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Merlin Entertainments [LSE: MERL]

There’s no shortage of full year results this morning so in our usual way we’ll just pick out a few of the highlights, starting with numbers from theme park and attraction operator Merlin. After concerns over the impact of a spike in terrorism in the UK plus a weak domestic consumer economy, their numbers have impressed with another 2.2 million visitors in 2017 compared with 2016. This is probably the most important metric as a growing overseas operation means the weaker pound has been rather more flattering on the financial metrics. Profits are up 6% whilst the dividend has risen by an inflation-busting 4.2%.


National Express Group [LSE: NEX]

Another company who has seen impressive numbers further embellished by a weak pound is the transport giant National Express. New pricing models in the UK have bolstered income in the inter city coach market, whilst overseas operations are also faring well, supported further by the slide in sterling. On top of this there was a bonus contribution from 2016 revenues of German Rail which weren’t included in the previous set of results. The dividend is up 10%.

Rentokil Initial [LSE: RTO]

Outsourcers have had a rough ride of late with the collapse of Carillion and bad news out of Capita, but Rentokil Initial’s results this morning show the model still works well when applied to the right challenge. A series of well executed acquisitions is helping growth, delivering a 15% uptick in profits and facilitating a dividend increase of a similar size.

 

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Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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