Home Money BUSINESS LIVE: AstraZeneca increases dividend; Shurgard to buy Lok’nstore; Darktrace lifts the guide

BUSINESS LIVE: AstraZeneca increases dividend; Shurgard to buy Lok’nstore; Darktrace lifts the guide

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 BUSINESS LIVE: AstraZeneca increases dividend; Shurgard to buy Lok'nstore; Darktrace lifts the guide



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The FTSE 100 will open at 8am Companies with trading reports and updates today include AstraZeneca, Lok’nstore, Darktrace, M&C Saatchi and Mears. Read the Business Live blog from Thursday, April 11 below.

> If you are using our app or a third-party site, click here to read Business Live

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Darktrace improves forecast as revenue rises

Darktrace has raised its annual revenue and margin forecasts for the third time this year after the British cybersecurity company’s third-quarter revenue rose nearly 27 percent.

The London-listed firm has benefited from demand for its services due to the rise in digital attacks, as well as the rise of artificial intelligence. It expects revenue from new customers to grow as the economic environment begins to improve.

“We believe the markets in which we operate are emerging from a period of relative economic uncertainty and moving toward an environment where organizations can prioritize proactive cyber defense,” said Chief Financial Officer Cathy Graham.

Accounting giant KPMG fined £20m after senior partners and managers cheated in exams

Accounting giant KPMG has been hit with the biggest fine ever imposed by the US audit watchdog after partners and senior managers cheated in professional exams.

The Dutch division of the Big Four was fined £20 million after hundreds of its staff were found to have inappropriately shared answers on mandatory training courses between 2017 and 2022.

Shurgard set to buy Lok’nstore for £378m

European storage company Shurgard has agreed to buy UK-listed rival Lok’nStore in a deal valued at £378 million.

Shurgard agreed to spend £11.10 in cash for each Lok’n Store share, which he said represented a 15.9 per cent premium to the London-listed company’s closing price on April 10.

Andrew Jacobs, President of Lok’nStore, said:

‘Lok’nStore’s board of directors believes that the offering represents significant value for Lok’nStore shareholders, recognizing the quality of Lok’nStore’s real estate portfolio and operational strength.

Over the years, Lok’nStore has created a unique portfolio of purpose-built self-storage assets.

‘We believe that the integration of Lok’nStore’s assets and operations into Shurgard is highly complementary considering the location of the assets and Lok’nStore’s positioning in its markets.

‘I would like to take the opportunity to highlight the contribution of the Lok’nStore team over the years, whose commitment has allowed the business to be built with its high standards and the unique asset quality for which it is recognized today and ensure a positioning leader in the markets in which it operates.’

US inflation shock hits rate cut hopes: Borrowing costs soar amid market turmoil

Hopes for interest rate cuts faded yesterday on both sides of the Atlantic after US inflation rose to a higher-than-expected 3.5 percent.

The figures wreaked havoc on financial markets as bond yields soared, Wall Street stocks plunged and the pound fell sharply.

Paul Ashworth, chief North American economist at Capital Economics, said the data “all but ends hopes of a June rate cut” by the Federal Reserve.

1712819020 286 BUSINESS LIVE AstraZeneca increases dividend Shurgard to buy Loknstore Darktrace

AstraZeneca increases its dividend

AstraZeneca has increased its annual dividend by 7 percent to $3.10 per share, as the London-listed drugmaker bets on its blockbuster cancer drugs to deliver strong performance and cash generation.

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical firm said it expects total revenue and earnings per share to increase by double-digit percentages to tenfold this year.

“This increase is in line with our progressive dividend policy, which remains unchanged, and reflects the continued strength of AstraZeneca’s investment proposition for shareholders,” said Chairman Michel Demaré.

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