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French and Benelux stocks-Factors to watch on July 31
July 31, 2014 / 5:25 AM / 3 years ago

French and Benelux stocks-Factors to watch on July 31

PARIS, July 31 (Reuters) - Below are company-related news and stories from French and Benelux media which could have an impact on the region’s markets or individual stocks.

ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV

The world’s largest beer maker reported a greater second-quarter profit than expected on Thursday as the World Cup drove sales in Brazil and both China and Mexico outperformed.

BNP PARIBAS

BNP Paribas turned in a second-quarter loss on Thursday, reflecting the cost of an $8.95 billion fine for breaking U.S. sanctions, but the French bank said its strong underlying result was a sign clients had not been scared off by the affair.

SANOFI

The French drugmaker raised its full-year guidance on Thursday after it posted stronger than expected quarterly earnings, driven by its rare disease business and higher sales in emerging markets.

EDF

Higher nuclear output in France and Britain drove state-controlled utility EDF’s first-half net profit 8.3 percent higher to 3.1 billion euro (4.15 billion US dollar) and the group confirmed its full-year financial guidance.

ALCATEL-LUCENT

Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent ALUA.PA improved its gross and operating margins in the second quarter as an ongoing cost-cut programme and higher sales of new network gear to global operators paid off.

CARREFOUR

The world’s second-largest retailer reported a 13.8 percent rise in first-half recurring operating profit to 833 million euros ($1.12 billion), driven by higher profitability in its core French business and in Brazil and Argentina, while China stayed under pressure.

JCDECAUX

French outdoor advertising and street furniture group reported a 3.3 percent rise in first-half adjusted revenue to 1.3 billion euros (1.74 billion US dollar) on Thursday, but said organic growth would be slightly slower in the third quarter.

UNIBAIL RODAMCO

Europe’s biggest real estate company has agreed to sell a portfolio of six shopping centres in France to Carmila, a real estate group backed by retailer Carrefour .

NORBERT DENTRESSANGLE

The logistics group Norbert Dentressangle said on Thursday it would acquire U.S.-based Jacobson Companies from private equity fund Oak Hill Capital Partners in a deal worth $750 million.

RANDSTAD HOLDING NV

The Dutch employment services group on Thursday reported second-quarter earnings in line with market forecasts, but said growth is not yet picking up steam.

SAFRAN

The aerospace group raised its core profit target as it reported higher first-half earnings on Thursday.

KERING

The luxury and lifestyle group fulfilled its ambition of expanding in Swiss watchmaking with the acquisition of Ulysse Nardin, as it posted mixed first-half results that showed further weakness at its flagship Gucci brand.

AIR LIQUIDE

The industrial gases group reported first-half net profit up 5 percent on revenue up 4.8 percent to 7.506 billion euros ($10.05 billion), forecasting it would also grow net profit for the year as a whole.

SCOR

The reinsurer posted on Thursday a 35.4 percent increase in first-half net profit as its property and casualty business benefited from a low level of major catastrophes.

SAINT-GOBAIN

The French building materials group reaffirmed its aim of improving its profitability this year after posting 4.1 percent organic sales growth in the first half, driven by demand in the United States and Asia.

INGENICO

The French payments firm raised its annual organic growth and operating margin targets after revenue rose sharply in the second quarter, helped by a transition to chip-and-pin payment terminals in the United States.

VALLOUREC

The steel pipes maker turned in a second-quarter net profit rise of 41.9 percent to 88 million euros and repeated its recent warning that challenges in Brazil will eat into its second half performance.

AIRBUS, SAFRAN

The two French groups named Alain Charmeau as the head of a new venture designed to reorganise Europe’s space launch activities.

UMICORE

The Belgian speciality materials group expects to hit the top half of its core profit target this year despite a 15 percent drop in earnings in the first six months, the company said on Thursday.

AGEAS

The Belgian insurer, the legal heir to the stricken Fortis financial group, said on Thursday it would appeal the decision by a Dutch court which said the bank had misled investors in the 2008 crisis and owed them compensation.

CNP ASSURANCES

France’s biggest life insurer reported on Thursday that first-half net profit rose 3 percent as revenue growth in its main French market helped offset weakness in Latin America.

VILMORIN

The grain company cut its operating margin target for its 2013-2014 fiscal year because of unfavourable currency impacts and the fall in prices of some agricultural commodities.

CAPGEMINI

The IT services company confirmed on Thursday its goal of hitting organic growth of between 2 and 4 percent in 2014 after it posted a slight increase in first-half sales thanks largely to strength in Asia.

LEGRAND

The global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures, confirmed its 2014 targets on Thursday.

ADP

The group said first-half sales rise 0.1 percent to 1.347 billion euros, and EBITDA rises 8.4 percent to 528 million euros.

TELENET

Belgian telecoms group on Thursday cut its 2014 revenue outlook as it is expected to make less from low margin mobile handset sales and from broadcasting analogue TV channels.

SOLVAY

The Belgian chemicals company reported better-than-expected core profit in the second quarter, as it managed to drive down costs and offset currency impacts.

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