Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Insurers Beazley [LON:BEZ] have published full year results this morning, which have the potential to leave investors with something to cheer. Gross premiums may be 15% ahead, but thanks to a bumper investment return, profit before tax is up 250%. The gloss was taken off these numbers by an “adverse claims experience” across several lines of business, but shareholders are at least being rewarded with a 5% increase in the dividend payout.
There’s a short trading update out from catering group Compass Group [LON:CPG] this morning ahead of the company’s AGM. Organic revenue over the last three months of 2019 grew by 5.3%, helped by a particularly strong performance in North America, which offset flat trade in Europe. The company reports an encouraging start to 2020 with organic growth expected to hold around the 4%-6% level.
A sanguine trading update from Royal Mail [LON:RMG] is also out today, covering the peak Christmas period. Given that coincided with a general election, the postal operator saw group revenues (adjusted for working days) rise by 4.5%, although strip out the election post and addressed letter volumes fell by 8%, showing this side of the business continues to struggle. The company notes that the outlook remains challenging, with ongoing industrial relations issues combined with that decline in letter volumes set to continue dragging on its fortunes.
- Big buyers stay bullish on Royal Mail
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