Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
There are half year numbers out from J Sainsbury [LON:SBRY] this morning, covering the 28 week period to September 19th. Total sales up 7.1% excluding fuel whilst digital sales more than doubled, resulting in an underlying pre-tax profit of £301m. A slew of one off costs however tipped this number to a £137m loss and the company will be paying both a special and interim dividend, collectively worth 10.5p. Expectations are that the pre-tax profits for the full year will be at least 5% higher, although given the company qualified for around £450m of business rate relief, that special dividend could attract some unwanted attention.
Trainline [LON:TRN] also has half year numbers out today, covering the period to 31st August and the scale of the collapse in demand here is breath taking. Net sales are off by 81% and the £8m H1 loss recorded last year has ballooned to £43m. With lockdown restrictions being brought back in across many markets, the outlook for H2 isn’t great, although the company notes it had £162m worth of headroom at the end of August. There’s an air of confidence over the longer term, but that revolves around there being no wholesale shift in the way passenger train travel works…
Tate and Lyle
Another set of half-year numbers, this time from Tate and Lyle [LON:TATE] showing a solid performance for the business. Revenue is 4% lower, pre-tax profits are 3% higher and the diluted earnings per share are up 9%. Whilst the company saw out-of-home product sales slide off the back of lockdowns, at-home products rose in demand, providing a degree of balance. However management note that the uncertainty relating to the COVID-19 pandemic remains and as such they will not be issuing guidance for the full year.
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