Engineering group John Laing got a week of important company results underway this morning with an upbeat announcement on its 2005 performance.

The firm said that booming PFI orders had driven up profits by 40 per cent to £21.3 million.

John Laing's announcement followed a good a week for the FTSE 100, which was lifted by a number of high profile buyout stories, including one concerning the London Stock Exchange (LSE) itself.

This activity failed to lift the pound, which was down against the dollar and the euro during early trading this morning.

The pound was worth €1.447 and $1.726 a short time ago.

Following John Laing's announcement, the stock market will also hear from the clothing firm French Connection, oil company Cairn Energy, support services firm Alfred McAlpine and the insurance giant Prudential.

Towards the end of the week there will also be announcements from Legal & General, Aga Foodservice and the steel company Corus.