BUSINESS LIVE: Ryanair profits soar; AstraZeneca builds Singapore facility; British Land sells Meadowhall stake

 The FTSE 100 will open at 8am. Among the companies with reports and trading updates today are Ryanair, British Land, AstraZeneca, Inchscape and Hilton Food Group. Read the Monday 20 May Business Live blog below.

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British Land sells Meadowhall stake

British Land has exchanged contracts for the sale of its 50 per cent stake in Meadowhall Shopping Centre to its partner Norges Bank Investment Management for £360million.

The divestment is in line with the company’s strategy to focus on retail parks and reduce exposure to covered shopping centres, the Broadgate owner said in a statement.

The landlord’s boss Simon Carter said: ‘We have had a successful partnership with Norges over many years and are delighted to continue to work alongside them as asset managers of the centre.

‘Following the sale of Meadowhall, 93% of our portfolio is now in our preferred segments of retail parks, campuses and London urban logistics.

‘We will continue to grow our retail park portfolio; with low capex requirements parks offer attractive cash returns and at 99% occupancy we are delivering strong rental growth.’

AstraZeneca to build $1.5bn Singapore facility

AstraZeneca plans to build a $1.5billion manufacturing facility in Singapore in an effort to enhance its antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) portfolio.

The greenfield facility, which will be the drugmaker’s first end-to-end ADC production site, will be supported by Singapore Economic Development.

ADCs are engineered antibodies that bind to tumour cells and then release cell-killing chemicals.

‘Singapore is one of the world’s most attractive countries for investment given its reputation for excellence in complex manufacturing, and I am excited for AstraZeneca to locate our $1.5 billion ADC manufacturing facility in the country,’ CEO Pascal Soriot said.

Cadbury owner Mondelez to face scrutiny over selling chocolate in Russia at its AGM

Cadbury owner Mondelez will face scrutiny over selling chocolate in Russia at its AGM this week.

Senior MPs and campaign groups have lambasted it for selling a number of its brands including Milka chocolate and Oreo biscuits.

Investor Wespath Benefits and Investments has proposed an independent review of how the US conglomerate is implementing human rights policy in Russia and Ukraine.

Ryanair profits soar

Ryanair profits soared 34 per cent last year to a record €1.9billion (£1.6billion) and the budget airline has expressed ‘cautious optimism’ ahead of the key summer trading season.

The result was slightly ahead of analyst forecasts. Ryanair cut its after-tax profit forecast to a range of €1.85billion and €1.95billion in January after some online travel agents suddenly stopped selling its flights.

The Irish airline, Europe’s largest by passenger numbers, also said it would be 23 jets short of the number Boeing was due to deliver by the end of July and there remained a risk – although ‘unlikely’ – that deliveries could slip further.