Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Premier Foods [LON:PFD] has this morning published an update, including reference to the company’s performance through the COVID-19 crisis so far. Group sales during the final quarter to end of March have been given a significant uplift, with the majority of this being focused in the final month. UK revenues rose 15.1% and critically although the company expects some reversion here, the figures should remain elevated by the fact more meals will continue to be eaten at home.
There’s a trading update from Rank Group [LON:RNK] out this morning, covering the period to end of March, so catching the early stages of the UK government lockdown. It plays out a predictable picture with online revenues higher, whilst those from physical locations have contracted. Group like for like revenues for Q3 are down 4%, but the company’s cashflow is benefitting from various government policy initiatives and adds that no dividend will be proposed for payment in October unless creditors have been paid and there’s visibility as to what the landscape looks like once the current crisis abates.
A short note from brewers and pub operators Marston’s [LON:MARS] is out this morning, announcing that they have secured a waiver from bond holders. A breach of conditions could have been triggered if business was suspended for more than 30 days. The waiver stands until May 29th and could be extended to mid-June if certain conditions are met. This buys some time, but from what has been reported over the weekend, the reopening of pubs and restaurants in the UK still seems to be some time off.
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