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


easyJet [LON:EZJ] has published its full year results this morning, a set of numbers which are understandably dominated by the impact of COVID. Passenger numbers for the year halved, although by efficient trimming of schedules, load factors only fell 4.3% to 87.2%. Cost per seat did however lurch higher as the impact of fixed elements was felt. The company has raised a lot of fresh liquidity – some £2.4billion worth – over the last year, and to put this in context, cash burn in the final quarter was £651m. No dividend has been declared and given the short term uncertainty, there’s no guidance either.


A trading update from Aggreko [LON:AGK] this morning covers the first nine months of the year. The COVID pandemic has seen many large events cancelled, impacting the company’s performance but profits are expected to come in towards the upper end of the previously stated guidance range of £80-£100m. Perhaps more interesting are the company’s expectations for the year ahead, where expectations that the Tokyo Olympics proceed as planned and on the assumption oil prices stay stable, a pre-tax profit of £170-£190m can be realised.

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Imperial Brands

Full year numbers from Imperial Brands [LON:IMB] are out today, showing sales advancing 3.1% but operating profits racing up by 24.3%. Any investors hoping this would pave the way for a reversal in the dividend rebasement are however set to be disappointed, with the company scaling back payments by a third as it looks to reduce debt. That said, the company believes it can build on this performance for the coming year with low to mid single digit organic growth possible, although manufacturing inefficiencies caused by COVID-19 disruption will continue to weigh.

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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.

Stocks in Focus

Here are some of the smaller companies we are following most closely. They all represent significant growth stories in our view. Our in-depth reports go into more detail on why we like them.


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