skip to Main Content

Free Newsletter: Actionable insight every morning for the self-directed investor. Find out more

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

Frasers Group

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group [LON:FRAS] has published interim results for the 26 weeks to 25th October this morning and despite the lockdown earlier in the year, numbers may well leave investors with something to cheer. Sales are off by a mere 7.4%, but margins were maintained and profitability is up. Online sales were particularly helpful in bolstering the performance of premium lifestyle channels and given the strength of trading since the end of the last lockdown in England, the company is also upgrading its forecasts for the full year. Many corners of retail may be struggling, but there are certainly plenty of signs of life here.

Ocado

Keeping with retail, Ocado [LON:OCDO] has published Q4 numbers today. The company continues to enjoy success, both from its recent tie up with Marks & Spencer and also the broader shift amongst consumers to doing grocery shopping online. Revenues are up 35% from the same period last year but the average number of weekly orders is up by just 3% meaning bigger baskets than were seen a year ago. However the company notes there’s a normalisation in play here, with a reversion from the peak seen earlier in the year. Regardless, full year EBITDA targets have been upped again from the levels suggested just a month ago by a further £10m to £70m.


Marston’s

PubCo Marston’s [LON:MARS] has published results for the 53 weeks to 3rd October. The 15 week closure earlier in the year has taken a toll, but the report highlights some bright spots. The company outperformed the market by 7% in Q4 and saw sales at 90% of the previous year during the period, but the broader picture remains depressed with underlying revenues off by almost a third and the £95m profit from 2019 sliding to a £22m loss. With trading restrictions still in place for the sector and no sign of this relenting before the spring, they note government support remains necessary although management do try to strike a more optimistic tone over the longer term outlook.

Sign up for three quick facts and more with our Free Daily Digest newsletter, every weekday morning.

Become a better investor with SharePad Designed to give you the confidence to pick your own investments, Sharepad gives you access to a wealth of information on UK, US & European stocks. Find out more

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.

Comments


Back To Top