Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. Rentokil Initial to deliver full year results in line with the expectations
There are Q3 numbers out from Rentokil Initial [LON:RTO] this morning, showing revenues up by less than 1% from a year ago. The company is seeing a transition in terms of the services it is selling, with disinfection tapering as expected, whilst pest control is showing a notable increase in demand. The company believes it has sufficient momentum that excepting any major deterioration in trading conditions, it will remain on track to deliver full year results in line with the expectations laid out in the summer.
#2. Babcock International completes the sale of its consulting division
There’s a short update out from Babcock International [LON:BAB] this morning, noting the sale of a consulting division for £293m which will help fund a debt reduction campaign, along with news that trading for the first half of the year remains in line with expectations and the full year outlook is unchanged. Revenues for the last six months are forecast as being £2228m with an underlying profit of £115m.
#3. Unilever shows underlying sales growth of 2.5%
Unilever [LON:ULVR] has issued its Q3 trading update today, showing underlying sales growth of 2.5%, with all key divisions posting an increase in prices but a decrease in volumes. This reflects the rising input costs which are currently being seen across the board and the inevitability that higher prices will see some consumption squeezed out at the margins. That cost inflation is expected to persist for some time yet, which the company is attempting to counter with productivity gains as well as pricing action, but margin guidance is still expected to remain around flat for the full year.