Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. Optimism, but Saga posts full year loss
Full year numbers are out from Saga [LON:SAGA] this morning, with the lifestyle company making some progress but drifting from a £17m underlying profit a year ago down to a £6.7m loss. The company does however note a reasonable recovery in its travel divisions with bookings for 2022/23 as of yesterday some 30% lower than pre-pandemic levels and expectations that confidence will continue to grow here in the weeks ahead. Dividend payments remain suspended.
#2. Headwinds building for casual dining operator Tasty
AIM listed casual dining operator Tasty [LON:TAST] has published results for the full year to 26th December. Revenues are up 44%, despite a weaker than expected Christmas period as a result of those COVID restrictions being implemented, allowing the company to deliver a post-tax profit of £1.2m against a £12.7m loss in the previous year. The company notes that as we emerge from the pandemic it faces a raft of headwinds including rising input costs, the national insurance increase and the end of rates relief. Despite that return to profit, investors may struggle to find much to cheer.
#3. 88 Energy Merlin drilling completed
Again sticking with AIM, 88 Energy [LON:88E] has provided a further update on its Merlin 2 well, which has now been drilled to its maximum depth. Initial readings appear positive but over the next 7-10 days, wireline testing will be undertaken and that will be the trigger for confirming if a hydrocarbon discovery has been made or not.