Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
There’s a note out from Aviva this morning, announcing the immediate stepping down of their CEO Mark Wilson. The search for a successor hasn’t yet started so Mr Wilson will stay with the business for six months to ease the transition. The subtext is that the company’s health may have improved significantly over the six year tenure of the CEO, but there’s much further for the business to go with the Chairman’s statement noting a new leader is required to deliver the full potential. As we’ve seen recently with announcements of executive departures, the market is unlikely to take this news well.
Greggs have published a trading update this morning, with sales up 7.3% over the July-September period. That’s especially impressive given the strong comparatives the company was working against with a solid performance being seen for the same quarter a year ago, too. Full year expectations are unchanged and the company is on course to see the total number of stores in operation grow by around 100 for the year.
Recruitment specialists Robert Walters have posted a record third quarter performance, with fee income up 13%. Strong revenue growth has been seen across continental Europe and the Asia Pacific region, whilst the fact UK fee income managed to rise too can perhaps be seen as a positive signal about the state of the wider economy. There’s no indication that this should change full year expectations but the global footprint of the business does seem to be giving some valuable diversification.