Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
De La Rue
Full year numbers from secure printers De La Rue this morning have shown headlines of a 12% increase in revenues and a 6% uplift in adjusted profits. The company is however aware of the fact that tough trading conditions lie ahead – they will lose the UK passport contract in 2020 and there are competitive pressures in the banknote market. The company will attempt to address this with a three year cost reduction plan, trimming £20m of annual spend by 2022. The proposed dividend is unchanged at 25p.
Chapel Down, the UK brewer and winemaker, has published impressive full year results today. Sales are up 10% and profits have risen by a fraction more, thanks to a bumper harvest. That will be something worth watching however – yields were almost doubled thanks to favourable weather conditions. The company is on a strong trajectory and the diversification into beers and spirits provides some insulation from issues with grape harvests but extraneous factors such as the Great British Summer cannot be ignored.
Full year numbers are out from First Group this morning, too. These are ahead of the company’s expectations with revenues up 5.7%, operating profits up 10.5% and EPS up 15.2%. Arguably however the more interesting notes lie in the strategy update which has also been published with the business distinctly cool on the outlook for its UK rail operations. There is disquiet that the franchise operators are being expected to assume too much risk here – shareholders will likely be reassured that this metric is being acknowledged now.