Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
There’s an interim management statement out from Pendragon [LON:PDG], the motoring group, this morning. The numbers show strong growth with the company turning a pre-tax profit of over £10m, up from £2m loss for the same period last year. Operating profits also soared and there are some telling insights in the detail of the note. Gross margins on new vehicle sales rose from an average of £1207 last year to £1481 per unit and the speed of the bounce back has resulted in some cautious optimism from the group. They are still withholding guidance but growth in the online channels will be closely followed, too, as this has the potential to further bolster profitability.
Specialist distribution company Bunzl [LON:BNZL] has published a Q1 trading statement this morning. The shipping of COVID-related products gave the company a boost in 2020 but there’s confidence that momentum can be maintained here, both as a result of organic growth and the outcome of acquisitions. The company sees a long tail emerging from ‘enhanced hygiene trends’ and indicates that there will be no let up in its acquisition trail.
Blue Star Capital
Something a little more fun to wrap up today, with word from the next gen technology investment company Blue Star Capital [LON:BLU]. One of its portfolio companies – Dynasty eSports – has completed a funding round, giving it a pre-money valuation of $45m. Blue Star invested to retain an undiluted 13% stake, which alone is worth approximately £4.6m. With Blue Star’s market cap being around £7.5m and some other exciting investments in the stable, this could warrant further investigation.
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