Aggreko Plc, BT, Chloride Group, WH Smith: U.K., Irish Equity Preview

The following is a list of companies whose shares may have unusual price changes in U.K. and Irish markets. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are from the last market close.

The benchmark FTSE 100 Index fell 56.94, or 1.1 percent, to 5,069.06. The FTSE All-Share Index declined 1.1 percent and Ireland’s ISEQ Index was closed yesterday for a public holiday.

Afren Plc (AFR LN): The U.K. oil and gas explorer focused on West Africa said 49.52 percent of shareholders at its annual meeting voted against the directors’ remuneration report. The stock fell 0.3 percent to 89.25 pence.

Aggreko Plc (AGK LN): The world’s largest provider of mobile power-supply equipment said its performance for the full year is now expected to be “significantly” ahead of prior estimates, prompting the company to raise its investment budget.

The company said so-called trading profit was up about 20 percent in the first half, with revenue advancing by about 10 percent. The shares rose 1.8 percent to 1,354 pence.

BT Group Plc (BT/A LN): The company may have increased its pay offer to the Communication Workers Union after the union said it would hold a strike vote if the company did not boost its proposal, the London-based Times reported, without saying where it got its information. BT had offered a 2 percent increase, while the CWU said it was seeking 5 percent, the newspaper said. BT shares lost 1.3 percent to 128.4 pence.

Chloride Group Plc (CHLD LN): ABB Ltd., the world’s biggest supplier of power grids, agreed to buy Chloride in an 864 million-pound ($1.3 billion) offer that beat a rival approach from Emerson Electric Co. Chloride investors will receive 325 pence a share in cash. The shares rose 0.9 percent to 288.6 pence.

Punch Taverns Plc (PUB LN): HSBC Holdings Plc lowered its recommendation for the largest U.K. pub owner to “underweight” from “overweight.” The shares lost 3.25 pence, or 4.8 percent, to 64.65 pence.

Weir Group Plc (WEIR LN): Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its recommendation for the shares to “buy” from “neutral.” The stock lost 20 pence, or 2.2 percent, to 894 pence.

WH Smith Plc (SMWH LN): The retailer said sales at stores open at least a year dropped 4 percent in the first 14 weeks of its second half. The shares climbed 2.3 percent to 454 pence.

WPP Plc (WPP LN): Television advertising prices picked up quickly in March because of factors including a return of “dormant” advertisers and branding, the Financial Times reported, citing Adam Smith, futures director at WPP’s media- buying unit GroupM. The shares rose 0.1 percent to 658 pence.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Jones in London at

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