Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
There’s a Q4 trading update out from Dunelm [LON:DNLM] this morning, covering the period to June 27th. Clearly the numbers here were hit hard by the COVID crisis with all stores shutting in March, but the company was able to get onto the ‘permitted’ list of retailers in May, whilst the recent investment in online channels has also yielded dividends. Total sales for the quarter were down 28%, with online sales up 105%. Full year sales were down 3.9% and profits are tipped to be around 20% lower. The company reserves a cautious outlook given the uncertainties that continue to linger around COVID and notes that the costs involved in maintaining social distancing protocols run to around £150,000 a week.
McCarthy & Stone
Retirement community developers McCarthy & Stone [LON:MCS] have published half year results today. The company has taken a hit across the board in terms of performance metrics and the dividend has been suspended. The company is as much a social care provider as it is housebuilder, but one line that may provoke some debate is the fact that 55% of employees on furlough – admittedly those from the build and sales side – had then volunteered to help homeowners. As a sector, housebuilders have been reluctant to draw on government support, although this is something of an atypical company given the breadth of services it delivers. There’s little visibility available to form opinions over where the company goes from here in the short term, but management believes this crisis has shown the benefits of the supported independent living model for seniors.
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Full year numbers for Dixons Carphone [LON:DC] covering the period to May 2nd are out today. Very modest growth in electricals revenue was overshadowed by another poor performance from the mobile division, although there are some signs of optimism. Online sales were up 22%, including a 166% jump in April. Losses have also been reduced, with the company noting how the closure of small stand-alone mobile stores in the UK is helping here. There’s an awareness that the fall-out from the COVID pandemic will rock consumer confidence but the focus on delivering technology to the mass market serves a very real purpose. No guidance for the year ahead is offered.
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