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Capita shares hit as profits fall

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Shares in Capita fell more than 10% after the outsourcing group reported lower profits and gave a weaker than expected forecast.The FTSE 250 member saw half-year pre-tax profits drop 26% to £28m, after it sold its specialist recruitment arm and shut down its events operation.Excluding one-off measures, underlying pre-tax profits jumped 46% to £195m.However, Capita said this measure was only expected to “rise modestly” in the second half of the year.The benchmark FTSE 100 index struggled for direction throughout the morning, and shortly after midday it was up by just 1.34 points at 7,273.29.Johnson Matthey was the top riser in the FTSE 100, surging 9% after it confirmed it expected sales would grow by about 6% this year.The company also announced it was investing an initial £200m to develop its battery material technology business. It expects the market to grow rapidly as electric cars become more widespread.Shares in Irish building materials firm CRH rose 2.7% after it announced plans to buy US cement maker Ash Grove Cement in a $3.5bn (£2.6bn) deal.On the currency markets, the pound fell 0.2% against the dollar to $1.3474 and slipped 0.1% against the euro to 1.1331 euros.
Source: BBC