Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Finsbury Food Group
There’s a pre-close trading statement out from Finsbury Food Group [LON:FIF] this morning, ahead of results which are due on September 20th. A strong second half performance has lifted revenues for the 12 months to June 26th to £313m, just shy of the pre-pandemic £315m hit in 2019. Whilst the company acknowledges the near-term uncertainty, assuming trading conditions continue to normalise then there’s confidence that further progress can be made in the year ahead.
Housebuilder Barratt Developments [LON:BDEV] has published a trading update for the year to June 30th which underlines the strength of the rebound seen in the market in the wake of the COVID crisis. 17,243 homes were completed, up from 12,604 in 2020 and close to the 2019 figure of 17,856. Pre-tax profits are expected to come in marginally above the top end of market expectations, whilst forward sales continue to pick off that pent up demand, standing at 14,334 homes against 11,419 two years ago.
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A fourth quarter trading update has been issued by Dunelm Group [LON:DNLM] this morning, covering the 13 weeks to June 26th. The home furnishings juggernaut continues to deliver with sales for the period up just over 100% from a year ago and some 44% from the 2019 figure. Gross margins have also been improved by 4.6% following a decision to push the summer sale back to Q1, again illustrating the pent-up demand from lockdown. Digital sales have eased back a little in recent weeks, representing 46% for the full year but only 37% for the last quarter as a result of stores reopening. However, the company remains confident about its ability to continue delivering in the months ahead.
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