We’re returning from the Easter break with a trading update by the regional airline Flybe. Just last month there was the potential of a takeover by haulage firm Eddie Stobart but this didn’t transpire and the share price slumped as a result. The airline industry is ruthless, but Flybe continues to pursue an approach of cutting capacity to increase passengers per flight – and hopefully profitability. In the first quarter of the year, the number of available seats fell by 200,000, but an additional 100,000 passengers were carried.

Hornby [LSE: HRN]

Hornby, the makers of model trains, also produced a trading update this morning and although relatively light on detail, there are a couple of cautionary messages in here. A lack of discounting and the late delivery of products have hit the sales rate and although inventory is now arriving, the risk is that the damage will have been done. Investors will have to wait until June for the full year results to be published, but it seems it’s far from being full steam ahead for Hornby.

Sky [LSE: SKY]

There’s a note out from broadcaster Sky relating to its potential acquisition by Twenty-First Century Fox. The Competition and Markets Authority had expressed concern that plurality would be lost in terms of news if the merger was to proceed unchecked. As such the CMA has proposed that either Sky News becomes its own legal entity or that the news division is then sold to Disney – who are looking at acquiring other assets from Fox. Sky are happy to accept either remedy, which ought to make the completion of the sale that bit more likely – Sky’s shares could move higher as a result.

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Market Analyst, Monk Communications
3rd April 2018
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