Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Full year numbers from Persimmon [LON:PSN] are out today, and show a far less marked impact from COVID than has been the case with some of its peers. New home completions were down by less than 15%, whilst pre-tax profits dipped around 20%. The company notes forward sales are already strong, up by 15% from the position of a year ago and that despite the uncertainties posed both by the tail of the pandemic and Brexit, there’s confidence that long term fundamentals of the UK housing market remain strong. That of course is also being bolstered by the ongoing government interventions of which we’ll likely hear more about in today’s budget. A reduced dividend of 110p against 235p last year is being proposed.
There’s a trading update from waste management company Biffa [LON:BIFF] ahead of its full year numbers. Performance in the second half of the year has come in ahead of expectations, with the impact of the third lockdown being meaningfully less severe than expected. As a result, underlying EBIT for the full year, whilst down from the 2020 figure, is now expected to be well ahead of the board’s previous expectations. The note also adds that investment is continuing in expanding recycling capacity, a move which will also create 50 jobs along the way.
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Recruiters Page Group [LON:PAGE] have full year results out today. Given the economic uncertainty of the last 12 months, these numbers could look a lot worse, with revenues off by just over 20%, although profits were down by a rather more marked 89%. The company bolstered its cash position over the last 12 months and has committed to repaying its UK government furlough money, although macroeconomic uncertainty continues to linger. Despite that, the company is encouraged by trading post Brexit and the prospect of the UK government’s roadmap for leaving lockdown.
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