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

Barclays

Bumper profits have been announced from Barclays as the bank reaches the half-way mark through the year. A colossal 188% increase has been recorded, with the fact the bank has avoided significant restructuring costs this time around being seen as instrumental in having bolstered the figure.

Rolls Royce

Half year numbers are out from Rolls Royce today, but these are somewhat blighted by the exceptional charges the company is having to wear as a result of engine problems. Many airlines across the globe have seen their 787 fleets grounded as engine overhauls take place, leading to an exceptional charge of £554m being applied. This is one factor that’s contributing to a reported loss of £775m for the first half, significantly worse than the £103m of a year ago. It’s not all gloom however – revenues are up 14% so customers are still willing to spend, but the company seems to lurch from one crisis to the next.

Mitchells and Butlers

Mitchells and Butlers have today published a third quarter update. The company owns brands ranging from All Bar One to Harvester and the story is similar to one we have seen before. The hot weather combined with world cup fever did great things for the sales of drinks – up 3.9% – although it has been rather more challenging for the food side of the business, where sales fell 1.8% over the last 11 weeks. With the company still battling cost headwinds, the upward trend in revenues is unlikely to see profits above expectations.

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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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