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Crawshaw Group (CRAW) has announced it expects to exceed market expectations for the year ended January 2016 after “particularly strong” recent trading.

In a short trading update this morning, the butchery chain said that like-for-like sales had been “particularly strong in the last quarter” thanks to “various intiatives undertaken by new management”. Gross margins have also strengthened.

Growth has been achieved across its estate with the two new stores that it recently opened trading above its “base case” expectations.

“We look forward to presenting a strong trading position at our interim announcement on 29 September 2015 and now expect the Company to exceed market expectations for the year ended 31 January 2016,” it said.

Morning update

Conviviality Retail has updated the market on the timing of its £200m Matthew Clark acquisition. It expects to complete the deal on 7 October, with the enlarged share capital (after its £130m share offer to part-fund the deal) being admitted on 2 October.

The FTSE has opened fairly flat (down 0.1%) this morning as the market awaits the US’ Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision later today.

Crawshaw is up 6.9% to 70p after upgrading its full-year earnings expectations this morning. Morrisons has fallen 1.3% to 158.1p, undoing yesterday’s progress, while SABMiller (SAB) has eased back 0.3% to 3,602.5p.

Yesterday in the City

There’s no doubt what the major story in the City was yesterday after SABMiller confirmed it had finally received an approach from AB InBev (ABI) over a $250m tie-up.

SABMiller shares rocketed up 19.9% to 3,614p, reaching as high as 3,737p soon after the announcement. In New York AB InBev rose 6.9% to $115.44.

AB InBev must make an offer or walk away by 14 October and is expected to have to pay a hefty premium on SABMiller’s shares even after yesterday’s rise.

SABMiller’s gains helped drive the FTSE 100 up 1.5% to 6229.2pts. Strong gains were also posted by British American Tobacco (BAT), up 3% to 3,575p, Reckitt Benckiser (RB), up 2.9% to 5,855p, Imperial Tobacco (IMT), up 2.4% to 3,352p and Unilever (ULVR), up 2.3% to 2,639p.

Morrisons (MRW) rose 1.7% to 160.1p yesterday despite its ratings downgrade by Moody’s.

Elsewhere, UK labour market figures showing a 2.9% increase in regular pay in the three months to July helped the pound strengthen 2 cents against the dollar to $1.55.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney also helped ease investor worries about imminent interest rate rises by saying the decision on rates “will come into sharper relief around the turn of the year” despite the recent increase in risk from the global economy.