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FTSE 100 latest: After Facebook, Apple et al - here’s a stock with real fangs

Graeme Evans
·2-min read

Alongside a week of booming tech profits, veterinary services look to be another sector benefiting hugely from the mega trends created by Covid-19.

The pet ownership boom has made £1.4 billion-valued CVS Group, which operates 498 practices as well as eight animal hospitals, one of the star stocks of AIM in the past year. Its shares rose another 5% to a fresh record of 2,080p today after giving a fresh nudge to earnings guidance.

CVS reported that it continued to see a steady increase in customer demand as the lockdown generation of cats and dogs visit for vaccinations or treatment.

The company’s update reflected another robust session for the London market, with sentiment lifted by this week’s strong earnings figures on both sides of the Atlantic, including Amazon reporting a tripling of profits last night.

The top flight was 16.04 points higher at 6977.52, having initially been tipped to fall after China reported weaker-than-expected factory figures as a global shortage of shipping containers has hindered the movement of goods.

The biggest risers in the top flight were Smurfit Kappa and AstraZeneca, both up 4% after strong updates, while Hikma Pharmaceuticals improved 46p to 2,411p after it said its new financial year had got off to a strong start.

The tobacco sector was also in favour among investors as Imperial Brands and British American Tobacco both rose 2.5%, to 1,505p and 2,693.5p respectively.

The second tier FTSE 250 index added 24.69 points to 22,417.63, even though Bath-based flow control and valves specialist Rotork fell 2% or 7.6p to 348.6p after reporting elevated logistics costs and disruption to some supply routes. Overall performance so far this year has been in line with expectations, it added.

One of the good news stories of the session was Card Factory after the retail chain reported better-than-expected trading since re-opening shops.

It has also agreed headline terms of a refinancing with its banks, sending shares up by 6% or 4.9p to 83.4p.

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