Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
It might be dry January for some, but lets’ kick off with a Christmas trading update from pub operator Greene King. They posted record Christmas day sales of £7.7million, whilst revenue for the 36 weeks to January 6th is up 3.2%, putting it ahead of the market. Tight control on costs and an ongoing estate rationalisation plan should help too, especially as the company faces up to the inevitable uncertainty of the year ahead.
Supermarket group WM Morrison have also posted their latest trading statement showing a fourth consecutive Christmas of growth. Like for like sales for the nine weeks to January 6th rose by an impressive 3.6%, although the bulk of this came through from the wholesale division of the business. The company’s full year outlook remains unchanged off the back of this news.
Sticking with retail, Footasylum has published its Christmas trading update today, covering the 18 weeks to December 29. Total revenues rose 14%. Although online performs well, underlining that shift in consumer habits, store sales continued to rise too, with the channel seeing 5% growth against the same period last year. There may be news from bigger retailers to follow this week, but at least given today’s assessment, Christmas hasn’t been the wash out many were expecting.