Business Week – Roller coaster week as shares plummet.

Meanwhile, the FTSE-100 recovered from last week’s lows of 107.29 returning in form to 110.11 points on the day of the general election.

Hays suffered the biggest drop; it fell a staggering 32% or 100 points after the outsourcing and distribution group said its profits for the second half and the financial year would be lower than expected. Hays had been expected to make a profit of about £295m but is now looking at annual pre-tax profits of only £232m.

On the upside, Logica gained 10% this week after a long-awaited meeting in which the company convinced analysts that it could maintain a good performance despite difficult market conditions.

Heavyweight QSP remained positive despite unsettling news that its chief executive officer and finance director resigned ‘for personal reasons’.

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The Accountancy Age/ADVFN share index is based on a portfolio of ten accountancy-related shares listed on the London Stock Exchange. The companies are Capita (business services); Itnet (outsourcing); Hays, Reed and Robert Walters (recruitment); and Logica, Misys, QSP, Sage and Sema (software).

The index is based on a notional £100,000 invested in the companies on 23 March 2001 and reflects the percentage change in the value of the portfolio based on current prices at close each day. The FTSE has been rebased to 100 using its 23 March value of 5,402.3 points.

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