Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. Kingfisher full year profits to be at the higher end of previous guidance
Retailer Kingfisher [LON:KGF] has published a Q3 trading update this morning, noting sales down 3.2% from a year ago, but up by more than 15% from 2019 levels. That reflects the upturn in DIY projects during lockdown so the fact they have held on to most of this upside is probably to be applauded and the company has also noted that it now expects sales for the second half of the year and full year profits to be towards the higher end of the previously guided ranges.
#2. Ryanair to delist its shares before Christmas
Ryanair [LON:RYA] has this morning confirmed that it will be delisting its shares from the London Stock Exchange before Christmas. There are a number of factors in play here, but volumes in the low cost carrier traded in London have been squeezed post-Brexit as a result of limitations on non-EU ownership of the company’s stock. Other dual-listed companies are likely to follow the price action closely to see if they can benefit from the inherent cost savings of doing this without limiting access to capital.
#3. Great Portland Estates to create a lasting impact in their communities
Great Portland Estates [LON:GPOR] issued an eye-catching note this morning regarding the launch of its social impact strategy. They want to create a lasting impact in their communities and deliver £10m worth of ‘social value’ by 2030. Whilst the objectives are sound – healthy and inclusive communities, supporting local businesses and social enterprises and so on – the question many will be asking is whether that’s actually a difficult target for a company with a property portfolio worth around £2 billion to achieve. Their strategy report notes that 25 staff volunteered 150 hours in a skills sharing event which went on to generate over £70k in social value. This perhaps illustrates the challenge companies will increasingly face with their ESG agendas and it underlines that some consistency in the way we look at these initiatives is still lacking.