Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
McColls Retail Group
Convenience retailer McColls [LON:MCLS] has published a half year trading update this morning. The company is making a little headway despite the uncertain economic backdrop although sales have only advanced by 1% on a like for like basis. Profitability is also in the spotlight and although the company is committed to rationalising its estate to remove underperforming stores, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Having been forced into an accelerated supply chain transition last year the business had been facing headwinds but some investors may well have hoped for better than this.
Despite a reported drop in profits in the half year results of student accommodation provider Unite [LON:UTG], the company is committed to paying out an increased dividend. Reservations for the forthcoming academic year are already at a record 92%, with the company confident this will allow it to keep increasing rents at over 3% per annum in the near term. The acquisition of competitor Liberty, with completion expected at the end of the year, is also seen as holding promise for the business.
More upbeat numbers from Fevertree [LON:FEVR] will give investors something to cheer today. The business continues to see solid growth, noting ‘very encouraging’ momentum in the USA. Revenues are up 13%, gross profits are up 10% and shareholders are being rewarded with a generous 23% increase in dividends.