Bunzl, Hays, ITV, Hiscox, Kingspan: 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.

Futures on the benchmark FTSE 100 Index rose 0.2 percent to 5,989 as of 7:40 a.m. in London. The FTSE 100 gained 81.22 points, or 1.4 percent, to 6,001.2 on Feb. 25, while the FTSE All-Share Index advanced 1.4 percent and Ireland’s ISEQ Index climbed 1.5 percent.

Associated British Foods Plc (ABF LN): The company said interim results will be in line with expectations, with all segments set to deliver good revenue growth in the first half. Adjusted profit will be ahead of last year, the company said. The shares gained 0.5 percent to 1,027 pence.

Barclays Plc (BARC LN): The London-based lender’s investors plan to vote against the bank’s pay report because of low dividends, the Sunday Express reported, citing a councilor for the London district of Croydon, whose pension fund owns Barclays shares. The shares rose 0.3 percent to 313.3 pence.

Bunzl Plc (BNZL LN): The biggest U.K. supplier of vending machines reported a 7 percent increase in net income last year to 159 million pounds ($257 million). The company was forecast to report net income of 157 million pounds, according to the average of six estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The shares rose 2.2 percent to 756 pence.

Costain Group Plc (COST LN): The construction company that bid 180 million pounds for road-maintenance company Mouchel Group Plc may scrap the proposal after competitor Interserve Plc made a higher offer, the London-based Times reported, without saying where it got the information. The stock climbed 3.2 percent to 237.25 pence.

Hays Plc (HAS LN): The U.K.’s largest recruitment agency said first-half net fees grew 20 percent to 326.1 million pounds. The shares gained 2.6 percent to 120 pence.

Hiscox Ltd. (HSX LN): The second-largest Lloyd’s of London insurer reported annual profit after tax of 178.8 million pounds compared with 280.5 million pounds the year before. The stock fell 0.3 percent to 371.6 pence.

ITV Plc (ITV LN): Chief Executive Officer Adam Crozier will this week reveal plans to pay a dividend to shareholders for the first time in two years, the Times reported, without saying it where it got the information. The shares rose 4.4 percent to 86.15 pence.

Kingspan Group Plc (KSP ID): The Cavan, Ireland-based manufacturer of low energy products for the construction industry said operating profit rose 8 percent to 67.4 million euros ($93 million) in the year ended Dec. 31 from 62.7 million euros a year earlier. The shares gained 0.9 percent to 6.64 euros.

Paddy Power Plc (PWL ID): Ireland’s biggest bookmaker is reviewing the future of its financial spread-betting business, the Sunday Times reported, citing an undisclosed company spokesman. The stock advanced 1.4 percent to 29.70 euros.

Pearson Plc (PSON LN): The education and media publishing company which owns the Financial Times newspaper said 2010 sales rose to 5.66 billion pounds from 5.14 billion pounds a year earlier. The shares rallied 2.8 percent to 1,041 pence.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS LN): Britain’s biggest government-owned lender is buying skincare-products maker Erno Laszlo from U.S. buyout firm Fox Paine & Co. LLC for as much as 30 million pounds, the London-based Times reported. The shares rose 0.1 percent to 45.65 pence.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA LN): Europe’s biggest oil company is in talks with India’s state-controlled Oil & Natural Gas Corp. over a possible joint bid for Indian offshore exploration licenses, the London-based Times reported, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter. The shares rose 0.3 percent to 2,213 pence.

Tesco Plc (TSCO LN): Incoming Chief Executive Officer Philip Clarke may reprise the company’s property sale and lease- back program, the Financial Times said, citing analysts Clive Black of Shore Capital and James Anstead of Barclays Capital. The shares gained 1 percent to 406.05 pence.

Ultra Electronics Holdings Plc (ULE LN): The supplier of submarine-detection buoys said its full-year headline pretax profit rose 15 percent to 102.7 million pounds. The shares advanced 1.8 percent to 1,789 pence.

To contact the reporters on this story: Blanche Gatt in London at bgatt@bloomberg.net; Adam Haigh in London at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net; David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net.

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