Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Half year results from Premier Foods [LON:PFD] have been released this morning, with the company faring well from an uptick in the number of meals consumed at home after COVID shut restaurants, something that was especially noticeable in the first quarter. Revenues rose 15% and adjusted pre-tax profits were some 50% higher, whilst even the international division – which disappointed last year – swung back to growth. The latest series of lockdowns across the UK are expected to give the company another boost and trading profits for the full year are now set to be above expectations.
There’s a Q3 trading update out from Persimmon [LON:PSN] today, covering the extended period from July 1st to November 3rd. Pent up demand following the lockdown means average sales per site are 38% higher than they were a year ago, although it does read that Persimmon’s resumption of building was somewhat faster than the rest of the sector which also gave them an early edge, one that is now being eroded. The company adds that the fundamentals for the UK housing market remain strong but cautions of the risks of further lockdowns, the threat of rising unemployment and Brexit as all bringing possible headwinds.
Commercial property specialists Land Securities [LON:LAND] have issued half year results today. COVID has presented a number of challenges for the business and this is reflected in the numbers, which cover the six months to end of September. Revenue profits are down almost 50%, pushing losses for the first half to £835m, well beyond the £147m see a year ago. The company is however reinstating its dividend, which may offer some solace to investors and with an outlook that is acknowledged as being dominated by COVID-19, yesterday’s vaccine news certainly helps. However as we move beyond the pandemic, it’s difficult not to imagine some fundamental shifts in the roles played by commercial property.