MARKET REPORT: Taylor Wimpey’s shares climb almost 6% thanks to strong customer interest

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MARKET REPORT: Taylor Wimpey’s shares climb almost 6% as it reveals customer interest in new homes is still strong

Investors raised the roof in response to Taylor Wimpey’s half-year results after the builder said full-year results would be towards the top end of market expectations. 

The shares climbed 5.5 per cent, or 6.6p, to 126.65p, as it revealed customer interest in new homes is still strong and cancellation numbers remain at normal levels. 

That allayed fears, sparked by the most recent house price index from Nationwide that the housing market is coming off the boil. Cost inflation in the sector is at around 10 per cent but this is being fully offset by house price growth, the builder claimed. 

Investors raised the roof in response to Taylor Wimpey’s half-year results after the builder said full-year results would be towards the top end of market expectations

Half-year profit before tax rose 16.3 per cent to £334.5m from £287.5m in the same period of 2021 on revenue that fell 5.4 per cent. 

‘While we recognise and are closely monitoring wider macroeconomic and political uncertainty, housing market fundamentals remain positive, supported by an enduring supply and demand imbalance and good availability of attractively priced mortgages,’ said chief executive Jennie Daly. 

It’s full steam ahead for the takeover of Czech cybersecurity firm Avast by NortonLifeLock. Shares in London-listed Avast soared 43.8 per cent, or 209.1p, to 687p after the Competition and Markets Authority provisionally cleared the £6bn deal, announced last August. 

The takeover had been under investigation by the since March, but it was decided the combination of two of the biggest names in the anti-virus software world would not raise competition concerns, thanks to the presence of rivals such as McAfee. 

The FTSE 100 closed up 0.5 per cent, or 36.57 points, at 7445.68 while the FTSE 250 rose 0.7 per cent, or 144.77 points, to 20,018.84. Lloyd’s of London insurer Hiscox dipped 0.7 per cent, or 5.8p, to 870p as it revealed the hit from the invasion of Ukraine was £39.6m net of reinsurance. 

Hiscox has been reducing its exposure in Ukraine and expects to cut it by two-thirds by the end of 2022. The underwriter posted a half-year loss of £88.3m, compared to a profit in the first half of the previous year of £110m. Hiscox is part of a consortium being formed to provide insurance cover for ships being granted safe passage from Ukraine. 

Rolls-Royce firmed after the Spanish government approved the sale of ITP Aero to a consortium of investors led by Bain Capital

Rolls-Royce firmed after the Spanish government approved the sale of ITP Aero to a consortium of investors led by Bain Capital

Rolls-Royce firmed after the Spanish government approved the sale of ITP Aero to a consortium of investors led by Bain Capital. Other regulatory authorities have already cleared the €1.8bn (£1.5bn) deal which is expected to complete in the next few weeks. 

STOCK WATCH: Keyword Studios

Acquisitive Keywords Studios got the chequebook out again as it bought Australian outfit Mighty Games for £6m. Keywords, which provides services to the global video games industry, said the company would help its games testing ability. In an accompanying trading update, Keywords revealed that it performed strongly in the first half of the year, with revenues up by around 22 per cent on a year earlier. Shares advanced 10.1 per cent, or 248p, to 2700p. 

The deal was part of the aerospace engine titan’s massive disposal programme, to keep it afloat during the pandemic period when air travel practically dried up. It rose 3.4 per cent, or 2.99c, to 90.79p. Seraphine fell 5.8 per cent, or 1.7p, to 27.75p despite its chief executive David Newton Williams and chairman Sharon Flood ploughing almost £280,000 into the stock. 

Purchases by senior directors are usually a sign of confidence in a company’s prospects – but the maternity clothing brand has lost more than 90 per cent of its value this year after warnings over weakening demand and rising costs. Safety barrier maker Hill & Smith dipped after its half-year results. 

It has lost around a third of its value this year and fell 3.3 per cent, or 42p, to 1228p despite a 17 per cent rise in underlying profit before tax at £40.2m. Full-year results from mechanical and refractory engineer Goodwin lifted it 10.1 per cent, or 250p, to 2735p. 

Trading profit for the year to the end of April rose 4 per cent to £17.2m from £16.5m the year before. Mobile payments firm Boku trousered £128,400 from a purchase price adjustment relating to the sale in March of Boku Identity business to Twilio. It expects further payments of up to £5.1m. It rose 2.6 per cent, or 2.5p, to 100.5p. 

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