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

Dunelm Group

Another set of bumper numbers from Dunelm [LON:DNLM] have been released this morning, covering the quarter to 26th September. Sales jumped 36% from a year earlier, with the proportion of digital sales advancing to 29.7%, up from 17.6%. With the benefit of hindsight, Dunelm’s push into a proper multi-channel strategy couldn’t have been more timely. Margins also improved as a result of less discounting and the net cash position advanced by £200m, too. The company however remains cautious over the outlook, with macroeconomic headwinds and the ongoing challenge of the COVID virus clouding its ability to provide any guidance.


There’s a year end trading update from Marston’s [LON:MARS] out today, which paints an interesting picture. The pub sector was forced to close for 15 weeks, resulting in a 30% decline in group sales for the year. Support was seen from beer sales through the ‘off trade’ and in the 13 weeks since reopening, pub sales were just 10% lower. However fresh local restrictions are undermining confidence and weighing on the outlook. Cash which is set to be realised from the sale of Marston’s Beer Company into a JV with Carlsberg will provide valuable liquidity and could prove pivotal for the business.

AO World

AO World [LON:AO] has published a half year trading update, covering the six months to September 30th. The company notes a step change in online penetration following the COVID lockdown, with sales holding up despite physical stores reopening. Group revenues are 57% ahead of the previous year’s position, with notable growth being seen in the nascent German division as it moves towards profitability. Assuming current customer behaviours stick – and the macroeconomic headwinds don’t become too strong – then it’s difficult to see why this wouldn’t bode well for the company in the medium term.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

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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