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Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.

888 Holdings

888 Holdings [LON:888] has published a Q2 update this morning, covering the three months to June 30th. A sharp increase in B2C revenues – which it attributes to a number of factors including a long-term positive customer acquisition trend – has helped boost the group performance by 10%, coming in slightly ahead of expectations. The company is however mindful that revenues have fallen in the wake of UK retail and leisure venues reopening after COVID lockdowns, with domestic revenues some 20% lower than they were a year ago. Strategic plays into the US market along with tech improvements are expected to provide further support.


Recruiters PageGroup [LON:PAGE] have posted Q2 numbers today and this shows a market surging back to life, albeit one that is still operating slightly below pre-COVID levels. Group profits came in at £219m, against £118m last year and £224m in 2019, although costs are around 5% lower than was the case two years ago. Full year operating profits are now expected to be in the £125m-£135m range, a significant uplift from the £90m-£100m noted back in April.

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JD Wetherspoon

JD Wetherspoon [LON:JDW] has published an update today ahead of full year results due on October 1st. There’s not too much in there and aside from what appears to be a spurious comparison of supermarket profitability vs that for the pub industry as a defence for VAT cuts – the former has significantly higher turnover – the key takeaway is that for the financial year starting July 26th, best estimates remain that sales will be in line with FY2019. Despite the market turmoil as a result of lockdowns, the group has also opened two new pubs over the last six months, and has a pipeline which includes a further 18 additional venues.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

Stocks in Focus

Here are some of the smaller companies we are following most closely. They all represent significant growth stories in our view. Our in-depth reports go into more detail on why we like them.


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