Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
There’s a treading update out from public transport operator Go Ahead [LON:GOG] this morning. It’s a complicated situation for the sector with social distancing requirements set to stifle performance as we come out of lockdown. Government support has been comprehensive however and headline figures suggest UK regional buses will still post a profit of around £20m for the year whilst London will be close to £50m. These extra subsidies should however only be considered temporary and with little visibility over what happens next, management will arguably still find themselves tested in the months ahead.
Full year figures from Burberry [LON:BRBY] for the year to March 28th are out today. The timing of these numbers and a good year in general means that the impact of COVID-19 isn’t all that clear – revenues fell a mere 3% year on year, but sales in Q4 were down 27%. At present around 50% of the company’s stores are closed and no real improvement is expected here until the end of Q1. No final dividend will be repaid, with a review of this situation promised when full year results are released in September.
Full year figures out from United Utilities [LON:UU] this morning. Despite making some hefty allowances for the impact of COVID-19, the company has been able to increase its dividend in line with its objectives. There is a concern that the economic shock caused by COVID will leave some customers unable to pay bills and as we’re seeing elsewhere, government may well intervene to pressure providers like UU.L to assist. For now however the dividend remains untouched and this could provide some reassurance for investors.
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