Mothercare [LSE: MTC]
More news from the retail sector this morning with a quarterly update from Mothercare – and the picture doesn’t look any better than we’ve seen elsewhere on the high street. Whilst performance may have been in line with expectations, it makes for sorry reading all the same. The only highlights are some modest growth in online sales and continued expansion in the Middle East, but it seems there’s still work to be done.
SAGA [LSE: SAGA]
Travel agent to insurer for the over 50’s SAGA has today published its full year results and there are some key points worth applauding here. Underlying profits may have just nudged higher by 1.4% but the company has been using its strong cash generation to pay down debt. Earnings per share also came in slightly above average expectations so shareholders are being rewarded with a proposed inflation-busting 5.9% increase in the dividend. Trading conditions remain challenging, but cost savings and growth in the travel sector seem to be cutting the company some slack.
Greene King [LSE: GNK]
A pre-close trading statement from brewer and pub operator Greene King has been issued this morning and it’s a rather mixed bag. Sales for the last year have been down although Easter provided some respite with a strong sporting fixtures list being seen as beneficial for the business. It does seem to be very much about the strategy though – the money is coming in through disposals and cost savings so although this will help maintain the dividend in the near term, a sustained improvement in sales will be what many are looking for.