Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
Half year numbers from Mothercare have been released this morning and they do nothing to paint a picture of optimism for the retail sector. Store closures may be running ahead of schedule, as well as a leaner organisational structure which should save at least £19 million, but revenues are sliding too. Even UK online sales are down almost 8% from the same period last year. Growth in emerging markets such as Russia, China and Indonesia may be on the cards, but the company continues to battle headwinds.
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Outsourcer MITIE Group has also published half year results this morning. Revenues are up and although profits have taken a modest hit, this is being explained away as a result of significant mobilisation costs. The company remains in line with guidance but the order book looks a bit light, down 6% on a year ago. The company promises significant increases are in the pipeline here, but will investors buy that?
Mitchells & Butlers
Full year results from Mitchells & Butlers, the company behind brands ranging from All Bar One to Harvester, are out this morning. They’re going through a transformation plan to save costs which appears to have helped especially in the second half of the year, although revenues for the full period are off a shade. Operating profits are notably higher however and the earnings per share has risen around 40%. Investors may be ready to raise a glass to this.