Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
There’s a trading update out from Marstons [LON:MARS] this morning, covering the 16 weeks to January 18th ahead of today’s AGM. Performance has been rather lacklustre with sales up a mere 1%, driven largely by a solid performance over Christmas. Cost pressures remain a concern with the recent increase in minimum wages set to add further headwinds in the second half of the year, although the business remains committed to reducing debt through an asset disposal plan.
The acquisition of Just Eat [LON:JE] by Takeaway.com is in focus once again. Acceptance of the latest offer now stands at over 90% but the Competition and Markets Authority has today issued a request for comment as to whether the deal would lead to a substantial lessening of competition. This has pushed back the expected timetable for the deal to complete, but currently that’s only by one week.
Online estate agent OnTheMarket [LON:OTMP] has today announced that housebuilder Bellway is to start listing its properties on the website. This stands to carry significant benefits for Bellway if the approach reduces the costs associated with selling new builds – the company completed on over 10,000 properties last year.