G4S shares boosted as revenues rise

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Shares in the world’s largest security firm, G4S, jumped 6.6% after it reported a rise in full-year revenues and profits.

The firm, which is seeking to put a number of historic scandals behind it, said revenues rose 6% to £6.8bn, while pre-tax profits at its continuing businesses climbed 14% to £352m.

The FTSE 100 was subdued ahead of the Budget, down 17.87 points at 7,321.12.

Sterling continued its slide against the dollar, hitting a fresh 7-week low.

At midday, the pound was down more than 0.3% against the US dollar to trade at $1.215, its lowest level since mid-January.

It was also hovering at seven-week lows against the euro, down more than 0.2% at 1.151 euros.

Wednesday’s Budget will be the government’s last chance to try and reassure investors over its its tax plans, ahead of triggering Article 50 later this month. The process will begin negotiations on the UK’s EU exit.

Shares in insurer Legal & General dipped 0.5% as the company reported an 11% increase in operating profits to £1.63bn for 2016.

But shares in rival insurer Admiral ticked up 0.4% despite the firm reporting annual profits were down by a quarter. Admiral blamed the drop on the government’s decision to change the way personal injury claims are calculated. The firm had warned on the impact of the shift last week, so investors had expected the weak performance.

Back in the FTSE 250, shares in funeral provider Dignity sank over 13%. The company reported a 3% rise in profits last year to £71.2m, but said it was trimming its earnings growth target in the face of increased competition.

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