Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Half year results for the period to October 31st are out from Dixons Carphone [LON:DC] this morning and make for interesting reading. Despite the closure of stores in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has driven online sales significantly, with UK electrical sales growing, although the smaller mobile phone division has been hit hard. There will now it seems be some challenging questions for the company, which has benefitted from over £100m worth of furlough payments and business rate holidays, as an £89m profit for the period has been posted up from just £2m in the previous year. The position isn’t as defined as that of the big supermarkets, but poses interesting ethical questions nonetheless.
There’s a pre-close trading statement out from Bunzl [LON:BNZL] today, noting that group revenue for the year is expected to be up by 8%, having been supported by the sale of own brand products such as gloves, masks and hand sanitiser. The note adds in a slightly cryptic fashion that margin has benefitted significantly from the mix of products sold and is expected to be higher than the prior year. Upside here is however expected to be short lived with 2021 sales set to be lower and margins returning to more normal levels.
The Airline industry
Another headache for the struggling airline industry this morning with the Competition and Markets Authority announcing that it is to investigate whether cash refunds should have been offered if passengers couldn’t lawfully take flights. The November lockdown prohibited travel for leisure purposes so the question is whether those passengers who were offered vouchers or rebooking options should have instead been given a cash refund. This is in the early stages and will be a comparatively small sum of money, but the sector continues to battle against significant headwinds.
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