Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Packaging specialists DS Smith [LON:SMDS] have published full year results this morning covering the 12 months to 30th April. Despite the upswing in home shopping last year, COVID negatively impacted profits in Q1, before momentum recovered in Q3 & Q4. However there has also been an impact in input costs as increased demand globally pushed up prices of raw materials. That momentum picked up in the latter part of the last financial year has continued in recent months and the company notes that its focus on plastic free packaging is also positioning it well in an economy which is looking to be more sustainable.
AIM listed clinical diagnostics provider Novacyt [LON:NCYT] has published full year results and an update on its growth strategy. COVID-19 has been transformational for the business, with the company’s PCR testing portfolio finding itself in demand. Revenues jumped from £11m to £277m, whilst the post-tax loss of £3.4m seen a year ago has jumped to a post-tax profit of £132m. What happens next here is open to debate – sales run rates are falling back and although the company notes that the reopening of international travel could further stimulate demand, full year sales seem set to fall well short of the stellar figure seen in 2020.
The transport sector may be in a state of disarray, which makes news from National Express [LON:NEX] this morning of an acquisition somewhat eye catching. They’ve spent EUR13m on the purchase of Rober in Spain which operates the urban bus contract in Granada, and means further consolidation under the company’s wholly owned Spanish ALSA brand. NEX also notes that trading performance across the group continues to improve and now sits slightly ahead of management expectations, with notable new corporate shuttle wins in the US and UK. More details will be released here in the interims due at the end of July.
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