We noted earlier in the month that GKN – the target of an unwanted bid approach from Melrose – was pushing good news regarding its order book in a bid to maintain its independence. This morning has seen GKN publish another pointed statement over the health of its pension scheme. There is a relatively small deficit here, but the concern lies with the fact that the higher debt position of Melrose may put the combined company’s relationships with lenders under pressure. Arguably it’s not the detail here that’s important, but the campaigning tone of the notes that assert GKN’s commitment to remaining independent.
SThree, the international recruiting company, has published results today and once again, for a global company, the weak pound has proved to be flattering to the numbers. Critically the business will maintain its dividend and revenues from the more resilient contract side of the company are dominating, but investors may well be a little disappointed that the ‘constant currency’ earnings per share are slipping.
NMC Health, the leading middle east health care provider, bounced onto the FTSE-100 last summer and the good news keeps coming. The company has just completed the last stage of an acquisition of Fakih IVF, a business which it already owned 51% of. The acquisition will be funded by issuing new shares, so when these join the market tomorrow we could see a small dip lower as existing shareholders are diluted – although with the stock up by 50% since last summer, investors are unlikely to complain.