Premarket London: AstraZeneca Scores in China; RBS Swings to 3Q Loss

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© Reuters. © Reuters. — Here are the highlights of Thursday’s regulatory releases from the London Stock Exchange. Please refresh for updates.

  • Pharma group AstraZeneca (LON:) raised its sales guidance for the year after reporting a strong third quarter driven by 30% revenue growth in China.
  • It now expects sales at constant exchange rates to rise “by a low to mid-teens percentage”, having earlier guided for just over 10%. Reported earnings per share fell 15% in constant exchange rates due to a one-off gain last year. Stripped of that factor, EPS rose by 38 to $2.61.
  • The company’s cancer drugs performed particularly strongly, with sales rising 67% at constant exchange rates.
  • “With AstraZeneca growing at pace, our sales guidance has been upgraded for the second consecutive quarter. Another strong performance from our new medicines accompanied impressive results in our key markets, most notably in China, the US and Japan,” CEO Pascal Soriot said in a statement. “The performance reinforces our confidence in delivering sustainable earnings growth.”
  • Royal Bank of Scotland PLC (LON:) swung to a net loss of 315 million pounds ($409 million) in the third quarter, due mainly to a 900 million pound charge for PPI claims. The bank’s core lending and markets businesses also suffered, with NatWest Markets swinging to a loss of 193 million pounds due to falling interest rates around the world, while the net margin on its loan book fell by 5 basis points to 1.97% due to intense competition in the U.K. mortgage market.
  • The PPI charge is at the top end of the range for by the bank last month.
  • Publishing and events group Relx (LON:) reported underlying revenue growth up 4% in the first nine months of 2019, noting “some improvement in underlying metrics compared to the first half across all four business areas” but still predicting only modest sales growth for the year.
  • Russian-focused gold and silver miner Polymetal (LON:) said revenue rose 43% to $656 million on the back of higher sales volumes and prices. It also said it’s likely to exceed its predicted full-year output of 1.55 million ounces by as much as 50,000oz.
  • Gold equivalent (“GE”) production grew by 7% year-on-year to 476,000oz, driven by the new Kyzyl mine, which contributed 94,000oz.
  • Kyzyl is now producing 11% more concentrate on a steady state basis than originally designed.
  • The company output mix shifted in favor of gold as silver output from its older Dukat mine declined as planned
    • Investment platform AJ Bell (LON:) said customer numbers increased by 17% on the year to 232,066, while total assets under administration rose 13% to 52.3 billion pounds.

    • Platform customers increased by 34,956 to 218,169, up 19% on the year. Underlying platform inflows were 5.4 billion pounds, just above last year’s 5.2 billion. Transfers from defined benefit pensions added a further £0.9 billion.

    • Software group AVEVA (LON:) said it achieved low double-digit revenue growth on a proforma constant currency basis in the first half.
  • “This growth reflects a continuation of the strong sales execution seen in Q1, and further benefited from the early renewal of a large EPC contract and a moderate increase in revenue from multi-year contracts,” the company said in a brief statement
  • It added that the numbers were boosted by the drop in sterling in the quarter.
  • Full results are due on Nov. 12
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