Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
There’s a Q3 update out from IAG [LON:IAG] this morning, the owners of airlines including British Airways. It makes for grim reading, with the company noting that hoped-for improvements in passenger numbers haven’t materialised, after many European governments reintroduced quarantine measures. As a result capacity will be further trimmed in the final quarter and the group no longer expects to reach breakeven in terms of net cash flows from operating activities during the period. The company now has pro-forma liquidity of over EUR9 billion, but notes that in Q3 an operating loss of EUR1.3 billion was accrued, down from a profit of EUR1.4 billion a year earlier.
Rentokil Initial [LON:RTO] has Q3 numbers out today, too. The company was tipped to do well from the health pandemic and that appears to be the case with hygiene sales up 53% during the period as demand for disinfection services skyrocketed. Strip that out and sales are meaningfully lower. It’s not all one way however with the company facing headwinds in other divisions as a result of ongoing lockdowns, also cautioning over bad debt risk and potential normalisation of those disinfection sales going forward. On a constant exchange rate basis, ongoing revenues for the period did however rise by almost 10%.
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Another heavyweight with Q3 numbers out today is Unilever [LON:ULVR]. Underlying sales growth rose by 4.4% against the previous year, with volumes helping drive this figure higher. Digging a little deeper reveals some interesting datapoints, with sales of hygiene products surging – albeit slightly down on growth seen in Q2 – whilst deodorant and skincare sales slipped. The food and refreshment channel also remains disrupted, with sales to the trade down by 20% but this is being offset by increased demand from those dining at home.
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