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HMV Group PLC (HMV.LN), the U.K. entertainment retailer, Thursday said total sales at its U.K. and Ireland stores rose 13% in the first quarter, and while its international store sales fell in the period, it managed to hold its overseas market share. The firm said sales at its U.K. and Ireland stores open more than a year rose 1.7% in the 18 weeks ended Aug. 29, driven by strong market share gains across all product categories and the successful integration of 29 former Zavvi stores.
Shares at 0800 GMT down 1.2 pence, or 1%, at 113.5 pence.
EcoSecurities Group PLC (ECO.LN), the carbon credit trader, said it is in ongoing discussions with another party over a possible offer for it, after Sweden's Tricorona AB (TRIC.SK) said it has decided not to proceed with an offer.
Shares at 0800 GMT up 1 pence, or 1.1%, at 89 pence
Playtech Ltd. (PTEC.LN), the online gaming company, lifted its interim dividend 17% as it posted a 33% rise in first-half pretax profit, and said it expects a stronger second-half performance as is signs more new licensees. The firm will pay a midway dividend of 8.9 euro cents a share, increased from 7.6 euro cents a share a year earlier.
Shares at 0800 GMT up 8.5 pence, or 2.6%, at 341.5 pence.
Galliford Try PLC (GFRD.LN), the U.K. construction and housebuilding group, said it has been awarded GBP48.6 million worth of health sector contracts. The contracts include the design and building of three new healthcare centers worth a total of GBP22.3 million for NHS Grampian in Scotland and three contracts in Liverpool, totaling GBP22.1 million.
Shares at 0800 GMT unchanged at 56.25 pence.
Software Radio Technology PLC (SRT.LN), the radio technology developer, said it has received an $18 million order for its Automatic Identification System (AIS) Class B product from a customer based in Asia. The device is used to identify and track vessels and is used by some countries to improve the safety and security of their coastal and inland waterways.
Shares at 0800 GMT up 1.88 pence, or 31%, at 7.88 pence
Minoan Group PLC (MIN.LN), the leisure resort developer, said it has raised GBP674,250 through a placing, which it will use to develop its Cavo Sidero project in north-eastern Crete. The company has placed 6,742,500 new shares at 10 pence a share with a combination of existing shareholders and new investors, including Director G.D. Cook.
Shares at 0800 GMT down 0.5 pence, or 4.2%, at 11.5 pence.
Wincanton PLC (WIN.LN), a logistics company, said it has been awarded several contracts by major U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer Group PLC (MKS.LN) to run parts of its supply chain, in a deal expected to generate GBP275 million of revenue.
Shares at 0800 GMT up 6 pence, or 2.8%, at 221 pence.
KBC Advanced Technologies PLC (KBC.LN), an oil consultancy group, upped its interim dividend despite a 48% drop in first-half pretax profit, pointing to "clear signs" of improving trading conditions at the end of June. The company said it was awarded GBP18 million of contracts in June and July, and it was confident of an improved operating performance in the second half.
Shares at 0800 GMT down 1 pence, or 2.2%, at 45 pence.
Abbey Protection PLC (ABB.LN), the legal and professional fees insurer, increased its interim dividend after it posted a 10% rise in first-half pretax profit, and said it was sizing up complementary acquisition targets. For the six months to June 30, Abbey posted pretax profit of GBP4.3 million compared with GBP3.9 million in the same period a year earlier
Shares at 0800 GMT up 1.5 pence, or 2.3%, at 67 pence.
Spice PLC (SPI.LN), a utility support services group, said the recessionary environment and new legislation in the U.K. is benefiting its two divisions, and it is on track to meet its first-half expectations. Spice, which offers services such as energy consultancy and bill collection, said trading for the half year to Oct. 31 is expected to be in line with management's expectations, with a greater weighting of profit in the second half.
Shares at 0800 GMT up 1.5 pence, or 2.1%, at 72 pence.
FTSE SMALL CAP +0.269%
FTSE AIM +0.424%
-By Hannah Benjamin and Rachael Gormley, Dow Jones Newswires; 44 20 7842 9272; firstname.lastname@example.org
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