MARKET REPORT: Capita rockets 27% as cost cutting lifts profits

Investors piled into Capita after a cost-cutting plan offset some of the losses it racked up from the pandemic.

Around £100million was wiped off the government contractor’s turnover in the three months up to the end of September.

It brought in revenues of £803million, down from £902million in the same period last year.

Around £100million was wiped off government contractor Capita’s turnover in the three months up to the end of September

Around £100million was wiped off government contractor Capita’s turnover in the three months up to the end of September

Around £100million was wiped off government contractor Capita’s turnover in the three months up to the end of September

But profits actually rose from £111million to £115million after it cut costs. In March the group said it would aim to trim its outgoings by £100million. Capita also confirmed it is still in talks to sell its education software business.

Thought to be worth around £500million, the division helps schools do everything from managing lunch payments to keeping in touch with parents.

Shareholders were relieved the sale is still ticking along and that its finances weren’t in a worse state. It rocketed 26.9 per cent higher, up 6.99p, to 32.97p.

Meggitt also got a warm reception, despite reporting that profits could fall 55 per cent this year following the air travel slump. 

Stock Watch – Feedback 

An app created by technology group Feedback has been selected to take part in an NHS programme focusing on London hospitals.

Feedback’s Bleepa app provides doctors with an encrypted messaging service that allows them to send each other pictures of X-rays and scans. Doctors usually use Whatsapp to do this, which leaves them vulnerable to lawsuits because of privacy concerns.

Shares in the AIM-listed firm rose 10.6 per cent, or 0.13p, to 1.3p.

It expects to make between £180million and £200million this year, slightly below forecasts of about £205million, after work in its aerospace division stalled.

Meggitt usually supplies airlines with parts and provides maintenance services. But it climbed 6.8 per cent, or 25.5p, to 400.8p after it reported business had picked up slightly in the third quarter.

Oil majors BP and Shell enjoyed another day of gains as oil prices rose 2 per cent to $43 a barrel. Crude has surged by around 9 per cent since Friday, spurred on by Pfizer’s vaccine announcement on Monday.

The rollout of a vaccine could help jumpstart transport – from long-distance flights to daily commutes – which would mean using more oil. 

BP rose 5.1 per cent, or 11.75p, to 241.7p, after it also unveiled a plan to team up with Denmark’s Orsted to develop a green hydrogen project in Germany.

Shell, which announced it would cut 500 jobs in Singapore, closed 3.6 per cent higher, up 39p, to 1129.8p.

Elsewhere in the sector, Mediterranean-focused Energean shot up 9.9 per cent, or 56p, to 621p, after a study concluded there is 44 per cent more gas in its Israeli fields than previously thought.

Speaking of the vaccine, chemicals group Croda rose 7 per cent, or 438p, to 6660p, with a five-year deal to supply Pfizer with materials to be used in the treatment.

And Anglo-German holiday company Tui – one of this week’s vaccine winners – rose 4 per cent, or 15.3p, to 397.8p, following reports it is in talks with the Germany for another £1.6billion in state aid.

The FTSE 100 rose 1.8 per cent, or 110.56 points, to 6296.85, while the FTSE 250 climbed 0.9 per cent, or 177.98, to 19,028.34. Insurer Direct Line fell out of favour, down 2.2 per cent, or 6.4p, to 285p after it was stung by a fall in motor premiums.

Fewer people are buying new cars and the number of young people taking driving tests and getting behind the wheel fell.

Total gross premiums dipped 0.8 per cent to £852million, while its own-brand premiums dropped 1.4 per cent.

But traders cheered guarantor lender Amigo, which has bagged Mike Corcoran, recently in an interim role at the Pension Protection Fund, as finance boss.

The controversial firm branded a ‘legal loan shark’ by MPs, is also bringing in the Financial Conduct Authority’s former deputy chief risk officer, Paul Dyer, as its chief risk officer. And Shaminder Rai, a turnaround specialist, joins as chief transformation officer. It rose 16.1 per cent, or 1.13p, to 8.13p.

Video game firm Codemasters has agreed to be taken over by Grand Theft Auto owner Take-Two in a £759million deal.

But it fell 5.2 per cent, or 25p, to 453p, after the deal valued it at 464p a share, down from a 485p proposal last week.

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