Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
A four-month trading update from ASOS [LON:ASC] is out this morning, with the online fashion retailer seeing a stronger than anticipated start to the year. That included a record Black Friday and revenues for the group rising by 20% across the period. Gross margins have however been eroded – down 1.7% – with customer acquisition costs taking a toll here. The company is committed to building on this strong start to its trading year and the outlook for FY 2020 remains unchanged.
Hotel Chocolat [LON:HOTC] has published its half year trading update today, showing sales up 14% against the same period a year ago. Details are relatively light, but growth was higher in the first quarter and supply chain inefficiencies meant the cost of that expansion was greater than had been forecast. The company also notes that it has launched a vegan chocolate bar, which has received a strong response from consumers. Expansion of the company’s retail network globally is delivering growth and investors may take reassurance from the fact that growing the international footprint remains high on the agenda.
PPHE Hotel Group
PPHE [LON:PPH], the hotel owner/operator behind brands including Park Plaza, issued a year-end trading update today. The reported RevPAR – revenue per available room – rose by 6% whilst occupancy rates increase by 1.2%. the company has a strong pipeline of future developments planned and expects full year results to be in line with Board expectations.