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Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.


Full year numbers are out from Cranswick [LON:CWK] this morning, covering the period to March 28th. Revenues are up 16%, adjusted profits up almost 14% and margins have held steady. The company notes that export revenues jumped strongly in the period too, but as with so many companies reporting year ends around the start of the COVID pandemic hitting Europe, the greatest focus is on what is happening now. The company notes that the new financial year has started on a positive note, although there are longer term potential consequences to tackle both in terms of uncertainty stemming from the health pandemic as well as the conclusion of Brexit transition talks.  The company hasn’t had to rely on government COVID support schemes and site based colleagues will each receive a £500 bonus to reward their valued contribution through the crisis.

Shoe Zone

Half year numbers for the period to April 4th are out from Shoe Zone [LON:SHOE] this morning. Year on year, performance for the winter was broadly similar but again it’s what happens next which is of greater importance. The company embarked on an online sales drive in the early stages of the crisis and had good success pushing volumes here, helped by aggressive discounting. Some stores won’t reopen and costs have been trimmed, whilst the cash conservation also extends to the suspension of dividend payments. The company notes that the challenges of the shutdown will be felt for some time yet.

Speedy Hire

Tool rental specialist Speedy Hire [LON:SDY] has published full year results this morning, for the period to end of March. Underlying results show revenues and pre-tax profits both up just over 3% whilst asset utilisation held steady at just over 56%. COVID has taken a toll on the business with April revenues down by 35% from a year earlier and June’s figure reduced by 17%. Reopening of the network is now underway but in line with many other businesses who have benefitted from government support, the company will not be proposing a final dividend payment.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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