Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
B&M European Value Retail
Half year results from B&M European Value Retail [LON:BME] have been published today. Covering the 26 week period to September 26th, group revenues rose by more than 25%, with store openings continuing despite the uncertain trading backdrop. Shareholders are set to be rewarded with almost a 60% increase in dividends, plus a special 25p per share pay out as the company looks to return surplus cash. Management see the diversified product range as providing a degree of insulation against the looming economic uncertainty and current restrictions also permit stores – at least in England – to sell a full range of products, which has the potential to bode well for H2.
Young And Co’s Brewery
Pub operator Young’s [LON:YNGA] has published half year numbers for the 26 weeks to September 28th today. Lockdown has taken a toll on the business, despite it them performing well as the industry reopened. One point worthy of note however is that in the period between reporting date and the most recent lockdown, trading at the managed houses division had been at almost 75% of last year’s levels. The company also received a boost from the staycation market, with properties in the South West and in coastal regions faring especially well. Concerns are however high over the outlook, especially given the uncertainty over hosting Christmas parties next month.
Q3 numbers from ITV [LON:ITV] are out, with advertising trends improving and 85% of the 230 planned TV productions now back underway following lockdown restrictions earlier in the year. These metrics have taken a further hit as a result of the latest government restrictions, but the company is confident when it comes to the outlook. For the first nine months, total external revenues were 16% lower. However there is some optimism about the current situation with Q4 tipped to show ad revenue around 6% higher than a year earlier, assuming England’s lockdown ends as planned on December 2nd.
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