Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. Ultra-luxury carmaker, Aston Martin Lagonda sales beat expectations
There’s a full year trading update out from Aston Martin Lagonda [LON:AML] today, Details are relatively light with the big news coming in full year results which will be published at the end of next month, but the company has beaten its wholesale target, underpinning confidence in the future. Management have reiterated medium-term objectives of £2bn revenues and £500m EBITDA being delivered by 2024/25.
#2. Lookers PLC full year profits set to beat expectations
The motor retailer, Lookers PLC [LON:LOOK], and aftersales company has issued a trading and strategy update this morning, covering the financial year to 31st December. They expect record underlying profits to be posted, which will come in ahead of consensus forecasts of £82m. Q4 trading remained strong, helped along by exceptionally high margins for both new and used vehicles alike, diligent cost control and like for like growth in aftersales revenues. Notably the company has also turned at £47m debt position from a year ago into a £8m cash surplus and has also repaid in full the COVID job retention scheme support it received from the government. The availability of new vehicles is however leaving management to strike a slightly cautious note when it comes to prospects for the year ahead.
#3. Sale completes for Smiths Group, triggers share buyback
Smiths Group [LON:SMIN] has this morning confirmed it has completed the sale of Smiths Medical to ICU Medical with an enterprise value of $2.7 billion. The proceeds will in part be used to fund a £740m share buy back, with the balance being deployed to accelerate value creative growth and support the balance sheet.