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Updates from Standard Life, BP and Essentra

Just a nine-point drop for the FTSE 100 on Thursday, ending at 6,888.9. Rolls-Royce andeasyJet surged, up 2.9% and 2.1% respectively (to 962p and 1785p respectively). Dixons Carphone climbed 2% to 441p. However Centrica investors were not at all impressed by yesterday's steep dividend cut with shares tumbling more than 8% to 257p on the news.

The Dow Jones saw a 44-point retreat to 17,985.7 with Wal-Mart falling 3.2% though tech stocks remained positive.

Standard Life is the main full-year news this morning. Fee-based revenues climbed 14% to £1,433m for the pensions and investment player though that includes Standard Life's Ignis acquisition in the second half of the year.

Group underlying performance rises 21% to £561m; operating profit before tax from continuing operations comes in up 19% at £604m. There's a final dividend of 11.43p making a total of 17.03p, up 7.8%.

"We have made," says Standard Life chief exec David Nish, "good strategic progress during the year with the acquisition of Ignis Asset Management and the sale of our Canadian operations increasing focus on fee business and enabling a £1.75bn return to shareholders."

Next, we move onto news concerning BP; the oil giant may have lost its chance to see its civil £8.9bn fine cut for the Gulf of Mexico disaster; a US judge has rejected BP's appeal.

Originally BP had hoped for fines of $3,000 per barrel. US District Judge Carl Barbier says $4,300 per barrel is closer to the figure BP should pay, though there is no final ruling for the moment.

Reuters claims BP may consider more legal action. So far BP has taken responsibility for around $42bn of the expenses for the disaster, including fines and clean-up work.

Lastly, plastics producer Essentra says full-year revenues came in ahead 14% at constant FX at £866m. There is "accelerating momentum" for Q4, with like-for-like revenue growth of 10%, it claims.

Adjusted operating profit climbs 16% (at constant FX). It claims an adjusted operating margin expansion of +30bps (at constant FX) to 16.5%, or +20bps at actual FX. · There's also a 19% increase in the full year dividend to 18.3p per share.

"With like-for-like revenue ahead 9%," says chief exec Colin Day, "and adjusted EPS growth of 19%, not only did we exceed our Vision 2015 objectives in 2014, but also over the three-year period since the strategy was implemented."

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