Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
There’s a trading statement out from Ocado this morning for the quarter to March 3rd. That includes the period where the Andover fulfilment centre was taken out by a fire, so the fact it shows comparable revenue growth of 11.2% remains impressive. However, the company was targeting 10-15% growth for the year and this incident is going to take a meaningful toll. There are no details of just how marked any impact will be, but the company has promised an update in due course.
An interesting trading update from ASOS today, again covering the latest quarter and ahead of half- year results due next week. With sales up 14% in the UK, this illustrates how the company is on top of the nation’s changing consumer habits, although sales in the US have struggled despite a warehouse in Atlanta coming fully online. This generated a significant order backlog, although the benefit of this will be seen in Q3. With gross margins up 40bps, investors continue to have something to cheer here.
Social care provider Mears has published full year results this morning and they’re something of a mixed bag. Group revenues are down and below market expectations, although there has been a healthy improvement in EPS. The acquisition of part of Mitie’s business appears to be yielding results however and investors are set to be rewarded with a higher than expected increase in the dividend which may in turn provide some support to the share price.