Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. easyJet charting a course beyond COVID turbulence?
easyJet [LON:EZJ] has published a Q1 trading statement today, covering the period to 31st December. Bookings are ticking higher in the wake of the government removing inbound testing restrictions, and even with Omicron weighing on near term bookings, the company is critically on course to fly as many planes in the peak Q4 season of 2022 as it did pre-pandemic. Those Omicron concerns were however seen as being responsible for driving loads to 70%, below the forecast 80% figure.
#2. AO World pandemic boost could be waning
Electrical retailer AO World [LON:AO.] has published its Q3 numbers this morming. Group revenues are lower than they were for the same quarter last year, but sit significantly higher than was the case in 2019. Full year estimates may remain in line with the guidance given in November, but the fact the stickiness of customers post-pandemic appears to be waning could be cause for concern. Also, a slew of challenges facing the German business have resulted in the company initiating a strategic review to ensure shareholders are getting best value here. There’s no detail as to what this might look like, but rising competition and costs could mean that the company’s continental foray may prove short lived.
#3. Fuller, Smith & Turner pre-Christmas drinking hit by Omicron
There’s a short statement out from Fuller, Smith & Turner [LON:FSTA], the premium pub business, covering the 43 weeks to 22nd January. Like for like sales have been at 81% of 2019 levels, although for the four weeks to 1st January, the company only saw 72% of pre-pandemic trade. As such they’re welcoming the government’s news that employees should return to work, something which serves to bolster customer numbers in city centre pubs and bars. The next update however isn’t due until the release of full year numbers in early June.