Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
British Land Company
Property developers British Land [LON:BLND] have this morning published half year numbers. The sector has had a rough ride through the year as a result of COVID but the note offers some optimism for investors. Portfolio valuations are off by just 7% and recent disposals have been at prices ahead of book values. The company has good liquidity headroom, although EPS has fallen by 35% as adjustment for bad debts in the future are accounted for. The dividend is being reinstated although is down by almost 50% from the interim payment made a year ago.
Tool hire business Speedy Hire [LON:SDY] has also published results for the six months to September 30th today. They note that revenues are off by 20%, which has driven the adjusted earnings per share some 65% lower. Demand continues to improve and although rentals in October were still 3.5% down on 2019 levels, utilisation levels were up, suggesting a more efficient operation. All tax deferrals have now been repaid and the company won’t be paying an interim dividend, although a full year payment is expected.
Halfords [LON:HFD] has announced interim results up to October 2nd. The company fared well through the period, with revenues up almost 10% and pre-tax profits more than doubling. With this in mind, the modest erosion in margins can probably be overlooked. The company is now recruiting new staff to fill a number of service oriented roles across the store network and although the uptick in cycling has helped, the autocentres business also thrived during the period, thanks in part to recent acquisitions.
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