Shares in The Works plummeted after the company warned that profit will be much lower than expected over the year, even as it eyes the vital Christmas period.

The company's value on the London markets fell 43% as the arts and crafts retailer said it had been hit by a "difficult consumer backdrop".

When stripping out incredibly high sales of Squishies - squeezable toys for children - like-for-like sales dropped by 1.9%.

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When including Squishies, like-for-like sales fell 3.6%. Total revenue increased 5.4%.

The Works excludes so-called mega trends, products that account for more than 3% of weekly sales over a "material" time period.

"The consumer environment has remained challenging and we have been trading against strong comparators given last year's mega trend," said chief executive Kevin Keaney.

Although sales have improved in recent weeks, the board warned that it expects "full-year profit before tax to be significantly below current market expectations".

Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment saw revenues jump in the third quarter on the back of improving sales in the US and Australia.

The gambling group, which also owns Betfair, raised full-year earnings guidance for its US business but held firm on its targets for the rest of the group.

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The Dublin-based betting company, which last month agreed a £10 billion merger with PokerStars owner Stars Group, said revenue surged by 10% to £533 million for the three months to September.

Flutter said sports revenue leapt by 11% during the period, while gambling revenue increased by 8%.

It highlighted strong performances in Australia, where Sportsbet revenues grew 19%, and the US, where total revenues soared 67%.

Revenues for the company's retail betting business slid 9% to £75 million after gaming revenues were hit by the recent crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which saw the maximum stake for bets cut from £100 to £2.

The sun shone on RSA, the insurance provider behind More Than, as weather was mild in the UK and Canada.

The company's written premiums remained flat, and broadly in line with expectation at just under £4.9 billion in the year to date, against the same period last year.

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RSA faced a weaker set of results in the UK, but still in line with what it had expected, as the income from its premiums fell 3%, when stripping out some changes.

These include the business areas it has exited, as the company last year said it was going to stop selling some kinds of insurance. It has spent much of this year running down the contracts it has in these areas.

"RSA's results to end September are strong, and consistent with our plans for the period," said chief executive Stephen Hester.

The results were a bump for shares in the company, which were trading up 3.2% to 549.4p.