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

Diageo

There’s a slightly tepid trading update out from Diageo [LON:DGE] this morning, ahead of today’s AGM. Full year revenues are expected to be around the mid-point of the 4%-6% range which is targeted by the company over the medium term, but there’s a degree of caution present, too. Strong comparatives from last year suggest that profit growth may be a little lower and the note acknowledges the risk of changes to global trade policies having the ability to adversely impact future performance.

Saga Group

Interim numbers from Saga Group [LON:SAGA] are out today and the overriding message being pushed by the business is that good progress is being made with the turn-around plan. The numbers themselves however tell a stark tale. Pre-tax profits are down a little over 50%, the interim dividend has been culled by a similar proportion and total net debts have jumped almost 65%. Full year profits are expected to be in the £105m-£120m range.

Next

More from the retail sector this morning, with half year results published by Next [LON:NXT]. The company continues to struggle on the high street, but online shopping is lending meaningful support to the business with the digital channel now seeing higher total sales than the physical equivalent. That has been sufficient to lift group sales for the period by 3.7%, whilst earnings per share have risen 7.5%. Interim dividends are also being boosted and the outlook for the full year remains unchanged.

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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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