ZPG was among the biggest risers on the FTSE 250 on Thursday after the owner of consumer-focused websites like Zoopla and uSwitch unveiled a £140m deal for money.co.uk.
At pixel time, ZPG is up 6.1 per cent at 376p. ZPG will pay an initial £80m for Money, which lets users compare various financial services products, along with a performance based earn-out of up to £60m.
Bovis Homes is also rallying – up 6.8 per cent at £11.23, sending it to the top of the FTSE 250 – despite reporting a fall in profits of almost a third in the six months to the end of June. The housebuilder reported a healthy boost in the average selling price of its houses, and announced a shake up of its balance sheet and operating structure.
It also said it had identified all the issues on build quality which have damaged its reputation recently, and said these were “all very fixable.”
George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “While shares in many of the other UK builders have soared in recent years, Bovis has spluttered. Consequently, the focus of half year results was not the numbers for the last 6 months, but new CEO Greg Fitzgerald’s plans to turn the group around.”
“The new strategy seems sensible enough,” he added. “It even includes pledges to return the cash generated from slimming down non-core operations to shareholders. In a big way too: the plans suggest around a third of Bovis’ current market cap will be in shareholders’ pockets by 2020.”
Meanwhile, emerging-markets investment house Ashmore is down 9.4 per cent at 330p, making it the biggest faller on the FTSE 250, despite reporting a 23 per cent rise in profits.
Go-Ahead, owner of the troubled Southern rail franchise, is down 5.7 per cent after reporting a 6 per cent fall in profits before tax. It apologised to passengers who had been affected by its seemingly endless strikes and operational issues.
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