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

Barratt Developments

There’s a trading update out from Barratt Developments [LON:BDEV] this morning, covering the year ending June 30th ahead of full year results which will be published in September. All construction sites are now open once again, but lockdown has taken a significant toll on completions, off by almost one third. Although sales activity has rebounded since reopening, levels are around 10% down on weekly averages from last year. Forward sales are however stronger than they were a year ago and the company has a resilient balance sheet.  Barratt did use the government furlough scheme, but adds that the resilience of its financial position means all monies received will now be repaid.

Eddie Stobart Logistics

Full year results from Eddie Stobart Logistics [LON:ESL] are out today covering the period to November 30th and the bottom line isn’t pretty. Some hefty impairment charges have seen the company tumble to a significant loss of around £230m, some ten times worse than the figure posted a year ago. Problems have been ongoing at the business following accounting shortfalls and the chairman’s note is keen to try and draw a line under these issues. With revenues for the year up by almost 10% there could be promise here. The dividend has been suspended.

Boohoo Group

Boohoo Group [LON:BOO] has posted a response this morning following the Sunday Times investigative piece which found some dire working practices in a Leicester clothing factory. The story is somewhat complicated as the supplier highlighted isn’t a declared supplier of boohoo, although there’s no disputing the fact that the company’s garments were in the factory. There are echoes of the Sports Direct working practices here which were revealed by the Guardian almost five years back and saw shares tumble as a result. There’s a slightly more distant relationship here, but the investor response will be worth watching regardless.

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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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