Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
B&M European Retail
B&M European Retail [LON:BME] published full year results this morning, with the company recording bumper sales growth, thanks in part to its designation as an essential retailer in the UK. Revenues were up by more than 25%, pre-tax profits rose by more than 100% and shareholders are being rewarded with a more than doubling of dividends. It also seems worth noting that the company waived £80m worth of rate relief and repaid £3.7m of furlough money received at the start of the pandemic. The company acknowledges that the abnormal year has delivered some very tough comparatives so there will be a like for like reduction in sales, although on a two-year basis, the trend is expected to remain positive.
There’s a solid trading update out from Foxtons [LON:FOXT] today, with the company reporting strong growth in the sales commission pipeline, which is now 65% ahead of last year and up 17% from January 2021. As a result of this strong momentum, adjusted operating profits for the first half are expected to be significantly ahead of the figures reported in both 2020 and 2019. The company will be holding a capital markets event this afternoon.
Pennon [LON:PNN] has full year numbers out today, but there seems to be little of surprise there. Pre-tax profits are down around 15%, but add in proceeds from the sale of Viridor and the picture looks a lot more impressive. The bad debt provision the company made as the COVID pandemic broke last year remains largely intact, with bad debts still well within the regulator’s guidelines. Shareholders will see a capital return of £1.5 billion – equivalent to £3.55 a share – off the back of that Viridor disposal, although it’s worth noting that this will push the stock well out of contention for the FTSE-100.
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