LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) opened a little bit higher this morning, up 10 points or so to around 5,696, though it was held back a bit by Kingfisher shares falling a few pence on the release of an interim pre-close update.
We had a few bigger fallers among the FTSE indices, too -- one well-known company that has been struggling for some time, and a couple of small but nevertheless interesting firms.
JJB Sports (ISE: JJB.L) shares have slumped yet again, losing a hefty 27% to 5.5 pence, after releasing yet another disappointing trading update and calling for yet more cash to survive. A deterioration in trading was announced on July 9, after disappointing summer sales of replica football kit and other products related to the European Football Championships.
Now we learn that like-for-like sales were down 8.7% for the 24 weeks to July 15, with net bank debt standing at 17.7 million pounds and a further 1.1 million pounds having been drawn down under the firm's trade loan facility. The failure to solve the company's need for working capital so far has accelerated the need for further funding, which JJB is now discussing with its partners.
Shares in AIM-listed Biome Technologies (ISE: BIOM.L) slid by 15% to less than a tenth of a penny after an interim update disappointed the markets.
The firm, whose business is mainly in bioplastics, has seen revenues fall 28% to 7.5 million pounds for the first half of 2012, with the second quarter slumping by 38% from Q1 sales. Biome has net cash of 1.1 million pounds, and a currently unused 2 million-pound debt facility.
Will this be just a short-term dip in a growing high-tech business, as the management believes? We shall see.
AIM tiddler Holders Technology (ISE: HDT.L) suffered a 14% fall to 81 pence after releasing its half-year figures, which were below expectations. Revenues fell to 8 million pounds, from 10.1 million for the first half of last year, leading to a pre-tax loss of 0.1 million pounds.
The firm, which makes electronics components, cut its first-half dividend from 2.1 pence to 1 pence. As of April, Holders' house broker was sticking to a full-year dividend forecast of 5.35 pence, which would be a yield of 6.6% -- though it's looking less likely that such a target will now be met.
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