StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 was up a smidge to trade just above the 7,000 mark by midday while sterling advanced against the dollar.

3i Group reported a 12.2% total return and increase in net asset value to £10.63, driven by a strong first quarter from the private equity portfolio. Its share price surged 3.44% to £12.53.

Vodafone Spain has acquired 2x10 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band from the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation for €350 million.

The total amount will be payable in a single instalment following the conclusion of the auction process. In addition, a licensing fee of €15.5m will be payable each year. Vodafone's share price rose 1.06% to 116.32p following the announcement.

FirstGroup's share price shot up nearly 4% to 82.66p after it completed the sale of First Student and First Transit to EQT Infrastructure, with net disposal proceeds of $3.1bn

The net disposal proceeds received by FirstGroup at completion is an increase of $58m over the base amount previously announced, due to the final adjustments for working capital and debt and debt-like items, the company said.

Unilever has reported underlying sales growth of 5.4% for the first half of the year, with an 0.3% increase in turnover.

The company, which saw its share price fall 4.10% to £41.26, has an underlying operating margin of 18.8%, a fall of 100 basis points over the period driven by investment behind its brands and input cost inflation.

SSE's share price was relatively flat at £14.94 as it confirmed it has made 'good progress' on disposing of non-core assets and businesses that are not a good fit with its net zero strategy.

The company expects to realise more than £2 billion from the sales, part of which includes the disposal of SSE's Contracting business to Aurelius which was first announced in April and completed at the end of June.

Britvic has reported a 22.8% rise in Q3 revenue to £384.8 million fuelled by the easing of lockdown restrictions in the UK. Its share price was stable at 959.50p.

AstraZeneca has appointed Andreas Rummelt as a non-executive director, following the completion of its acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


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