StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 resumed its downward trend on Thursday falling 1.8% to 6,694 points as profit warnings and the collapse of airline FlyBe rattled investors.

By midday there were just five stocks in positive territory: Admiral Group, Aviva, British American Tobacco, Melrose and Reckitt Benckiser.

Broadcaster ITV was one of the biggest fallers, dropping 10% to 104p after it warned advertising revenue would fall 10% in April as the spread of the coronavirus weighed on travel companies' marketing spend.

The firm's pre-tax profits for last year were 11.5% lower despite revenues from ITV studios increasing by 9%.

Travel firms International Consolidated Airlines, which owns British Airways, and TUI were also big losers down 4.5% and 5.3% respectively.

TUI was one of three stocks earmarked for demotion from the index later this month, along with DIY retailer Kingfisher and struggling UAE-based clinic operator NMC Health whose shares are still suspended.

Asset management group Schroders dipped 3% to £27.93 despite seeing assets under management rise by 23% in 2019 to reach a new high of £500bn.

The company's pre-tax profit for the period was £701.2m, while net new business reached £43.4bn.

Shares in insurer Aviva were just in positive territory, up 0.3% to 351p after gaining as much as 4% earlier in the session.

The firm reported record operating profits of £2.3bn last year thanks to healthy UK annuity sales and a strong performance from its investment business.

Mid-cap communications equipment-maker Spirent was a rare gainer, up 9% to 231p after it reported better 2019 revenues driven by demand of 400G high-speed ethernet and a higher win rate with US defence contractors for GNSS positioning products.

Adjust operating profits increased 20% during the year, with an improved operating margin of 18.4%.

Shares in outsourcer Capita tumbled 27% to 91.5p after it reported a sharp increase in net debt last year and said it needed to invest more than previously thought in its restructuring plan.

Adjusted net debt rose from £466m to £790m although on an unadjusted number the figure was £1.35bn compared with the firm's market capitalisation of £2.8bn before today's fall.

Revenues and orders declined last year, while chief executive Jon Lewis admitted that 'transforming an organisation of Capita's size is a complex challenge, there remains more to do and it is requiring more investment than we had expected.'




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