Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
Half year results from Domino’s Pizza group are out this morning and neither the cold Spring nor the unseasonably hot summer appear to be taking a bite out of profits. Group sales are up almost 13%, with continental European operations faring well, too. There have been some delays in bedding in the Norwegian market specifically in terms of pricing and debts are creeping higher, but with an 8% hike in dividends, investors may be willing to take the glass-half-full view here.
Half year numbers from IHG Hotels, the company behind brands including Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, have just been published and the numbers look good across the board. The company’s expansion in China is seen as particularly lucrative. Revenues are up 7% – just beating expectations – and the operating profit is up 10%, so this growing margin should provide some cheer. A 10% dividend hike plus news of falling debts ought to add to the positive theme.
It’s been a tough year for Interserve with shares down by around two thirds and today’s results show the turn around strategy remains a work in progress. The company is backing out of several business areas which itself will come with costs so it’s whether the progress reported today is actually brisk enough that counts. Management are putting a brave face on, despite a pre-tax loss of £6m being posted, down from profits of £25m for the same period a year ago.