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April 22, 2021, 10:44 a.m. EDT

Construction group surges in London on upbeat update, as FTSE 100 edges higher

By Steve Goldstein

Shares of Morgan Sindall rose as much as 19% on Thursday, as the midcap U.K. construction group said its full-year performance will be “significantly” ahead of expectations.

Morgan Sindall (LON:UK:MGNS) previously guided for a result “slightly ahead of that delivered in 2019,” when its adjusted operating profit was £93.1 million on sales of £3.07 billion. At the end of March, analysts had forecast a profit of £96.1 million on sales of £3.14 billion, according to FactSet.

It said its construction division had an order book up 10%, and its fit-out unit saw an 18% surge in order activity. “Since the start of the year, the positive momentum across the group has continued to accelerate, and with the group geared towards demand for affordable housing, urban regeneration and infrastructure and construction investment, I am excited by the significant opportunities ahead,” said its chief executive, John Morgan.

The large-cap FTSE 100 (FTSE:UK:UKX) rose 0.3% in late afternoon action. Alcoholic-beverage maker Diageo (LON:UK:DGE) and credit-checker Experian (LON:UK:EXPN) had the largest upward pull on the FTSE 100, while oil giants Royal Dutch Shell (LON:UK:RDSB) and BP (LON:UK:BP) edged lower.

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