Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
British lifestyle group Joules [LON:JOUL] released a pre-close trading update this morning for the year to May 30th. Thanks to a strong digital proposition, the company saw sales advance 4%, with pre-tax profits set to come in slightly ahead of previous expectations. The numbers have also been bolstered by the acquisition of Garden Trading Company, but it wasn’t all good news, with the wholesale channel being adversely affected by reduced footfall as a result of pandemic restrictions.
There’s a note out from housebuilder Persimmon [LON:PSN] this morning, announcing that it has agreed terms with the Competition and Markets Authority over its sale of leasehold properties since the start of the century. Although the tactic was abandoned in 2017, the company has said that any leaseholders will be able to buy the freehold for a maximum purchase price of £2,000, whilst those who have already completed the buyout can apply for reimbursement. This removes a valuable forward revenue stream – and underlying asset – for the business, but also sends another message to the housebuilders that they’re very much in the regulatory spotlight after receiving well over a decade of generous support from the taxpayer, most of which has been to the benefit of their shareholders.
Vodafone [LON:VOD] has announced that from next week, its entire European operation – including mobile and fixed networks, data centres, retail and offices – will be 100% powered by electricity from renewable sources. This is seen as a key milestone on the company’s journey to be net zero by 2030, whilst the company is also committed to helping its own customers reduce carbon emissions, too. It’s estimated that using Vodafone’s Internet of Things service, improvements to functions such as logistics and fleet management can significantly reduce emissions for users.
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