Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
Marks and Spencer
Half year numbers from Marks and Spencer have been released today showing that revenues may be down over 3%, but profits are on the rise. The company is engaged in a transformation plan, with £350 million worth of cost savings by 2021, store closures and a plan to accelerate digital sales all being pushed through. There is no change to full year guidance with pressure from discount retailers remaining very much in play.
There’s a trading update for the quarter out from JD Wetherspoon, which shows that like for like sales for the 13 weeks to October 28th have risen by 5.5%. Guidance is that figures for the full year will be slightly lower than had been seen previously, with low unemployment driving wages higher. Beyond that, we learn that the chairman suffered from a burst appendix and then there’s once again a lengthy sermon on Brexit (seriously).
ITV has published its update for the third quarter this morning, showing no real surprises over the first nine months of the year. Ad sales are up 2%, online revenues have grown by 43% and studio rental income is up by 10%. The softening consumer market given expected economic uncertainty is expected to take a toll on advertising revenues in the final quarter of the year, but the shift in viewing habits to online downloads – up by over 30% from a year ago – is perhaps the most impressive stand-out.