- The FTSE 100 index opened slightly down this morning, as investors weighed lingering uncertainties despite the US-China trade deal.

Associated British Foods said revenue grew 4% in its fiscal first quarter led by 'good' performance from discount retailer Primark over the festive period in its core UK market and a 'marked upturn' in the Eurozone. The shares were up 2.5% to £26.20

Whitbread reported a 1% rise in its total sales for 2019 against a challenging backdrop, while sales in the UK market grew just 0.3%.

The modest growth, however, wasn't enough to shore up its share price and the company opened 5.6% down at £45.65 in early morning trading.

Pearson announced a 5% boost to its 2019 revenue and 4% rise in growth, along with a modestly higher net debt when compared with 2018.

It also announced a £350m share buyback that is expected to commence on January 16, 2020.

However, the share price fell more than 10% to 552.8p in early morning trading.

Pearson's chief executive, John Fallon, said: 'We have secured flat revenue this year and delivered operating profit within the guidance range, with much weaker sales in US Higher Education Courseware offset by a strong performance in the broader 76% of Pearson.'

Meanwhile, Marshalls' revenue surged in 2019 reaching £542 million on the back of sales in the public sector and commercial end market. It's share price remained relatively flat at 827p during the early morning.

In its pre-close trading update, the group said sales in the Public Sector and Commercial end market, which represented approximately 69 per cent of Group revenue, were up 15 per cent compared with the prior year period.

Strong customer demand in the third quarter saw Workspace Group's net debt fall by £46m, according to its latest business update.

During the third quarter period, enquiries averaged 1,001 per month, up from 907 in the same quarter in 2018/19.

Lettings averaged 113 per month, compared with 98 in the third quarter of 2018/19.

The announcement gave a slight boost to the company's share price, which rose 0.7% to £11.52 during early morning trading.

Petrofac will design, supply and install the HVAC onshore and offshore substations for the Seagreen wind farm project having signed a Preferred Supplier Agreement with SSE Renewables. The shares rose 0.4% to 383.3p on the news.

The wind farm will be located 27 kilometres off the coast of Angus and once constructed will be the largest in Scotland.

Subject to a final investment decision expected in the coming months, its full scope will include, on a lump-sum basis, the engineering, procurement, fabrication, transportation, offshore installation and commissioning of the offshore substation platform, including the topside, jacket and piles.

Hospitality firm PPHE has announced that it has acquired a 50% interest in W29 Development LLC, for a total consideration of $3.3m. The shares dipped 0.5% to £19.30 on the announcement.

As a result, the company now owns 100% of the joint venture company and the associated JV arrangements have been terminated.

The acquisition was funded from the company's existing cash resources.

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