Shares in Melrose have lifted despite the industrial turnaround specialist seeing sales dented by strikes by US car maker General Motors at its automotive and metallurgy units.

The past four months, which were beset by the strike action, saw sales in powder metallurgy and automotive fall 13% and 5% respectively.

The aerospace division of the GKN business it bought in 2018 progressed over the year, achieving sales growth of more than 5% for the past four months.

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Melrose said that trading has been in line with board expectations for the year.

Justin Dowley, chairman of Melrose, said: "Some macro conditions could be more helpful, but this has not stopped us continuing to transform the GKN businesses."

Shares in the business were up 2.1% to 227.2p.

Emergency repairs business HomeServe has exported its Home Experts business to America for the first time with a $140 million (£108 million) swoop on US business eLocal Holdings.

HomeServe revealed it was taking a 79% stake in the firm, giving it a profitable foothold in the North American market.
The deal also gives London-listed HomeServe the right to buy the rest of the company in time.

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"We are delighted to have agreed to buy a majority shareholding in eLocal," said chief executive Richard Harpin.

Bruce Aronow, eLocal's founder, said: "The entire eLocal team is extremely excited to have been chosen as the platform to build the Home Experts business in the US."

The Home Experts unit includes Checkatrade in the UK, Spain's Habitissimo, and Home Experts France. It turned over £40 million in the last financial year.

Analysts at Liberum said the acquisition "clearly provides a strong foundation from which to launch HomeServe's ambitions in North America".

Polypipe saw shares drift lower after the plastic piping manufacturer lowered its profit forecast for the year.

The FTSE 250 firm said its underlying operating profit would be "just below" previous expectations due to "poor" weather in the UK and "challenging" market conditions.

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It said revenues were resilient over the 10 months to October 31, rising 3.4% to £381.9 million despite "tough markets".

However, trading over the past four months was only 1.7% up on the previous period as it was impacted by strong comparatives for 2018 and "short term political and economic uncertainty" impacting the market.

Chief executive Martin Payne said he believes the fundamentals of the business "remain strong" and said it views future prospects "with confidence".

Shares were down 2.4% at 465p.