Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Pets at Home
Pets at Home [LON:PETS] has published its full year results for the 52 weeks to March 25th this morning. The company notes a 7.9% increase in revenues ‘despite’ COVID-19, although with pet ownership rising 8% off the back of the pandemic and the stores remaining open throughout under the ‘essential retail’ designation, pessimists could be forgiven for thinking this was a slightly underwhelming performance. Revenues breached £1 billion for the first time and the company notes that it sees scope to grow this by a further £600m in the medium term. Dividends have been increased, resulting in a 7% uptick for shareholders, whilst the well-performing company should be applauded for not taking any government support money and also for repaying the £28.9m rate relief it was granted.
Tate & Lyle
Full year results from Tate & Lyle [LON:TATE] this morning saw modest headline revenue growth off the back of a mixed picture at a more granular (sorry) level. Total sales were up 1%, with new product revenues rising 21% to represent almost 5% of the total. As lockdowns unwind, the company expects to see a return to growth in its primary products, sweeteners and starches business lines, although a bumper uptick in commodities profits this year won’t be sustained meaning that the EPS figure for next year is expected to be down on the 61.2p announced today. The final dividend has been increased by 5.8%.
Final results from United Utilities [LON:UU] are out today, and although the investment behaves more like a bond than an equity given its regulated status, the numbers hold some interest in terms of consumer behaviour off the back of the pandemic. Revenues were down 2.8%, although that was largely a reflection of the change in charges off the back of the new regulatory structure. COVID-19 changed consumption patterns, but the company notes that the bad debt position remains robust, with an extra £5m adjustment being booked here.
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