Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
More upbeat news from Dunelm Group [LON:DNLM] this morning, with the home furnishings provider issuing a trading update for the first seven weeks of the final quarter. Sales were up 59% against the 2019 comparative, with physical stores having been open for five of those seven weeks. The chilly spring weather is seen as having been one driver here, along with pent up demand in general, but ultimately the company is now in a position to upgrade its pre-tax profit forecast for the full year to more than £148m, well ahead of analyst expectations.
Premier Foods [LON:PFD] has published preliminary results for the year to April 3rd, showing a 10% increase in revenues and an almost 12% uptick in trading profits. The CEO heralds the year as having been outstanding for the company, which has critically allowed the reinstatement of dividends for the first time in 13 years. The company has grown its consumer base over the last 12 months and initial trading in the first weeks of the new financial year is in line with expectations. The critical test here will be maintaining momentum as the out of home hospitality sector reopens.
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Mitchells & Butlers
Half year numbers from the pub and restaurant group Mitchells & Butlers [LON:MAB] are out today, covering the period to April 10th. The sector has understandably struggled with lockdown and this is no exception, although the balance sheet has been bolstered by a significant equity raise. Revenues were £219m, down from the £1,039m recorded a year ago, whilst pre tax losses advanced from £121m to £200m. Perhaps the most important point here is how the group has performed over the last five weeks on a like for like basis as it reopens the estate. This covers outdoor sales which came in at 63% of the total (outdoor & indoor) seen pre-COVID. Given the poor weather, investors might be able to find something worth raising a glass to in that news.
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