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Market Report: FTSE continues covid vaccine rollout gains despite UK lockdown woes

FTSE 100 started in the green despite England and Scotland entering a third national lockdown. London’s leading index advanced 27 points to 6,599 in early trading.

Next PLC (LON:NXT) expects profit before tax for the year to January 2021 to halve due to the impact of store closures in January. Full price sales in the Christmas period dipped only 1% thanks to a strong online performance.

Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC (LON:MRW) posted an 8% jump in sales in the half-year to January, with online sales more than tripling. However, profits could face another £20mln hit from the new restrictions.

Wizz Air Holdings PLC (LON:WIZZ) said the number of passengers in December plummeted 80% compared to the year before. The budget airline also announced six additional new routes between the UK and destinations in Turkey, Bulgaria, Spain and Greece.

Impax Asset Management Group PLC (LON:IPX) said its assets under management surged to a new high in the final quarter of 2020. They jumped 25% to £25.2bn compared to 2019.

Among the small caps, Westmount Energy Limited (LON:WTE) noted the start of drilling operations at the Canje exploration project offshore Guyana. The well is operated by US giant ExxonMobil.

Destiny Pharma PLC (LON:DEST) has completed recruitment for the trial of a drug candidate designed to prevent life-threatening infections after operations. Results are expected in the first quarter this year.

Quick facts: Next PLC

Price: 7558 GBX

LSE:NXT
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £10.05 billion
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