Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Q4 results have been published by Ashtead Group [LON:AHT], the plant and equipment hire specialists, this morning. The company has seen a bumper performance for the reporting period, with revenues up 23% and operating profit up by 95% being just two of the key headlines here. That’s outperformed the market, although with the comparative catching the early stages of the COVID pandemic, the numbers do look inflated. However to have posted 3% revenue growth on an annualised basis does underline that the business is robust enough to perform well both in good times and more challenging ones. It’s proposed shareholders receive around a 5% increase in dividends for the full year.
Fast fashion group Boohoo Group [LON:BOO] has published a trading statement for the three months to May 31st and despite the reopening of non-essential retail along with the company having to contend with some legacy supplier issues, demand for the company’s products remains rampant. Group sales were up 32% against the same period in 2020 and 91% higher than the figure reported in 2019. Gross margins remain well above 50% and during the period, the company has successfully integrated a number of the high street brands it acquired from Arcadia earlier this year. Guidance remains unchanged, although this is for punchy annual sales growth of 25% in the medium term.
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On The Beach
Travel agency On The Beach [LON:OTB] has published results for the six months to March 31st. Unsurprisingly, the sector continues to have a torrid time, with revenues almost 80% lower than reported in the same period a year earlier and the picture seems unlikely to improve any time soon, as back in May, the agent suspended the sale of new holidays before September 2021. Given the volte-face seen from the government over travel to Portugal, the company notes that it is pleased its decision over closing down sales was taken early. Although recovery will take some time, the company believes it is well positioned to grow market share in the years ahead.
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