IT specialist Aveva bucks FTSE sell-off

Information technology provider Aveva was one of the few bright spots on the FTSE 100

Information technology provider Aveva was one of the few bright spots on the FTSE 100 on Tuesday, after maintaining its dividend and reporting increased revenues.

The company – which makes products including software for industry – posted sales of £833.8m for the 12 months to the end of March, up from £766.6m the year before. Its profit before tax almost doubled, jumping from £46.7m to £92m.

Its revenue rise was driven by growth across all regions, with “particular strength” in the Asia Pacific region, despite “challenges related to Covid-19”.

Aveva maintained its final dividend at 29p per share, which it said reflected “confidence in Aveva’s resilience, strong balance sheet position and ongoing cash generation, balanced with prudence regarding the global economic crisis”.

Action to cut around £50m to £60m in costs is being taken across the group, with savings being made on discretionary spend and travel costs. It is not making staff reductions or using government support programmes.

Aveva’s shares rose 164p to £41.83, with only Ocado, up 88.5p at £20.72, grabbing greater gains on the blue-chip index.

The FTSE 100 fell sharply, as a global shift away from risky assets and a mid-session volta for the pound conspired to drag the index down 2.11pc – its worst one-day fall since the end of May.

All but 15 of London’s top stocks lost ground, with many of the cyclical stocks that had finally begun to grab gains in recent weeks dropping again as the mood across markets shifted.

Aerospace suppliers Meggitt and Rolls-Royce were the FTSE 100’s biggest fallers, taking the edge off recent gains, while energy giant Royal Dutch Shell shifted downwards, adding to the heavy drag on the index. Gold miners Fresnillo and Polymetal both rose as the precious metal rallied.

There were relatively few news-driven moves across London’s main market. Defence manufacturer BAE Systems climbed 6.8p to 530.6p after positive commentary from analysts at Bernstein, who said the group should be resilient despite the current downturn.

After the close, warehouse-owner Segro unveiled plans to raise £650m in a share-placing to help it grow across the UK and Continental Europe.

The FTSE 100 company, which counts Amazon among its customers, has boomed on the back of ecommerce and this week splashed out £200m on Perivale Park, west London. During the day, Segro’s shares fell 26.2p to 858.8p.

On the FTSE 250, which dropped 2.1pc, housebuilder Bellway fell 169p to £27.89 after announcing it had sold fewer homes as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Self-storage company Big Yellow fell 22p to £10.31 after reporting a dip in profits, which the group pinned on a lower revaluation gain on its investment properties.