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Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross

Imperial Brands

There’s a trading statement from Imperial Brands out today, the company formerly known as Imperial Tobacco. No surprises seem to be hiding here, with numbers all in line with expectations. Recent price increases in the US have had a technical effect on stock levels, but the company seems confident that this will have no lasting effect on sales volumes.


Half year numbers from Bellway have been published this morning, which show continued growth for the house builder. Revenues are up 12.4% although margins have come under some pressure. The company explains this as being driven by its diminishing land bank, but with average selling prices up 7% against the same period last year, investors are unlikely to be spooked by the news.

Sports Direct

Sports Direct has published a note confirming the terms of its possible acquisition of Debenhams. Mike Ashley’s business is to offer 5p per share, valuing the company at just over £60 million and representing more than a 100% premium over last night’s closing price. It is however a far cry from the 200p level shares were trading at before the financial crisis. Sports Direct claim their offer is superior to the debt restructuring deal being proposed by Debenhams, which risks wiping out all value for equity holders.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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