Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Full year results are out from Rio Tinto [LON:RIO] this morning, with the company championing a robust performance despite it having been a challenging year. CapEx may have risen 13%, but this was eclipsed by a 22% jump in earnings and shareholders have been rewarded with a 26% increase in total dividend payouts. The return on capital employed has also advanced from 24% to 27%. Continued strengthening of the Australian Dollar will contribute to further increases in CapEx next year but the outlook remains upbeat.
British American Tobacco
Another blue chip with full year results out today is British American Tobacco [LON:BATS]. Reported revenues may be off a shade, but operating profits have advanced 10.5% and margins have improved by 380 basis points. That has helped drive a 2.5% increase in dividends. Notably over the last year, the company has more than quadrupled the number of consumers of its non-combustible (i.e. vaping) products and plans to continue growing this figure to some 50m by 2030.
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There’s an update out from Evgen Pharma [LON:EVG], the AIM listed biotech, who have this morning advised that 102 patients have now been recruited to test whether the company’s lead asset can help patients recover from COVID-19. Preliminary details of tolerance to the drug are expected to be released early in Q2, although full findings are likely to be almost a year off.
- LISTEN: Q&A with Sam Smith, CEO of finnCap on the AIM markets
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