Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
Full year numbers from Royal Mail this morning show a familiar tale with letter volume down but parcel volumes rising as the UK shows no sign of falling out of love with online shopping. The outlook shows no expectation of these trends being broken, but overall revenues are rising and cost saving initiatives are also in evidence and performing above expectations. Margins are however expected to be squeezed in the short term.
Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer is also announcing its full year performance today, with pre-tax profits down 10%, revenues off 3% and investors being hit with a 25% cut in the dividend. The company sees itself as being in a transformation phase, with store closures and an increased focus on online, as evidenced through its Ocado tie up as well as clothing sales via the website. Like for like food revenues fell by 2.3% so claims that they’re arresting the fall even after adjusting for the timing of Easter may not wash with the wider market.
Interim results from Britvic show a solid performance by the company for the first half of the year. Revenues, pre-tax profits and EPS are all up by around 5% and investors are being rewarded with a similar uptick in the interim dividend. Despite the UK sugar tax, the overall soft drinks market continues to grow, with the company noting an uplift in sales for brands including 7Up Free and Pepsi Max.