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Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.

Rolls Royce

Half year results have been published by Rolls Royce [LON:RR] this morning, pulling together a series of updates which have been given to the market in recent months. The company’s exposure to the airline industry has left it bruised, with a reported operating loss of almost £1.8 billion and revenues down £1.6 billion. The company has shored up its liquidity position in the short term, but further work is needed. Plans are afoot to dispose of a further £2bn worth of assets. One glimmer of hope is that in the 8,000 layoffs that are required, a higher than expected number of individuals have elected to take voluntary redundancy, reducing the need for compulsory layoffs.

Hays

Recruiter Hays [LON:HAS] has published its full year numbers, again having been hit by the economic slowdown. Net fees are down 12%, which translated into a 46% drop in operating profits. No dividend is being declared, but the company has managed to reign in costs and notes that its underlying financial position remains good. The company notes however that the outlook remains tough across all main markets.


WPP

Interim numbers from WPP [LON:WPP] are out today, too. Revenues are off by 12%, pushing the headline operating profit down by 38% although the company is still proposing a dividend of 10p, against the 22p paid a year ago. The business is on track to meet the upper end of its cost savings target of £700-£800m and remains on track to meet full year revenue expectations. Liquidity remains strong – there is some £4.7bn available – a number that has been augmented by the recent sale of a stake in its market research unit Kantar.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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