Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Full year numbers are out from BT Group [LON:BT] this morning, with the company very much looking to the future. The pandemic provided its own challenges which came on top of various regulatory challenges. That served to see revenues fall 7% and pre-tax profits drop by almost a quarter, but the company now seems convinced that a clearer path lies ahead. The dividend is suspended – as had been stated previously – and on most major metrics the company has performed in line with the stated outlook.
3i Group [LON:III] has also published full year numbers this morning with the company championing a strong performance despite the effects of the COVID pandemic. The net asset value grew by almost 20% and a total return of more than £1.7 billion was achieved on shareholder funds. The dividend has also been increased by an inflation-busing 10% and the company notes that the coming year is likely to bring with it more economic uncertainty. Having capitalised on that well in the last 12 months, there’s confidence that current trends can be maintained.
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Preliminary full year results from Burberry Group [LON:BRBY] have been released today, a period which runs up to the end of March. Given that reporting period, the headline figures are arguably quite impressive, with revenues off 11% and operating profits only down by 9%. Strong cash generation has allowed the dividend to be reinstated at 2019 levels, but perhaps the most insightful aspects of the data surround the Q4 performance. Like for like store sales were 32% ahead of the 2020 position and only 5% lower than the same period in 2019, despite an average of 16% of stores being closed. Full price sales also saw robust growth, making for another datapoint that supports the idea of pent up economic demand as we hopefully now move beyond the pandemic.
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