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MARKET REPORT: Rolls-Royce shares fired up by turnaround plans

Rolls-Royce shares hit a fresh 15-month high amid growing hopes that a long-awaited turnaround is finally on the horizon.

Having gained nearly 24 per cent yesterday on the back of an upbeat set of results, the stock rose another 2.2 per cent, or 2.94p, to 136.04p.

That was the highest level since November 2021 and took gains for this year to 50 per cent – making Rolls one of the best performing blue chips of 2023 so far.

The rally came after Rolls smashed forecasts with a 57 per cent jump in profits in 2022 to £652m.

Alongside the bullish results, chief executive Tufan Erginbilgic – who described Rolls as a ‘burning platform’ soon after taking over in January – hinted at a sweeping shake-up of the company as he seeks to return it to its former glories.

Bullish results: Having gained nearly 24 per cent on the back of an upbeat set of results, the stock rose another 2.2 per cent

‘No company can continue like this and therefore we need to change,’ he declared.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.4 per cent, or 29.06 points, to 7878.66 and the FTSE 250 slid 0.5 per cent, or 93.96 points, to 19696.53. Gambling stocks took a hit yesterday as uncertainty continues to loom over the white paper.

The gambling review, which looks to modernise rules in the industry, has already been delayed for nearly two years due to government instability and department reshuffles.

Conservative MP Stuart Andrew was appointed to oversee the review this week, but there are no specific dates for when the paper will be released.

The lack of transparency has left investors concerned.

There are fears that a review could mean strict rules on online gambling and affordability checks on players, ultimately cutting into revenues at the betting giants. There is talk that the paper may not be released until after Easter recess.

Shares in Ladbrokes owner Entain slid 3.6 per cent, or 48.5p, to 1306.5p. Rival Flutter, which owns Paddy Power, slumped 6.2 per cent, or 860p, to 13065p. 888, meanwhile, fell 2.6 per cent, or 1.85p, to 69.05p.

Mining stocks sank on the back of a slump in metal prices. Anglo American lost 5.4 per cent, or 163.5p, to 2846p, Antofagasta fell 2.7 per cent, or 42.5p, to 1540p and Rio Tinto shed 2.9 per cent, or 169p, to 5667p.

It was a positive end to the week for M&G after the investment group rose highest among the blue-chip stocks. City analysts said the gains were most likely driven by the positive read-across from Jupiter’s results and revived bid rumours that M&G could be a takeover target for one of the larger asset managers. Shares soared 7 per cent, or 13.8p, to 211.3p.

IOG is set to appoint Esa Ikaheimonen as interim chairman after Fiona MacAulay said she would not stand for re-election at the North Sea oil and gas firm’s annual general meeting in May. Shares slid 2.7 per cent, or 0.14p, to 5.1p.

At the same time, Avation flew higher as it said its results for the year to June 30 should be ‘significantly ahead’ of market forecasts.

The Singapore-based company, which owns aircraft such as the Airbus A320, used by the likes of Easyjet (down 2.5 per cent, or 12.1p, to 476.9p), issued the positive outlook following lower business costs, improved income and a return on an investment. City broker WH Ireland expects Avation to post annual revenues of £93m and profit of £86.2m. Shares jumped 7.8 per cent, or 9p, to 124.5p.

Meanwhile, the outgoing boss of Future will become the chairman of Trustpilot on April 3. Zillah Byng-Thorne, who became chief executive of the magazine publisher in 2014, will replace Tim Weller as he steps down from the customer review website after ten years. Future investors pushed the stock down 3.2 per cent, or 45p, to 1383p. But Trustpilot shares gained 1.3 per cent, or 1.3p, to 99.25p.


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