Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Something of a mixed trading statement from Pendragon [LON:PDG] this morning, noting that performance improved significantly during the second half of 2019 despite a difficult backdrop. Underperforming outlets were shut down and although many divisions were in line with expectations, its Franchised UK Motor unit was left struggling. Put together this means that performance for the full year is now expected to be at the bottom end of expectations, although the business is confident that the upturn seen in recent months bodes well for 2020. This is a multi-faceted business but there’s probably an easier way to communicate the facts to investors…
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Last year, Travis Perkins [LON:TPK] announced its intention to demerge its Wickes brand from the business so has today issued a stand alone trading update for the retailer. This business is seen as having a unique customer proposition, blending DIY and DIFM (do it for me) markets. Like for like sales growth for the four quarters hit 7.7%, which seems worthy of note in terms of physical retail. The demerger remains on track for the second quarter of 2020.
Keeping with niche retail, the upholstered furniture and flooring specialist ScS [LON:SCS] has published a half year trading update. Economic headwinds have made this a challenging period for the business, with like for like sales over the last 26 weeks falling by 4.4%. However across the last nine week period, sales rose by 1.2%, providing further evidence that the clearer political outlook may be driving confidence amongst consumers. The CEO has also announced that he is to retire, although after 32 years of service and with 12 months’ notice, this seems unlikely to rattle investors.