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Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.

Mitchells & Butlers

Fairly slim pickings on offer this morning but pub and casual dining operator Mitchells & Butlers [LON:MAB] has provided an operational update as they continue to seek fresh capital. The company is burning through its remaining cash at a pace – there was £113m on hand in mid-January but the running costs are said to be £30m-£35m per four week period and there are quarterly debt servicing costs of £51m to be met, too. There’s speculation that the well-backed chains will be able to outlast smaller independent restaurants as the country looks to life post-lockdown, but with the M&B share price already close to highs from early 2020, has this already been priced in?

Finsbury Food Group

Interim numbers from AIM listed Finsbury Foods [LON:FIF] are out this morning. As well as supplying food to restaurants, the company also runs a bakery division including the production of licensed brands for the likes of Disney and Thorntons. However the uptick in stay-at-home birthday celebrations evidently hasn’t been sufficient to eclipse the drag placed on the business by constraints in the leisure sector. Group revenues were down 4.1% and pre-tax profits fell 16% to £7.4m. Given this update covers the six months to December 26th, investors may well have been hoping for more.

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Clear Leisure

There’s another AIM listed company called Clear Leisure [LON:CLP] who are looking to make the most of the resurgence in cryptocurrencies. With digital coin prices having surged of late, “mining” has become rather more lucrative so the company has big plans to tap into this space whilst looking at affiliated services, too. There have been some true successes here in recent months so today’s news of a £1m cash injection to provide the working capital that will facilitate new projects will be one worth watching.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

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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