Top story

Noble Foods, the owner of Happy Egg and Gü Puds, has postponed a mooted IPO to concentrate on rebuilding its top line after significant restructuring last year.

The group had previously signalled its intention to explore a float on the London Stock Exchange to enable joint owners Peter Dean and Michael Kent to reduce their shareholding.

However, in the wake of sales and profitability tumbling in the year to 30 September 2016 amid a rebuild programme, Noble told The Grocer it has now shelved any immediate plans for an IPO.

A Noble Foods Group spokesperson said: “While an IPO was once an option, the group is now entirely focused on delivering additional organic growth as well as making further acquisitions that complement Noble’s expertise.”

Read the full story – along with all the details from the newly filed accounts at Companies House – at later this morning.

Morning update

It’s a very quiet morning on the markets as we enter the height of the summer holidays. But on we feature exclusive news that BrewDog has become the first craft brand ever to appear in The Grocer’s ranking of Britain’s 100 Biggest Alcohol Brands. Click here to read all about it.

The FTSE 100 has edged down slightly by 0.1% this morning to 7,408.16 points.

Yesterday in the City

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) finished down 0.3% to 7,724p as the City failed to be moved by the Oxfam report using the consumer goods giant as a case study for big multinational corporations not paying a fair share of tax in developing countries.

Marks & Spencer (MKS) bounced back 3.4% to 327.9p after a torrid week that investors chip away at the value of the stock as a first quarter update showed a worrying decline in the food division just as the troubled clothing side started to make progress.

Ocado (OCDO) was also up 2.2% to 280p, with SSP Group (SSPG) gaining another 1.8% to 495p on top of solid gains on Wednesday following a trading update. Booker (BOK) jumped 1.5% to 191.1p, Tesco (TSCO) was up 1.3% to 172.9p and Dairy Crest rose 0.9% to 560p.

The FTSE 100 slipped into the red – just – down 0.1% to 7,413.44 points despite decent gains for BT as pharma giant AstraZeneca tumbled on rumours its CEO is to leave.

Fallers on a quiet day for the market included McColls (MCLS), down 2.4% to 202p, Diageo (DGE), down 0.7% to 2,268p, and Britvic (BVIC), down 0.5% to 710.5p.