The FTSE 100 index ended the week on a high-note, rising 0.8% to 7,688.38 points, after U.K. house prices returned to year-on-year growth for the first time in thirteen months. "The FTSE 100, although still trailing its peers by a large margin, also ended the day in positive territory as U.K. house prices rise for the first time in over a year ahead of next week's budget," IG senior market analyst Axel Rudolph said in a market comment. Educational publishing and services company Pearson was the day's top riser, surging 5.4%, on reporting higher full-year profit and extending its buyback scheme.


ITV Sells BritBox International Stake for $322 Mln; Launches Buyback

ITV said it has sold its entire 50% stake of the digital subscription streaming service BritBox International to its joint venture partner BBC Studios for 255 million pounds ($322 million).


Aegon Beats Capital Generation Views, Raises Dividend

Aegon said that capital generation for the second half of 2023 came in ahead of guidance, while operating results fell due to one-off benefits that boosted the prior year's figure.


Rightmove Pretax Profit Rises, Guides for Higher Revenue

Rightmove reported a rise in pretax profit and said it expects further revenue growth.


IMI Pretax Profit, Revenue Rise on Organic Growth

IMI said 2023 pretax profit rose as revenue increased boosted by organic growth, and that it expects to deliver good growth in the year with increased margins.


Pearson's Pretax Profit Rose; Extends Share Buyback Plan by GBP200 Mln

Pearson reported a higher pretax profit for full-year 2023 despite lower sales and said that it plans to extend the share buyback program by 200 million pounds ($252.5 million).


Superdry Extends Deadline For CEO's Potential Takeover Offer

Superdry said it has extended the deadline for Chief Executive Julian Dunkerton to make a firm takeover offer to March 29.


Wincanton Board Backs GXO Offer, Withdraws Support for CMA CGM Bid

Wincanton said its board would back an acquisition offer from GXO Logistics and withdraw its support for a lower bid from CEVA Logistics, a subsidiary of French container-shipping giant CMA CGM.


ITV's BritBox International Stake Sale Was Inevitable

1042 GMT - ITV's decision to sell its 50% stake in BritBox International was inevitable given that the British broadcaster has been focusing its efforts to grow its own ITVX streaming platform, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says in a note. "It always seemed like an odd fit to be in a 50:50 venture with an arch-rival and bowing out effectively signals that BritBox wasn't worth the effort for ITV," Mould highlights. Added to that, BritBox International focuses on classic British TV productions rather than competing against major streaming platforms, meaning that its audience is much smaller, he notes. Shares are up 14%, but down 28% on a 12-month basis. (


Sibanye-Stillwater's Outlook Will Be Key

1032 GMT - Sibanye-Stillwater's business outlook will likely take focus when the South African precious-metals miner publishes 2023 results on Tuesday, RBC Capital Markets analyst Marina Calero writes in a research note. "We see further shaft closures unlikely for now but expect to hear more on potential cost reductions and/or the ability to expand by-product revenues like chrome given the strong price performance," the analyst says. The production of platinum group metals should rise 7% in 2024, RBC estimates. "We see the current [share] valuation as fair given the ongoing PGM price weakness, negative near-term free cash flow and the elevated near-term capital expenditure." Shares are down 3.1% at ZAR19.25. (


ITV's BritBox International Stake Sale Makes Strategic Sense

1006 GMT - ITV's sale of its stake in BritBox International makes sense strategically given that the asset doesn't make part of its core business, Citi analysts Thomas Singlehurst and Praveen Shetty say in a note. The British broadcaster's divestment will generate GBP235 million of net proceeds, all of which will be returned to shareholders through a share buyback, they say. "We anticipate no impact to consensus earnings from the sale, making this costless," they say. Citi has a buy rating on the stock. Shares are up 16%, but down 26% on a 12-month basis. (

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03-01-24 1158ET