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Premarket London: Rio Tinto Production Slips; Premier Foods Posts Sweet Q3 Numbers

By Pauline Thomas - Here is a summary from the most important regulatory news releases from the London Stock Exchange ahead of the UK market open on Friday 17 January. Please refresh for updates for UK market news from the LSE’s RNS on individual UK shares from FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and FTSE All-Share.

Mining company Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) cited poor weather conditions and operational challenges as reasons for a drop in iron ore shipments in 2019. It said production of aluminum and copper was also down.

Copper production was 5% lower than in 2018, while aluminium production was down 2%. Iron ore production was down around 3% at 326.7 million tonnes.

The company said its guidance for 2020 was dependent on global GDP growth and would be tempered by geopolitical tensions and oil price volatility.

“We have the platform and performance to maintain our delivery of superior returns to shareholders over the short, medium and long-term, driven by our strong value over volume approach and ongoing disciplined allocation of capital.” said CEO J-S Jacques.

Mr Kipling owner Premier Foods (LON:PFD) said sales grew 2.6% in the third quarter, with grocery sales up 0.3%. A strong domestic performance in the U.K. helped offset a 17% drop in revenue from its international business.

U.K. overall revenue was up 3.6%, with the Mr Kipling brand up 10%. It said profit expectations for the year remain unchanged.

GVC (LON:GVC), the owner of Ladbrokes (LON:LCL) and Coral, said annual core earnings would be at the top end of expectations, due mostly to gains in online betting.

The company, which also owns the bwin brand, said total annual group net gaming revenue was up 2%, although sales at its U.K. betting shops fell 11% in the last quarter of the year in like-for-like terms, as Britain cut the maximum stake allowed on high-speed slot machines to 2 pounds ($2.62) from 100 pounds, reflecting the clampdown on fixed-odds betting terminals.

Credit-checking group Experian (LON:EXPN) posted an overall rise in revenue in the third quarter, however it saw declines in the U.K. and Irish markets. Experian said overall growth was up 7% in the three months to the end of December, with North America up 11%. Growth in its U.K. business was down 3%, largely as a result of a 12% drop in its U.K. business-to-business division.

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