns Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, did not provide any more information on its Virgin bid.

Still to come today are UK average earnings, the ILO unemployment rate and claimant count, all due at 0930. 

The pound was a touch weaker at $1.3549 ahead of the data, down from $1.3584 late Monday.

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