DFS Furniture [LSE: DFS]

DFS, master of the perpetual sale and purveyor of sofas, have published half year results this morning with the reassuring news that despite challenging conditions, trading is in line with expectations. As we’ve seen in recent days, the retail sector remains beset with problems as shoppers remain squeezed by falling wages in real terms, but DFS is showing some promising innovations.

BT Group [LSE: BT.A]

There’s a note from OFCOM on the regulatory wires this morning, but will it be a headache for BT’s shareholders, or a blessing? There’s a myriad of conditions in here but the legacy telecoms operator must make its telegraph poles and underground tunnels available to rivals, making it quicker for them to deliver full-fibre networks to rivals. It’s not all bad news however as the pricing for BT Openreach’s fastest services isn’t being capped when resold to competitors. There’s no change to the proposals OFCOM tabled to the EU last month however so with the uncertainty out of the way, investors might find something to applaud.

Hilton Food Group [LSE: HFG]

Food packaging group Hilton published full year numbers this morning and it’s a steady performance for the business. Earnings per share have come in slightly ahead of analyst estimates of 37.4p and the dividend is beating forecasts, too. The packaging business appears to go from strength to strength, but longer term presumably companies like this will need to be positioning themselves to manage the growing public concern over single use plastics. Tesco has however already partnered with companies including Hilton to maximise the recyclability of plastic fresh food packaging.

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Market Analyst, Monk Communications
28th March 2018
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