StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks built on early gains on Wednesday, buoyed by positive corporate trading updates from the likes of SSE, Serco and Boohoo.

At 12:00, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 0.7%, at 6,285.9.

Outsourced services provider Serco jumped 17% to 155p on guiding for a rise in first-half underlying trading profit of about 50%, amid 'limited' impacts from the Covid-19 crisis.

Serco also reinstated guidance for the full year that included upgraded revenue expectations.

Energy utility SSE sparked 9% higher to £13.8, after it reported better than expected adjusted operating profits, up 37% to £1.5bn.

SSE recommended a final dividend of 56p per share, making the full-year 80p per share and said it was continuing to target delivery of its five-year dividend plan, running from the 2019 to the 2023 financial years.

Online fashion retailer Boohoo rallied 9% to 424p as it forecast its annual performance to beat market expectations following a jump in first-quarter revenue.

DIY group Kingfisher gained 5.5% to 214.7p even as it booked 66% slump in annual profit amid a continued poor showing from its French business.

Kingfisher also said its performance had improved in May following a slump in April as it gradually reopened shuttered stores in the UK and France.

Infrastructure products supplier Hill & Smith shot 3.7% higher to £12.52 on announcing that it had seen a 'modest recovery' in performance in May as lockdown measures eased.

The company, however, stressed it remained cautious given market uncertainty.

Also making news, home builder Berkeley rose 3.4% to £43.6, despite announcing that its annual profit fell by more than a third as it sold fewer homes in a declining price environment.

Berkley said it entered the coming year from a position of relative strength, with net cash of £1.14bn and forward sales of £1.9bn.

Banknote printer De La Rue rose 2% to 156p, as it reported a rise in profit as lower costs and a gain on the sale of its international identity solutions business offset a fall in revenue.

Structural steel group Severfield sank 3% to 71p, after posting a 4.5% rise in annual profit. The company has suspended dividends until it gets more clarity on the impact of Covid-19.

Gambling company William Hill dropped 4% to 133p after it raised £224m of new equity to bolster its balance sheet at 128p a share.

Putting downward pressure on the market was pizza delivery group Domino's Pizza, which slumped 8% to 312p.

Domino's guided for a slight fall in first-half operating profit despite people ordering more pizzas during lockdown, citing higher costs needed to keep people safe from Covid-19.

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