Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
More bumper sales news from Greggs [LON:GRG] at the half year point, with revenues up almost 15%, a profit margin which has improved from 5.4% to 7.5% and news of some healthy payouts for investors. The dividend is being increased by 11.2% and a 35p per share special divi is also coming. These are the first numbers reflecting the success of the company’s vegan sausage roll and the business is rapidly moving towards an estate which will include 2,000 venues.
A reasonably strong set of headline numbers at Reckitt Benckiser [LON:RB] are also out today, with revenues up 2%, and operating profit up 9%. The company continues to progress its move towards becoming two structurally separate businesses at some point in the new year, whilst the $1.4 billion Department of Justice settlement over Invidior related matters is seen as reducing uncertainty.
Big news from British Gas owner Centrica [LON:CNA], who have today announced their intention to quit the oil and gas production business. The company is turning around its consumer business with the UK net promoter score for British Gas managing to add 7 points and the decline in domestic energy accounts seems to be more than offset by an uptick in service contracts. The business will be wholly focused on supply and acknowledges the move to a lower carbon future. Significant changes which could take time to be factored into the share price.