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

J Sainsbury

J Sainsbury [LON:SBRY] has published its Q1 trading statement this morning for the 16 week period to June 27th. Grocery sales are up 10.5%, clothing sales are down 26.7% and online sales more than doubled during the period. The company notes an outperformance in growth of market share during the period, although expansion of its online delivery service was dwarfed by that of rival Tesco. Despite the good start to the year, the company remains cautious over its outlook for the longer term.

Smith & Nephew

There may be a presumption that the COVID-19 pandemic has been good for the health sector, but med-tech Smith & Nephew [LON:SN] has published Q2 numbers today which debunk this myth. Lower levels of elective surgeries during the pandemic have limited sales and revenues for the quarter are around 29% lower. The company is keen to stress this is in line with expectations and the recovery is taking shape with June revenues just 12% lower. Assuming the virus remains in check, can a bounce be seen as hospitals and surgeons play catch up with a backlog of operations?

Topps Tiles

A Q3 update from Topps Tiles [LON:TPT] this morning, another company which has been hit by the shut down of UK retail in recent weeks. Sales for the quarter are 53% lower, although the June figure – down just 20% – is arguably a positive sign that the recovery is on track. There’s little in terms of outlook, although the Chief Executive notes that the business has proved resilient. With more that £50m worth of cash headroom, the company is in a sound position in terms of liquidity and should be well positioned to embrace the recovery.

One extra note – on Monday, we reported that Indivior’s CEO had stepped down rather abruptly. This morning the company notes that he has entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice in the US, pleading guilty to one misdemeanour count under the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine. The plea is in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the group, but with the company still working to resolve outstanding regulatory investigations, this remains one to watch in the future.

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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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