Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Half year numbers from house builder Crest Nicholson [LON:CRST] are out this morning, covering the period to April 30th. There’s quite a lot of detail in the report but the stand out point is the tumbling revenue against the same period last year, down over 50% although this was book-ended by political uncertainty ahead of the general election and the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown. Forward sales have however held up well, down around 10% from a year earlier. Interestingly when compared with some of its peers, the company has used the government job retention scheme to furlough staff, but has at least suspended dividend payments for the foreseeable future.
Full year results are out from Naked Wines [LON:WINE] today, covering the period to March 30th. Revenues are up by 14% and losses have been halved. The company continues to make good progress in terms of expanding its US operation, whilst the final few weeks of the reporting period saw sales accelerate as the COVID lockdown took hold. Uncertainty regarding the wider economic backdrop is however lingering, but management believes that the enforced period of online shopping will help support their model going forward.
A surprisingly tight statement from Wetherspoons [LON:JDW] over its pub reopening plans this morning, without the seemingly customary narrative from Tim Martin. In light of yesterday’s government briefing, its pubs will reopen on July 4th. New pub projects for the next 12 months have been shelved and the findings of an employee survey are also contained in the note. Depending how that is interpreted, questions may be asked over the company’s ability to resource its premises fully in just over a week’s time – of the c. 44,000 employees, 82% responded and just over 31,500 stated they are in a position to return to work immediately. The intentions of that missing 18% could prove critical to the smooth running of its 900 or so pubs.
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