Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Shopping centre operator Intu [LON:INTU] has published a trading period for the last four months this morning. At the company’s last set of interims, they laid out four strategic objectives to revitalise the company and appear to be delivering against all of them. CVAs remain more damaging than had been forecast, but footfall is increasing. This sector still faces a wide range of challenges but some good progress appears to have been seen.
Marks & Spencer
Sticking with retail and high street stalwart Marks & Spencer [LON:MKS] has published half year results, leading with the bold claim of far reaching change delivered at pace. Revenues are down 2.1%, pre-tax profits before adjustments are down 17% and the dividend has been trimmed by 40%, too. The company is however performing well in food sales, but home & clothing underperformed, whilst online sales increased by less than had been expected, too. Cost saving plans and new store formats are also on the agenda, but it seems as if there’s still work to be done in order to turn the tide.
A quick update from the Competition and Markets Authority notes that they will not be referring the planned merger between Liberty Living and Unite Group [LON:UTG] for a phase 2 investigation. That has the potential to be well received by investors at Unite after the opening bell.