StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks pushed higher at the open on Tuesday following the release of a slew of corporate earnings news that included relatively positive updates from JD Sports and Royal Mail.

At 0827, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 23.03 points, or 0.4%, at 5,960.43.

Sports fashion retailer JD Sports jumped 8.2% to 783.8p, having reinstated full-year guidance following an improved performance since its stores re-opened.

JD Sports, which also posted a slump in first-half profit, said it expected to notch a headline pre-tax profit for the full year of at least £265m.

Royal Mail rallied 8.9% to 190.14p after it upgraded its annual revenue expectations as the Covid-19 crisis drove a spike in demand for parcels.

At the same time, Royal Mail warned poor letter volumes and increased costs meant it would still post a 'material' loss.

The company said it would not become profitable without 'substantial' change to a business it said still had outdated working practices, with too many parcels sorted by hand.

Elsewhere, budget airline EasyJet descended 5.2% to 596p as it cut its capacity guidance for the fourth quarter following the introduction of new Covid-19 quarantine measures in Europe.

Industrial equipment hire company Ashtead slipped 0.9% to £26.69 on guiding for a fall in annual revenue in the mid-to-high single digit percentage.

Ashtead also reported a 38% slump in first-quarter profit amid a 7% fall in revenue.

Information services company Experian firmed 3.0% to £28.83, having upgraded its outlook on second-quarter performance following stronger trading in July and August.

Tonic water purveyor Fevertree slumped 5.3% to £20.088, as it booked a 38% drop in first-half profit to £21.7m.

But it wasn't all bad news for Fevetree investors, with the company deciding to up its dividend by 4% to 5.41p share, amid growth in off-trade and US revenues.

Builders' merchant Travis Perkins dropped 5.1% to £11.57 after it swung to a first-half loss and scrapped its dividend following a slump in construction activity caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

Travis Perkins reiterated that a demerger of its Wickes DIY business had been paused until markets become more stable and predictable.

House builder Vistry added 0.2% to 637p despite posting a first-half loss after lockdowns hit construction markets, though it said production levels were now back to near normal levels.

Vistry said it expected to achieve a pre-tax profit for the full year of £130m-to-£140m.

Component supplier to the aerospace, defence and energy sectors Meggitt advanced 3.9% to 311.5p, even as it swung to a first-half loss after the Covid-19 crisis devastated the commercial airline sector.

Meggitt said it had decided not to pay an interim dividend, in order to retain cash, manage net debt levels and preserve flexibility.

Aviation services provider Signature Aviation shed 1.3% to 266.1p as it too swung to a first-half loss and scrapped its dividend after the pandemic grounded many of its clients' aircraft.

On a more upbeat note, Signature Aviation said it expected to post a better performance for the second half amid a recovery in flight activity.

Packaging company DS Smith firmed 6.3% to 290.04p on announcing that it expected to declare an interim dividend amid an improvement in its like-for-like corrugated box volume performance.

Animal genetics company Genus added 2.7% to £36.5417, having upped its dividend 5% after reporting a rise in profit, led by its porcine business. At 8:39am:

[LON:EZJ] Easyjet PLC share price was -27.9p at 600.5p

[LON:FEVR] Fevertree Drinks PLC share price was -127p at 1993p

[LON:JD.] Jd Sports Fashion PLC share price was +55.1p at 779.7p

[LON:RMG] Royal Mail PLC share price was +18.4p at 193p

[LON:TPK] Travis Perkins PLC share price was -86.75p at 1132.75p



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