Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
It looks as if Next is back in fashion with this morning’s half year results. We’ve seen a slew of retailers hit by the unseasonably hot weather in August and the company even cautioned that summer sales may be depressed in a previous trading statement, but this hasn’t proved to be the case.
Full price sales were well above expectations and the company lays down what at first inspection appears to be a solid defence against Brexit uncertainty.
The UK retail environment remains challenging, but this is a company that may well be winning – at least for now.
More news from the high street, with Card Factory also posting half year results this morning. It’s a mixed bag for the company – like for like sales are down, but it’s seen a strong seasonal performance around events such as Valentine’s Day.
The summer sales slowdown seen elsewhere hit the company too, but online operations are accelerating. It’s admittedly starting from a low base, but sales in the digital channel are up 85% from a year ago. Shareholders are also to be rewarded with a special dividend.
AG Barr, makers of the iconic Scottish drink Irn Bru, published interim numbers today. Revenues and profits are both up sufficiently that investors may well look beyond the 0.5% fall in margins, especially given the array of headwinds faced by the business of late.
Issues here included the extreme weather, a European-wide shortage of CO2, plus a reformulation of the government’s soft drinks levy.