Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Greggs [LON:GRG] has published results for the first half of the year to June 27th this morning. Stores closed for most of the second half of that period, there can be no surprise that sales have been rattled, down by almost half. That’s pushed the company from a £36m profit a year ago to a £65m loss, breaking a long streak of unbroken growth for the business. There’s optimism over the outlook with the most recent week seeing sales down by around a quarter when put against a comparator period, but caution lingers over the risk posed by further lockdowns. There appears to be no mention of the government’s anti-obesity campaign in the note, either.
Half year results are out from Reckitt Benckiser [LON:RB] this morning, which are eye catching given the company’s significant exposure to the household hygiene market. They claim to have the largest portfolio of surface disinfectant brands, so perhaps no surprise that the hygiene division has seen like for like revenues charge 16% higher, whilst health is 9% ahead. Ecommerce sales have also been notable in their growth, up 60% and now accounting for 12% of revenues. A dividend has been declared in line with the previously stated policy.
B&M European Value Retail
B&M European Value Retail [LON:BME] has published a trading update today, which comes with a healthy profit upgrade, EBITDA for the six months to the end of September is forecast as being in the £250-£270m range, well ahead of consensus analyst forecasts of £208m. The company notes that there’s considerable uncertainty with regard to the second half of the year, but a number of this magnitude seems likely to raise questions over the company’s reported use of the government furlough scheme and also the significant savings which have been made from the business rates holiday.
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