Tesco [LSE: TSCO]

The merger between retail giant Tesco and wholesaler Booker has completed today. Despite suggestions to the contrary, this hasn’t met with much political opposition despite the likely consequence being higher prices and less competition. Shareholders in the two companies have been given something of a leg-up from this move, but questions over the social impact of the merger will likely be asked for some considerable time yet. Booker also issued a note this morning advising that its shares will be cancelled from the market as a result.

Ryanair [LSE: RYA]

Low cost carrier Ryanair has released its traffic figures for February this morning and yet again they’re getting more “bums on seats”. The airline flew 8.6 million passengers, up 5% on the same number last year, although the company does concede that this has been achieved through lower fares. That paves the way for more ancillary fees to be paid in terms of checked baggage and other services, but there may be some caution over how margins are being squeezed. The recent ad weather fell mostly in March, so we’ll have to wait another month to find out how the airline fared here.

Trinity Mirror [LSE: TNI]

Media group Trinity Mirror published full year results this morning and it did little to dispel the idea that business in the sector remains tough. Despite an impressive £20m worth of cost savings, operating profits slipped by around £13m. The company is seeing growth through digital channels and is clearly confident that its recent acquisition of the Express titles will yield results, so has proposed a 6% increase in dividend payments.

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Market Analyst, Monk Communications
5th March 2018
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