Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. easyJet losses lower than expected
With the travel sector seemingly having been tipped back into disarray over the latest COVID-19 variant news, full year numbers from easyJet [LON:EZJ] this morning make for interesting reading. Whilst a headline loss of £1.1 billion has been recorded, this is evidently ahead of expectations and current revenues for summer 2022 are ahead of the pre-pandemic comparators. Looking further ahead, the plan is to grow to pre-pandemic capacity by 2023 and the company notes it still has £4.4 billion of liquidity on hand. The question however is just how bruising the Omicron variant will prove to be.
#2. Marstons like-for-like sales since July up 102% on pre-pandemic numbers
PubCo Marstons [LON:MARS] has also published full year results, covering the 52 weeks to 2nd October. One stand-out stat here is that like-for-like sales since July – when restrictions were fully lifted – came in at 102% of the pre-pandemic position. The balance sheet has been strengthened, further debt reduction plans are in place and the company sees benefit in its estate of largely suburban, freehold pubs. There is however no specific mention of the latest COVID variant although as matters stand, Christmas bookings are reported as being encouraging.
#3. BATM Advance Communications test kits validated against Omicron variant
There’s an interesting note out from BATM Advance Communications [LON:BVC] which made a move into COVID diagnostics some months back. Their test kits have been validated as being effective against the Omicron variant, something that as well as being good for the business itself, may also give optimism on a sector-wide basis.