FTSE 100 falls from record high as Capita slumps

Image source, AFP

The London market finished down from Wednesday's record high as shares in outsourcing group Capita slumped 9%.

The share fall came after the company revealed that annual pre-tax profits had fallen 33% to £74.8m and said its chief executive, Andy Parker, would step down later this year.

Capita was the biggest faller in the FTSE 100, which slipped 0.55 points to 7382.35 at the close.

Merlin Entertainments fell 3% despite it reporting a rise in profits.

Merlin - which operates theme parks such as Legoland and Alton Towers - reported pre-tax profits of £277m for 2016, up from £250m a year earlier.

The weak pound had led to more European tourists visiting its UK sites, which also include Madame Tussauds.

In the FTSE 250, shares in Travis Perkins fell 6% after the building materials company said full-year profits had fallen by two-thirds.

Profits last year sank to £73m from £224m in 2015 after the company wrote down the value of its plumbing, heating and tile businesses by £235m.

But shares in aerospace and defence firm Cobham rose 13% despite it announcing plans for a £500m rights issue.

The news came as the company reported pre-tax losses of £847.9m, compared with £39.8m the year before, after a series of hefty asset writedowns.

On the currency markets, the pound fell 0.2% against the US dollar to $1.227 but rose 0.09% against the euro to 1.1666 euros.