Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Pets at Home
There are interim results out from Pets at Home [LON:PETS] this morning, covering the 28 weeks to October 8th. Revenues were up, with growth weighted into the second quarter fuelled by pent-up demand coming out of the first lockdown, although pre-tax profits for the whole period slipped. The solid performance seen in Q2 has continued in recent weeks, with the company’s classification as an essential retailer permitting stores to remain open. With strong liquidity, the company expects full year profits to be in line with the previous year.
AO World [LON:AO] also has half year numbers out today, covering the six months to September 30th. The company has said previously that they believe the retail model has now fundamentally changed in favour of online and they continue to see strong sales even as lockdown measures ease. UK revenues rose 54% whilst those from the smaller German operation jumped 85%. A year ago, a pre-tax loss of £5.9m was recorded at this point – that’s now an £18.3m profit. Convinced that online is the way ahead, the company also hints that they are ready to roll out the now-proven model into other markets.
Food producer Cranswick [LON:CWK] has also published its interims for the 26 weeks to September 26th. The shift to at-home consumption of food has buoyed the company’s fortunes, as has the move online of a new processing facility. Revenues are up 21%, margins are up 50 basis points and adjusted pre-tax profits have jumped 31%. The company – like many in the sector – is battling against localised COVID outbreaks in its production facilities. This is impacting some exports to the China market, but despite this the full year outlook remains unchanged and investors are being rewarded with a 12% hike in the dividend.
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