Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
J Sainsbury [LON:SBRY] has published its Q3 trading update covering the 15 week period to January 2nd this morning. Like for like sales grew by 8.6% excluding fuel, whilst online grocery shopping was 128% ahead. Expectations are that full year profits will be at least £330m, down from the £586m posted a year ago but that number has been tempered by the agreement to return the £410m worth of rate relief to the government. Argos sales also fared well, with the company presumably having benefitted during the second lockdown as the network could remain open when non-essential retailers were forced to close.
TP ICAP [LON:TCAP] has published a short trading update today following the conclusion of its financial year on December 31st. Trading volumes were subdued through the final quarter, although the consequent impact on full year revenues has been minimal and these are expected to come in around 1% lower. The statement notes that the news demonstrates the resilience of the TP ICAP franchise and the benefit of the recent diversification strategy, with revenue growth achieved in our Data & Analytics, Institutional Services and Energy & Commodities divisions offsetting much of the decline in revenue in our Global Broking division.
Mitchells & Butlers
Mitchells & Butlers [LON:MAB] have published their Q1 trading statement covering the 14 weeks to January 2nd. Lockdowns and tier restrictions paint a predictably bleak picture here, with sales off 67.1% from the previous year. On a like for like basis (so where venues have been open) trading was 30.1% lower. The company has £125m cash to hand, but notes that during closure the burn rate is £35m-£40m a month, before debt service payments of £50m/quarter. With the next date for this being March 15th the company is now looking at options for raising fresh capital to see it through the crisis.
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