Defence giant Babcock is under fire once again from the mysterious research firm Boatman Capital.

The engineering company, which has worked on all of the UK’s nuclear submarines, hit back at a ‘malicious attack’ from the anonymous website which it branded ‘inaccurate and misleading’.

Boatman published a second report on Babcock yesterday, claiming that the defence firm needed to write down by £50million the value of Defence Support Group (DSG), an acquisition that repairs and maintains British Army vehicles. 

A writedown of this size would be equivalent to 12.8 per cent of Babcock’s pre-tax profits.

Boatman published a second report yesterday, claiming Babcock needed to write down the value of Defence Support Group which repairs and maintains British Army vehicles, by £50m

Boatman published a second report yesterday, claiming Babcock needed to write down the value of Defence Support Group which repairs and maintains British Army vehicles, by £50m

DSG is ‘overvalued’, Boatman claimed, alleging Babcock’s structure was opaque and ‘needlessly complex’. Babcock disputed this, and said DSG was performing to financial expectations. 

Investors seemed inclined to side with the British firm, as shares edged up 0.7 per cent, or 3.4p, to 522.4p.

Weapons firm Cobham was also in shareholders’ good books, as it revealed it had settled a long-running tax dispute and will pay £69million to the UK authorities. Shares climbed 0.6 per cent, or 0.65p, to 114.3p.

Though heroin addiction treatment firm Indivior has faced a slew of challengers recently, its management still backs it. 

Chief executive Shaun Thaxter bought £44,641 worth of shares on Tuesday, while directors Tatjana May and Daniel Phelan bought £9,945 and £21,645 worth respectively.

Stock Watch – Yu Group

Scandal-stricken Yu Group saw its stock soar 62.2 per cent after it revealed the results of an accounting review.

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The firm, which supplies energy to small businesses, lost more than 80 per cent of its value last year after admitting it had invoiced for more electricity than it sold. 

It said it now has measures in place to prevent such errors, and that revenue rose 77 per cent last year to £80.6million.

Chief executive Bobby Kalar issued a ‘personal apology’ to shareholders over the scandal.

Its shares rose 57.5p to 150p.

Their display of confidence came as a welcome assurance for investors, as shares climbed 16.6 per cent, or 7.51p, to 52.76p.

Indivior has been struggling in recent months, after losing a court case against a competitor which was producing cheaper generic versions of its drugs, and was recently accused of fraud by the US Department of Justice.

Thaxter, who now owns more than 1.6m Indivior shares worth £812,000, could gain significantly if its headache goes away.

‘Brilliantly boring’ may not be a compliment most people would welcome, but it was music to the ears of investors in catering company Compass Group which served up an 8.8 per cent revenue rise to £12.3billion for the six months to the end of March.

Profit was up 6.9 per cent to £913million, and the interim dividend climbed 6.5 per cent to 13.1p. Nicholas Hyett, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘Compass is a brilliantly boring business, but that’s key to its charm.’ 

Shares climbed 2.9 per cent, or 50p, to 1778.5p.

Bookie William Hill tried to deflect shareholder attention away from a 7 per cent slide in its retail revenues, as it hailed success in the US. 

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The gambling company’s UK retail business has suffered after the Government cut the maximum stake which customers can place on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2.

Its acquisition of Swedish rival Mr Green boosted online revenues by 8 per cent, but the real positive for investors was a 48 per cent rise in revenue from the US. 

It is just one year since the country repealed a ban on sports betting, which cracked the market open to British stalwarts such as William Hill. 

But shares were still down by 2.6 per cent, or 3.65p, at 134.65p.

Housebuilder Crest Nicholson edged up 1 per cent, or 3.6p, to 369.6p as it said it was still prioritising returning money to shareholders over fuelling growth.

Investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown was up 1.6 per cent, or 36p, at 2343p after it pulled in £2.9billion of new business in the first four months of the year. It now looks after a record £97.8billion.

Credit score and consumer data company Experian saw full-year revenue rise 6 per cent to £3.8billion, and profit climb 1 per cent to £743.6m. Shares edged up 1.4 per cent, or 30p, to 2239p.

 

 



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