Morning Report: Growing threat of coronavirus sees FTSE 100 open firmly in the red

Headlines from the Proactive UK newsroom.

The FTSE 100 has slipped below 7000 this morning as fears continued to mount over the spread of the coronavirus.

Diageo (LON:DGE) has warned the outbreak will hit sales by between £225mln and £325mln, while profits will be knocked by between £140-200mln. Bars and restaurants in China have been closed while events have been postponed in South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

SSP (LON:SSPG) meanwhile has warned the restrictions on travel have had a major impact on its food and drink outlets in airports and railways stations in the Asia-Pacific region.  The region accounts for approximately 8% of its revenues and February sales will around 50% lower than a year ago.

Symphony Environmental’s (LON:SYM) antimicrobial food packaging technology has been approved by the US FDA for use in polythene bread wrapping. Approval has taken ten years and offers a new and immediate commercial opportunity.

Plexus Holdings’ (LON:POS) Russian licensee has ordered an additional set of its drilling wellhead equipment. The purchase follows the successful installation of a first POS-GRIP exploration wellhead in Russia for oil and gas giant Gazprom.

William Hill posted another loss as it closed more shops and laid off more stuff due to the stake restrictions on in-store gaming machines, though betting results were also mixed.

Metro Bank is to hand back £50mln of the £120mln it was awarded last year as part of the RBS-funded pool to encourage banking competition after it slashed its store opening plan. The challenger bank racked up losses of £131mln in 2019. 

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