Dechra Pharmaceuticals, a maker of medicine for pets and livestock, was looking a little sickly after news of the impending departure of its chairman overshadowed a large jump in profits.
The company was one of the FTSE 250’s biggest fallers, dropping 3.3 per cent, or 167p, to 4918p after saying Tony Rice will step down after five years in the role to devote more time to his family as well as other business and charitable activities.
However, no formal exit date has been set and he will continue in post until a successor is appointed.
Dechra Pharmaceuticals, a maker of medicine for pets and livestock, was one of the FTSE 250’s biggest fallers, dropping 3.3 per cent after saying Chairman Tony Rice is to step down
Before joining Dechra in 2016, Rice was chief executive of Cable & Wireless and Tunstall Holdings and also worked in various roles at British defence stalwart BAE Systems (up 0.04 per cent, or 0.2p, to 564.4p), including as its managing director of commercial aircraft.
Aside from Dechra, Rice also serves as chairman of aerospace firm Ultra Electronics (up 0.1 per cent, or 2p, at 3196p).
News of Rice’s planned departure was accompanied by a strong set of results for Dechra, which reported that profits in the year to the end of June had surged 26 per cent to £162million. The company’s final dividend was also raised to 29.4p from 24p the year before.
Stock Watch – Tirupati Graphite
Tirupati Graphite bounced 4.8 per cent, or 5p, to 110p as it completed the installation of a graphite module at its Vatomina Project in Madagascar.
Graphite, a type of carbon, is one of the world’s softest minerals and has a wide range of uses, including in the lithium-ion batteries used to power mobile phones, laptops and other portable electronics.
The material can also be made into graphene, sheets of carbon one atom thick that are around 100 times stronger than steel.
Tirupati said the module will increase its graphite production capacity in Madagascar to 12,000 tonnes per year.
Chief executive Ian Page noted that people had been ‘spending more time with their pets’ during the Covid-19 pandemic and that higher levels of disposable income during lockdown meant owners had more cash to splash on their furry friends.
Page said there was a small snag in the US where vet visits by pet owners ‘marginally declined’.
Analysts at Liberum said the results were ‘excellent’, however they added that questions would be raised about the sustainability of the performance as Covid restrictions eased.
The FTSE 100 rose 0.68 per cent, or 48.83 points, to 7187.18 during the day, while the FTSE 250 climbed 0.22 per cent, or 53.74 points, to 24,248.35.
Broadcaster ITV was the biggest riser in the blue-chips, climbing 2.5 per cent, or 2.9p, to 117.05p as investors digested news from the weekend that it had secured a four-year deal to show the England women’s football team’s matches.
The firm was also lifted by a report last week from ad magazine Campaign, which flagged a surge in demand for TV advertising in September.
AIM heavyweight ITM Power jolted higher 3.2pc, or 16p, to 520p after unveiling a plethora of new appointments to its senior management team.
Powerhouse Energy, a firm specialising in creating hydrogen from waste plastic, surged 12.2 per cent, or 0.62p, to 5.7p as it confirmed reports over the weekend that it is discussions for its technology to be used by industrial gas giant Linde.
Budget airline Ryanair also got a lift, rising 2.1 per cent, or €0.34, to €16.24 despite ending negotiations with Boeing for a large order of Max-10 aircraft, saying the two firms had failed to agree on a price.
Package holiday giant Tui descended 1.4 per cent, or 4.4p, to 302.2p following a target price cut from analysts at Deutsche Bank.
United Oil & Gas sank 18.8 per cent, or 0.63p, to 2.7p after the minnow revealed that higher levels of water from some of its wells was denting production at the Abu Sennan licence in Egypt.
Estate agent Belvoir was also on the back foot despite reporting a 51pc increase in profit in its half-year results. The shares suffered from profit-taking in the wake of the strong numbers, dropping 6.8 per cent, or 19p, to 261p.
Aluminium prices hit ten-year highs after a military coup in Guinea over the weekend. The West African nation is one of the world’s biggest producers of bauxite, a raw material used to make aluminium.
Guinea is also home to Simandou, one of the world’s largest iron ore deposits part-owned by miner Rio Tinto, whose shares slipped 1.3 per cent, or 71p, to 5337p as the coup raised concerns about the status of the project.
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