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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…

Travis Perkins

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.

ScS Group

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.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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