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

DS Smith

Packaging company DS Smith has released half year results this morning, which continue to play to the idea that this sector has a strong future infront of it, not least given the unstoppable popularity of e-commerce. Revenues are up 15%, pre-tax profits up by 28%, whilst return on sales is also improving. The planned disposal of the plastics side of the business could yet yield an attractive return if the right price can be achieved.

easyHotel

Full year results from easyHotel are out today, showing the chain continues to expand with room count up 42% on a year ago. Sales are up by a quarter, although profits have risen by a rather more modest 1.4%. Occupancy rates have moved above 80% and the Revpar – revenue per available room – moved 11.4% higher.

Beazley Group

Insurance and underwriting specialist Beazley has published a trading update today with details of its exposure to the Californian wildfires. The company say it estimates claims in the region of $40 million arising from the from the disaster and adds that underlying investment market volatility is hampering the company’s portfolio performance, where year to date returns are a mere 0.5%.

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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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