Domino's Pizza Group (DOM)
FTSE flat as mining sector suffers
The FTSE 100 was struggling for direction around midday due to pressure from weaker mining stocks.
BHP Billiton (BLT) declined 3.7% to £13.90 and Anglo American (AAL) retreated 2% to £17.23.
Randgold Resources (RRS) was down 1.2% to £59.08 after chief executive Mark Bristow said the company would start talks with government representatives in the Republic of Congo over the new mining code.
The FTSE advanced 1.7 points to 7,159.
Brent crude oil retreated 0.3% to $64.11 per barrel. Gold ticked 0.1% lower to $1,324 per ounce and copper cheapened 1.3% to $3.07 per pound.
Wall Street was subdued overnight with the S&P 500 flat at 2,726.
Asian equities fared better this morning with Hong Kong's Hang Seng taking the lead with a 1.5% rise to 30,654.
MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Insurer Aviva (AV.) upgraded and brought forward its growth ambitions by targeting over 5% growth in operating earnings per share from 2018. Operating profit was also 2% higher at £3.07bn in 2017, supporting a 18% hike in dividends. Despite the good news, shares in Aviva reversed 1.5% to 500p.
High street bank Lloyds (LLOY) launched a £1bn share buyback, but the shares were broadly unmoved at 67.6p.
Pizza delivery chain Domino's (DOM) reported systems sales rose 15.1% to £1.16bn in 2017, but UK sales growth slowed as consumers were more cautious amid subdued wage growth and high inflation. Shares in the company were 1% at 321p.
Alfa Financial (ALFA) struggled with the impact of the weaker dollar. The company said it expects to report 'low double-digit top line growth ona budget rate or mid double-digit on a constant currency basis.' Shares in the enterprise software supplier plummeted 15.3% to 404.7p.
A strong set of annual results from G4S (GFS) failed to excite investors, marking the stock 3.6% lower to 254.4p. The security specialist reported a positive outlook with growing sales, positive cash generation and ongoing productivity programmes but also missed revenue forecasts for 2017.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Estate agency Countrywide (CWD) was the biggest faller after revealing its pipeline in 2018 is 'significantly below' that of 2017. The company said it expects £10m less in adjusted earnings in the first half of the year and warned it was unlikely to recover this shortfall, prompting the shares to fall 10.1% to 79.9p.
Action Hotels (AHCG) dropped 10.5% to 19.2p following its decision to proceed with only one hotel opening in Riyadh in 2019 as the current economic climate in the Middle East remains challenging.
Integrated business services provider Communisis (CMS) jumped 3.7% to 66.6p on a 24% rise in pre-tax profit in 2017 and contract renewal for the UK's TV Licensing communications and transactional mail.
Investors raised a glass to communications tech specialist Spirent (SPT) after offering a special dividend and hiking the original dividend by 5% on the back of strong annual results. The shares sparked 13% to 123p.