Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
McColls Retail Group
Convenience store network McColls Retail Group [LON:MCLS] has also updated the market this morning with full year results to the end of November. Like many retailers the company has benefitted from lockdown with stores retaining essential status and the neighbourhood locations adding further upside. Like for like sales – which critically exclude travel tickets and fuel – were up 12%, although strip this out and growth was a more modest 3%. The change in sales profiles wasn’t quite enough to return the company to profitability, although post-tax losses were just £2.7m, a marked improvement on the £96m of the previous year. The company remains uncertain over the outlook but as lockdowns unwind, it does expect to see more impulse purchases of higher margin items.
There’s a sound set of half year results out from pollsters YouGov [LON:YOU] this morning. Sales are up 3% and although profits have taken a tumble using statutory measures, the adjusted version paints a rather more upbeat picture. The company adds that it has a stronger pipeline in place for the second half of the year, the cash position remains sound and that expansion into a further 15 countries has now taken place.
Cineworld [LON:CINE] shares have been on a charge since testing those lows back in October, with vaccine optimism buoying sentiment. The stock took an unexpected turn South yesterday, but a note from the company this morning advising that US cinemas will start to reopen from the start of next month, whilst the UK estate – its second largest – is planned to resume operations in line with government guidance in May. The company has also announced a deal with Warner Bros, whereby it will have a 45-day exclusive period on new releases from the studio. With the share price still well below pre-COVID levels, the price action in response to this update will be worth watching.
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