European Markets Mixed on Pharma Spinoff, Babywear Merger Collapse

LONDON (The Deal) -- Markets were mixed in Europe on a mixed bag of results this morning and with little by way of direction from economic data. Germany's market -- still more sensitive to events in Ukraine than elsewhere in Europe -- was down, while London and Paris were in positive territory.

Spain was down, despite news that one of its more problematic lenders, Bankia, had a better-than-expected first half. The bank is cleaning up its balance sheet faster than predicted and its January to June net profit rose by 48% to €431million ($579 million). Bankia shares were up 1.38% in late-morning European trading at €1.47.

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German cash-dispenser and check-out systems maker Wincor-Nixdorf slipped 9% to €36.30 after it revised forecast revenues downwards, citing unfavorable developments in key emerging markets. Revenues are now set to be the same as last year instead of rising 4% as previously predicted. However, operating profits are still expected to rise 17% to €155 million following the sale of plant in Singapore.

Meanwhile in London, household, health and personal care company Reckitt Benckiser (RBGLY) was on a high after announcing plans to spin off and separately list its heroin-substitute maker RB Pharmaceuticals, based in Richmond, Va. The unit's sales are in decline, after its main drug Suboxone lost patent rights in 2009 and now competes with generics. Excluding the pharma business, Reckitt Benckiser registered first-half sales growth of 4% to £4.3 billion ($7.3 billion).

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