Pharma firm Indivior dominated the mid-cap risers as it mulled a potential listing of its shares on the US stock market.
Shares in the FTSE250 group, which makes drugs to treat opioid addiction, shot up 14.1pc, or 32p, to 259.8p after boss Mark Crossley said a secondary listing on the US market was ‘likely’ to benefit the group.
He added that the company intended to ‘consult extensively with shareholders’ before deciding its next move. The US has been grappling with a severe opioid addiction crisis which claimed around half a million lives between 1999 and 2019 through overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Pharma firm Indivior dominated the mid-cap risers as it mulled a potential listing of its shares on the US stock market
It is also Indivior’s largest market, accounting for around 80pc of sales. News of a potential US listing accompanied strong full-year results which saw the firm swing to a profit of £157m in 2021 from a £115m loss the previous year.
Revenues also jumped 22pc to £582m, boosted by a 32pc rise in sales from its US market to £444m. The figures were helped by an 88pc surge in sales of Sublocade, an injectable drug that is used to help patients overcome opioid addiction alongside other treatments such as counselling.
Indivior also predicted growth in 2022, forecasting revenues for the year of between £619m and £663m. The growth is a boost for the company, which was spun out from Dettol maker Reckitt Benckiser (down 1.2pc, or 70p, at 5807p) in 2014 and in recent years has been grappling with drawn-out legal challenges in the US relating to the marketing of one of its other treatments, Suboxone, before reaching a £442m settlement in 2020.
The scandal also saw the firm’s former boss Shaun Thaxter sentenced to six months in a US prison for his role in sharing misleading information about the safety of the drug. Analysts at broker Stifel were upbeat following the results, which they said were ‘well ahead of expectations’. They added that the growth of Sublocade provided a ‘solid base business’ for the company as it looked to invest.
Fears of higher prices weighing on consumer spending dented retail and supermarket stocks, with Tesco dropping 1.5pc, or 4.45p, to 294.75p
‘We believe the shares offer significant upside,’ Stifel said. The FTSE100 dipped 0.07pc, or 5.14 points, to 7603.78 while the FTSE250 fell 0.1pc, or 23.57 points, to 21828.94.
STOCK WATCH: OCEAN OUTDOOR
Advertising group Ocean Outdoor jumped after demand for its services bounced back from the pandemic.
The firm, which owns digital billboards in locations including Piccadilly Circus in London and Birmingham’s Bullring, swung to a profit of £18.6m last year from a £0.4m loss in 2020 as revenues surged 44pc to £124m.
The performance was ahead of the firm’s expectations following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions. Shares were up 5.4pc, or 0.5p, to 9.7p.
Market sentiment wobbled as UK inflation hit a 30-year high in January, fuelling the cost-of-living crisis and raising the prospect of more interest rate hikes from the Bank of England.
Fears of higher prices weighing on consumer spending dented retail and supermarket stocks, with Tesco dropping 1.5pc, or 4.45p, to 294.75p while JD Sports sank 1.7pc, or 2.85p, to 166p, Sainsbury’s lost 0.5pc, or 1.3p, to 280.3p and B&M dipped 0.7pc, or 4.2p, to 575p.
Banks were also on the back foot as the prospect of higher profits from interest hikes was overshadowed by more general fears over the state of the economy.
NatWest dropped 1.2pc, or 2.9p, to 243.4p, Lloyds lost 1.3pc, or 0.7p, to 51.93p, Barclays fell 1.2pc, or 2.46p, to 196p, HSBC sank 1.2pc, or 6.5p, to 548.3p and Standard Chartered shed 0.6pc, or 3.4p, to 548.6p.
Mining stocks, meanwhile, pushed higher on hopes that the surge in inflation will help drive up prices of metal and energy.
Polymetal International was top of the leaderboard, climbing 5pc, or 57p, to 1186.5p while Anglo American gained 1.9pc, or 66p, to 3582p and Fresnillo added 3.7pc, or 23.6p, to 666.4p.
One outlier was Glencore, which slipped 0.4pc, or 1.7p, to 425.3p after lawmakers in Australia blocked plans to build a rock dump near a sacred Aboriginal heritage site in the Northern Territory.