Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
There’s a trading update out from Dunelm Group [LON:DNLM] this morning and what has arguably become the star of UK mainstream retail continues to shine. Pent up demand following the COVID lockdown meant that July’s sales were up 59% on a year-on-year basis, with August sales rising by a more measured – but still impressive – 24%. Those figures are materially ahead of expectations but the business remains cautious over the longer term outlook, given the risk of further local or national lockdowns. Preliminary results are due next week.
Oxford Biomedica [LON:OXB] has this morning announced that it has signed an 18 month supply agreement with AstraZeneca for large-scale commercial manufacture of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. AstraZeneca will pay Oxford Biomedica £15million upfront as a capacity reservation fee, with an expectation of additional revenues in excess of £35million until the end of 2021. The deal can be extended for a further 18 months if necessary. The note adds that ‘Oxford Biomedica does not expect any impact to the Group’s current partnerships or ability to secure and support additional new partnerships in the cell and gene therapy field’.
There’s a fairly long note out from Saga [LON:SAGA] this morning, tackling the company’s need to refinance. It flags the fact that an unsolicited bid for the company from US investors had been made at 33p a share, something which the company has already rejected. Saga’s former owner is putting up £100m, whilst a prospective cap raise of a further £150m will be launched around the time of the interim results announcement next week. Given the company only has a c. £150m market cap at present, that’s a significant fund raising exercise and one that the market will no doubt watch with interest.
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