Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Solid full year numbers have been released by G4S [LON:GFS] this morning, with the company posting a 4.7% increase in revenues for the period. Hefty goodwill impairment charges left the business nursing a statutory loss, but the dividend is being maintained. Whilst acknowledging the threat posed by COVID19, to date there has been no material impact and the outlook – given the nature of the underlying operation – remains confident.
It might seem a bit morbid but one business that does stand to profit from the COVID19 outbreak is Dignity [LON:DTY], the UK’s only listed provider of funeral services. Their full year results point to a 1.6% decrease in revenues and an 25% fall in profits for the last year as the number of deaths nationally fell whilst the business also faced up to competitive pressures and regulatory oversight. The dividend has been suspended in light of the deteriorating profitability and this could add further downside pressure to stocks which have already sold off quite noticeably in recent days.
There’s a trading update from Dart Group [LON:DTG] out today, that’s the company behind low cost airline Jet2. Although COVID19 is set to take a toll on the business’ performance going forward, 2019 appears to have been a bumper year and profits for the year ending March 31st 2020 are set to be well ahead of expectations. Forward bookings for this summer are already strong too, but there’s little visibility to be had over how the global virus outbreak will impact the business. The company’s distribution and logistics business is also performing well and could provide some valuable diversification but until more is understood about just how lasting the impact of COVID19 will be, investors may be reluctant to get too excited.
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