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Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.


There’s a trading update out from fashion retailer Next [LON:NXT] this morning, covering the six months to December 26th. The company’s online channel continues to serve it well, compensating for almost all the sales lost in physical stores, with the update adding – unsurprisingly – that party and work clothes sold poorly, whilst kids clothing, loungewear and home furnishings performed rather better. Returns rates – a significant cost to the business – also fell. Active customer numbers are up by almost a quarter, but it’s far from being universally good news. The company notes that the overperformance in the last two months of 2020 will be almost entirely offset by lost full price sales during the lockdown – a situation which has arguably deteriorated further since the note was signed off – and the additional costs of clearing end-of-season stock online. That said, the conclusion is that in the worst-case scenario, full year sales will be 3.5% lower than seen in 2019 and pre-tax profits will still be £600m.

WM Morrison

Sticking with retail and WM Morrison [LON:MRW] are providing a trading update today, too. Group sales excluding fuel were up 9.3% over the Christmas period, with the company continuing to see a strong performance with a range of innovations across online channels, too. The company notes that market share has also grown and that customers are benefitting from deflationary pressures, too. Despite the uncertainty, full year pre-tax profits are still expected to be in line with previous forecasts of £420-£440m.

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Remote Monitored Systems

There’s a short update from Remote Monitored Systems [LON:RMS] who we flagged in last night’s AIM roundup. The company has advised the market that its new face mask machine was loaded and dispatched from the Spanish manufacturer yesterday and should be in the UK by the end of the week. A further update has been promised once the equipment has been commissioned.

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This article is not investment advice. Investors should do their own research or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Love the quick facts on 3 companies.
    I have bought Remote Monitoring Systems and am waiting for production of its masks to start..
    I also have a long standing holding in Morrisons Supermarkets. Is there any news of the tie up with amazon for home delivery?
    Other shares of interest are Reabold PLC and Union Jack Oil, both of whom are partners in a promising UK onshore oil find. However, progress seems slow.
    Why is the BAE share price not zooming up? It has loads of orders.

  2. Thanks for your note Bill, glad you enjoy Tony’s 3 Quick Facts. We try to get the copy out before our newsletter is delivered at 8am, sadly there isn’t enough time to do an in depth review so Tony will report on things that catch his eye. There was a note on Morrison’s strong online performance which was complimented by their partnership with Amazon. It could prove to be an interesting relationship.

    Our Editor Stuart likes to revisit Union Jack Oil from time to time so keep an eye out for any updates.

    Good luck with RMS – last year was a bumpy ride but the news this morning was very positive and it looks like an interesting pick for 2021.

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