Tech firm Sophos Group upgraded its full-year profits forecast as rising fears about cyber security from companies boosted its prospects.
The firm said full-year revenue was set to thrash estimates. It expects to report sales of £507 million for the year to March 31, up from an estimated £497 million.
Shares climbed to a record high as the business reported strong growth over the past three months, boosted by its purchase of malware protection developer Invincea last month.
Tech firm Sophos Group upgraded its full-year profits forecast as rising fears about cyber security from companies boosted its prospects
They finished up 11.4 per cent, or 31.1p, to 303.2p. The FTSE 100 closed up 0.5 per cent, or 39.1p, to 7321.8.
Major supermarkets found themselves among the greatest fallers of the day after disappointing figures revealing their latest market shares were revealed. Morrisons was down 2.9 per cent, or 6.8p, to 230.9p, while Sainsbury’s slipped 2.2 per cent, or 5.8p, to 257.4p.
Among the biggest small-cap fallers of the day was tech firm Nanoco, which slid as it announced a loss of £6.4m in the six months to January 31. The firm has lowered its full-year earnings forecast.
Nanoco manufacturers so-called ‘nanomaterials’, which are used to produce high quality flat-screen TVs. It said that while it expects to generate sales in the coming months, none have yet materialised, although it has received support from the likes of tech giant Samsung.
Nanoco warned it has a contingency plan in place. Shares plunged 12.5 per cent, or 4.5p, to 31.5p.
Business supplier Bunzl edged up after buying two safety equipment firms in the US and Italy for undisclosed amounts. In its first step into the Italian market, Bunzl has bought Bologna-based personal protection equipment supplier Neri.
It has expanded its US business with the purchase of California-based high visibility clothing distributor ML Kishigo.
The announcement continues a good run for the company after Barclays upgraded its rating for the firm to ‘overweight’ last month and increased its target price by 100p to 2550p. Shares climbed 1.2 per cent, or 28p, to 2329p.
Oil and gas firms bounced as the price of the black stuff surged almost 2 per cent past $54 a barrel. BHP Billiton leapt 2.2 per cent, or 27.5p, to 1255.5p.
Also among the early risers was President Energy, which leapt as it revealed better-than-expected production from its oil fields in Argentina. The company said the fields are producing more than 800 barrels of oil a day, well ahead of previous expectations and a step further to its goal of 1,200 barrels per day by September. However, shares ended the day down 1.1 per cent, or 0.08p, at 6.7p.
The chief executive of Card Factory took advantage of a recent dip in the firm’s share price to up her stake in the business.
Karen Hubbard bought more than 12,000 in the high street greeting cards retailer at 292p each, giving her a total stake of 0.02 per cent with more than 51,000 shares. But shares in the business continued to fall after UBS last week cut its target price for the stock to 295p from 300p. Shares dipped 0.5 per cent, or 1.5p, to 287p.
Indian fashion retailer Koovs plummeted 8.6 per cent, or 4.75p, to 50.25p despite a strong update. The online stores saw sales up 87 per cent to £18.6 million in the year to March 31 and registered user numbers soar 80 per cent to 1.8 million.
But ongoing concerns about the demonetisation of the Indian currency have hit investors’ confidence in the shares. But the group said it was confident for the year ahead and announced plans to expand into other countries.