Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
easyJet [LON:EZJ] has published a trading update for the six months to March this morning. The period started well for the company with headline costs falling as a result of the weaker fuel price. Given the circumstances of the entire fleet being grounded and with no indication of a restart date available, these are rather complex figures to try and extract much from. One point of note is that customers whose flights have been cancelled are offered a refund, exchange or credit note. Less than half have requested a cash refund, allowing the airline to preserve valuable working capital.
Rentokil Initial [LON:RTO] has also published a Q1 trading update this morning, although again it’s difficult to extract much of a pattern from the numbers. The business had a good start to the year with group revenues up by 7.2%, but lockdowns across many countries have taken their toll. However the global footprint of the business does offer some cause for optimism – in Hong Kong, where restrictions are being lifted, performance has been exceptionally strong. Demand for specialist hygiene services has seen revenues jump by 34.5% whilst across the border in China, all the company’s employees have been able to return to work. There are still may unknowns but if the recovery in Europe results in similar demands, this could be a stock to watch.
Dunelm [LON:DNLM], a company which became something of a bright spot in the struggling retail sector, has published a trading update today. It notes that the online side of the business has reopened with staff adhering to social distancing guidelines and that its liquidity remains sound. What’s more, the company has clarified that it does qualify for the Bank of England’s ‘Covid Corporate Financing Facility’, although this will only be necessary if stores remain closed for more than six months. The economy will have a whole other set of challenges to worry about if that remains the case, but the business seems well positioned – at least for now.
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