Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
There’s a COVID-19 trading update out from Ocado [LON:OCDO] this morning, highlighting the stratospheric growth the company has seen in the second quarter. Retail revenues are up 40% in the period, a jump from the 10% growth seen in Q1, although the note comes with a couple of other interesting behavioural points. Sales of ambient goods are tailing off and the peak basket size now seems to be returning to a more normal level. The company remains in a strong cash position and the high levels of automation have truly left Ocado very well positioned in the current crisis.
ITV [LON:ITV] has published its Q1 trading update this morning. Despite the lockdown, total viewing figures are up by a mere 2%, whilst studios revenue fell 11% as production of new material was suspended. Advertising sales have also suffered, falling some 42% in April as businesses adopt a more cautious outlook for consumers. It’s not all downside as the company’s library of content is proving popular with broadcasters globally and demand for participation in competitions is also seeing a boost. A series of cost saving measures are being deployed, including the withdrawal of the final 2019 dividend payment and the company appears to be in advanced stages of its return to work protocols.
The Card Factory [LON:CARD] has published a COVID-19 financial update today. The chain’s store network has been shuttered and the company has made a slew of decisions in terms of cashflow reduction. Interestingly however the business has other distribution routes including the ability to send physical cards from its website and the fact they supply greetings cards to Aldi. Web sales have also increased almost 300%, leaving the company to establish a second fulfilment unit in Yorkshire to meet demand. As we find a new normal in the wake of the pandemic, digital channels will likely be even more important.
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