FTSE 100 news summary: Glencore, SABMiller, Rexam, Centrica, Reed Elsevier, British Land, Burberry, Rolls-Royce


This week’s news in the top flight included an update from commodities trader Glencore (LON:GLEN), which said its major growth projects remain on schedule and within budget.

The group reported record quarterly thermal coal output with production at its Prodeco operations up over 69 percent year on year.

“Despite the financial market uncertainty and some weather and equipment-driven disruptions, Glencore's overall healthy operational and financial performance has continued through Q3 2011,” said Glencore.

Elsewhere in the FTSE 100, beverage group SABMiller (LON:SAB) said total beverage volumes in the six months to end September were 3 percent ahead of the prior year on an organic basis with lager volumes up 3 percent and soft drinks volumes up 6 percent.

As a result, pre-tax profits increased from US$1.69 billion in the same period of 2010 to US$2.04 billion as revenues increased from US$9.45 billion to US$10.54 billion.

Fellow blue chip, packaging group Rexam (LON:REX) said its performance in the period from the start of July has been in line with expectations, with its Beverage Cans division trading ahead of expectations, offsetting further weakness in Plastic Packaging.

“The group's overall performance for the period is in line with our expectations and we are on track for the full year,” said chief executive of Rexam Graham Chipchase.

Elsewhere in the FTSE 100, British Gas parent company Centrica (LON:CNA) told the markets that its full year earnings may be marginally lower than current market expectations, with the reduction in operating profits offset in part by lower interest and tax charges.

Centrica continues to expect growth in full year earnings, despite “significantly lower margins” in its downstream residential business than in 2010.

Publishing group Reed Elsevier (LON:REL) said revenues in the first nine months of the year rose one percent.

The group said all of its each of its five business areas saw growth in underlying revenues.

As a result, Reed Elsevier’s earnings per share are on track to meet projections for the full year 2011.

Meanwhile, commercial property company British Land (LON:BLND) said its underlying pre-tax profits rose 3.9 percent to £132 million in the first half of the year, while portfolio valuation increased 2.2 percent to £10.2 billion.

The group has made acquisitions for a total £332 million since the start of the financial year.

“In the current challenging economic environment, our results demonstrate the quality of our portfolio underlined by the actions we've taken to focus on growing both income and capital. We are well positioned for today but also have the capacity to capture upside when the economy improves,” said chief executive Chris Grigg.

Fashion house Burberry (LON:BRBY) said its revenues jumped 29 percent to £830 million in the six months to end September, while adjusted pre-tax profits reached £162 million, up 26 percent from the same period of 2010.

The group decided to increase its interim dividend by 40 percent to seven pence.

In other news, engine and turbine manufacturer Rolls-Royce (LON:RR.) has secured an order from Saudi Arabian Airlines, worth up to US$500 million, to provide engines and TotalCare support for four Airbus A330 aircraft already announced and four options.

The group has also won a US$280 million order from Garuda Indonesia Airlines for Trent 700 engines to power four Airbus A330 aircraft.

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