Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. British American Tobacco sees growth in “non-combustible” market
British American Tobacco [LON:BATS] published its second half pre-close trading update this morning. There’s not too much detail in here, but the company lists out the growth it has achieved in the “non-combustible” market, where another 3.6 million users have been added during the first nine months of the year. Traditional cigarette sales are also nudging fractionally higher, with the company also noting volume recovery and market share growth in key emerging markets.
#2. Ashtead upgrades expectations for the full year
Plant hire specialists Ashtead [LON:AHT] have published H1 and Q2 results up to October 31st. These note record performance across the business, with rental revenues up by 20%, 58 new locations added in the US and $1.2bn worth of capital having been invested. Interim dividends are being hiked by 28% and the company is upgrading expectations on the full year results. Critically, those rental revenues are also 14% ahead of the corresponding pre-COVID figure.
#3. PageGroup expects full year operating profits to be higher than forecast
PageGroup [LON:PAGE] has published a brief trading update for October and November ahead of its virtual capital markets day on Thursday. Positive momentum has been sustained, with growth in October up 16% vs 2019 and November being 26% higher than pre-COVID levels. The group now expects full year operating profits to be in the region of £165m, some £10m higher than the figure telegraphed in the Q3 trading update released at the start of October.