Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Full year numbers have been released by house builder Bellway [LON:BWY] this morning, showing revenues up an impressive 8.6% but profits aren’t quite keeping pace following a squeeze on margins. These are moderating towards more normal levels, although the company remains in good health. Brexit risks are cited and the note also adds that this year’s numbers benefitted from a one off, high margin development in London. Right now however, investors may be placated by the news that they will be rewarded with a 5.2% increase in the dividend.
Recruiter Hays [LON:HAS] has published a Q1 update, with fee income shuffling a little higher against a backdrop of tough macroeconomic conditions globally. The company is however keen to note that in 10 countries, fees grew by more than 10% over the period, although Germany and the UK proved rather more challenging.
Brewer and pub operator Marston’s [LON:MARS] has published a full year trading update this morning. Pub sales are up by 3%, with new properties driving growth here and although beer revenues were weaker, up by just 1%, last year’s tough comparatives need to be taken into account here. The company has been stockpiling ahead of the expected Brexit date at the end of the month although net debt remains in line with expectations. There is a commitment to reduce this figure, but against an uncertainty economic backdrop, investors may well see these numbers as being a glass half full affair.