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

#1. Associated British Foods to pay our full year and special dividend

Full year results are out from Associated British Foods [LON:ABF] for the year to 18th September. In the food business, revenues were up by 10% whilst operating profits rose by 10% and over at Primark, profits jumped an eye catching 15%. Shareholders are being rewarded with both a full year and a special dividend, taking payouts for the year to a total of 40.5p per share. In terms of outlook, Primark store reopening is expected to have a material impact on the upside for profitability moving forward, so long as restrictions aren’t reimposed.

#2. Rolls Royce funding in place for small modular reactor business

Rolls Royce Holding [LON:RR] has confirmed that funding is now in place for its small modular reactor business, which will see a series of micro nuclear power stations being built as the UK looks to go carbon netural. The plants will be the size of two football pitches, whilst producing enough energy to power 1 million homes. 80% of the components could also be delivered by a UK supply chain and production is expected to be focused on the North of the UK, where there’s already significant nuclear expertise.

#3. Direct Line commercial division sees strong growth

A Q3 trading update from Direct Line Insurance Group [LON:DLG] shows that across the book, gross written premiums are largely unchanged, although the ‘commercial’ division saw notably strong growth, illustrating the benefits of an ongoing transformation plan. Weather claims for the year to date are just £20m against a budget assumption of £69m and the previously stated outlook is being reiterated.

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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.

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