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

Ashtead

There’s a half year update from the vehicle and plant leasing firm, Ashtead, out this morning. Revenues are up 18% and pre-tax profits have risen 19% over the period, sufficient to leave the group to upgrade its full year expectations. Investors are being rewarded with an 18% uptick in the dividend.

RM

More good news in a trading update from RM, the tech provider servicing many educational outlets. Following a successful acquisition and strong international growth, the company is now achieving double digit profit margins. The board now expects full year results – which will be released in early February – to come in slightly ahead of expectations.

Carpetright

Flooring specialists Carpetright have published half year results today. The company has been battling for survival this year, having been through a CVA and raising emergency cash to keep the business ticking over. The numbers however still don’t look great – 65 underperforming stores have been closed, yet like for like sales are down almost 13%. Mainland Europe operations are performing better than the UK, but with the domestic market still accounting for 75% of revenue, this may offer little comfort to shareholders.

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.

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