FTSE Close: FTSE 100 edges higher, Howden Joinery, Haleon soar

The FTSE 100 closed marginally higher on Thursday, led by strong performances from Howden Joinery and Haleon. The index rose slightly by 0.1%, finishing at 7,630.02.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 index gained 0.2%, closing at 19,054.87, while the smaller companies index, AIM All-Share, ended down 0.2% at 736.50.

Top Performers:

Kitchen and joinery supplier Howden Joinery, surged 7.0% despite reporting a slight decline in annual revenue to £2.31 billion. However, they announced a dividend increase of 1.9%, bringing the total payout for the year to 21.0p per share.

Consumer healthcare company Haleon climbed 5.6%. Haleon reported a rise in revenue to £11.30 billion for 2023, despite facing a headwind from foreign exchange fluctuations.

Daily Recap

Other Notable Movers:

Oil and gas equipment maker Hunting jumped 12% after swinging to a profit and increasing its dividend.

Logistics firm Wincanton soared 23% amid a potential bidding war between GXO Logistics and CEVA Logistics. GXO offered 605 pence per share, valuing Wincanton at approximately £762 million.

British Air owner International Consolidated Airlines Group fell 3.6% despite reporting a surge in annual profit. Investors remain cautious due to the slower recovery in business travel compared to other sectors.

Daily Risers and Fallers

FTSE All-Share risers: Wincanton 22.59%, Hunting 11.5%, Drax 11.17%, Luceco 8.2%, Howden Joinery 7.04%, Pensionbee 6.82%, Motorpoint 6.07%, Haleon 5.57%, Vistry Grp 5.21%, Capital & Regional 4.71%.

FTSE All-Share fallers: Phoenix Spree D -8.43%, City Lon Inv -7.16%, Costain -6.15%, Plus500 -5.97%, Aston Martin Lagonda -5.83%, Severfield -4.94%, Diversified Energy -4.93%, Petrofac -4.71%, Spire Healthcare -4.65%, Whitbread -4.57%.