Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. Royal Mail shows continued strong performance
There’s a half year report out from Royal Mail [LON:RMG] this morning, showing continued strong performance from the company as it benefits from structural change and the post-COVID rebound. Operating margins are notable as they have surged to almost 7%, but one point that could attract criticism is that the full year benefit from the change program is now expected to be £80m, down from the previously stated £100m. However news that a £200m special dividend is to be paid along with a £200m share buy back is likely to soften any blow here.
#2. Biffa sees revenues up almost 40%
Sustainable waste management company Biffa [LON:BIFF] has announced its numbers for the 26 weeks to 24th September. Revenues are up almost 40% on a year ago, but more significantly are ahead of the pre-pandemic numbers, too. The outlook remains in line with previous expectations and the company has noted that after a hiatus it will return to paying an interim dividend of 2.2p, down from the 2.47p declared in 2019.
#3. Naked Wines full year sales revised down slightly
Naked Wines [LON:WINE] also published half year numbers today. The company’s “mail order” model found great popularity during lockdown but critically they seem to have done a good job of retention, with sales up 1% from the comparator and 82% from the pre-COVID figure. Total sales for the FY are however being revised down slightly, although this is seen as a consequence of lower investment in new customers as the company refines its target audience.