Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
More good news from Ocado [LON:OCDO] this morning, with a statement that it has signed a deal to supply Japanese retailer Aeon with its smart platform technology. This is planned to lead to a nationwide fulfilment network for the company, with a 1tn JPY sales capacity by the end of 2035. The deal is mutually exclusive for Japan and again underlines Ocado’s international potential.
There’s a trading update out from Reach plc [LON:RCH], the publisher of titles including the Mirror, Express and a wide range of regional newspapers. Sales fell 4.4% over a five month period to the end of November, but that’s better than the 6.6% recorded a year earlier. Digital continues to perform well, with revenues here rising by 14% and the company is planning to recruit a further 50 journalists as it restructures regional digital coverage across the country in the new year.
Interims from Northgate [LON:NTG] are out today, too. Total revenue is down 4.3% against H1 last year, with a decent performance in vehicle hire being overshadowed by more contraction in the outright sales market. Profits have also taken a hit, falling around three times faster than revenues so again indicating margins are being pressured, especially in the sales channel. There is however optimism over the margins in rental, and further improvement is expected to be seen here in the second half. Whilst acknowledging the weak macroeconomic outlook, the company remains convinced that full year performance will be in line with expectations.