Footsie playing less energetic

28 February 2005
London's FTSE 100 share index (Footsie) has slipped below 5,000 once again after its rise earlier this February to the highest figure since 2002.

However, profit increases announced by several Footsie companies kept investors busy today, ShareCast reports.

WPP stated that it expected to outperform the market in 2005 - its pre-tax profits rose 15 per cent to £546 million.

Alliance & Leicester, meanwhile, is still riding high on yesterday's announcement of a significant rise in pre-tax profits. Its dividend rose by ten per cent to 48.3 pence.

Publisher United Business Media was also feeling upbeat having seen the year's profits leap by almost 40 per cent - and it said its shareholders
would get a payout from the sale of a key business.

Less optimistic were two medical companies, Medisys, which saw a slump in profits and the departure of its CEO, and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, which had its forecasts slashed by Goldman Sachs amid concerns about its anti-cholesterol drug, Crestor.

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