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FTSE 100 slips, Hyve up on 12% on events recovery

Shares in events group Hyve have rallied 12% after it said the pace of its recovery from pandemic disruption had “surpassed expectations”.

Two of the largest events in the group’s calendar have just taken place, with the Autumn Fair for the home, gift and fashion industry at Birmingham’s NEC significantly outperforming previous editions.

Hyve’s Groceryshop event in Las Vegas also reported revenues more than 40% higher than its largest pre-Covid edition after attracting more than 3,000 attendees.

Chief executive Mark Shashoua said: “It is clear that our business has now almost fully recovered from the turbulence of the last two years.”

Hyve shares were 800p prior to the pandemic, only to fall as far as this week’s 50p as fears over the impact of a global recession added to ongoing investor caution.

The former FTSE 250-listed stock rallied 12% or 6p to 56p today, but analysts at Citi have a target of 210p after Monday’s debt refinancing also boosted confidence.

Topps Tiles was another All-Share stock in demand today as the retailer bucked recent City pessimism by revealing a better-than-expected finish to its financial year.

Like-for-like sales were 1.2% lower in the three months to 1 October, but this was against tough year-on-year comparatives as the home improvement chain rounded off a second successive year of record annual sales.

Profits will now be towards the top end of expectations, causing shares to jump 2p to 43p. Broker Peel Hunt, which has a price target of 60p, said: “September sales and the order book give confidence in a steady autumn.”

The updates from Hyve and Topps provided some cheer during an otherwise lacklustre session for markets after the strong gains seen earlier in the week.

British Land, Ocado and BT Group were among stocks back under pressure as the FTSE 100 index retreated 78.91 points to 7007.55.

The FTSE 250 index, which jumped 3% on Tuesday as traders revised their bets on futures interest rate rises, fell 1.3% or 231.48 points to 17,590.67. Road infrastructure firm Hill & Smith posted the biggest gain, lifting 31p to 1002p following a deal to buy a California-based solar lighting and traffic management business for £22.2 million.

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