Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Half year results from Sage [LON:SGE] have been published this morning and perhaps unsurprisingly the company isn’t seeing any adverse impact from the COVID-19 outbreak. Revenues for the six months to March 31st were up 5.7%, with a double digit improvement in subscription income. The company feels it has high quality recurring revenues which support its balance sheet well. Some customer buying decisions are being deferred by the pandemic, but the company sees cost management rather than blunter actions such as redundancies as being viable so far. There’s little visibility as to exactly how this will play out in H2, but growth forecasts are being trimmed at least a little.
There’s a liquidity update from the AIM listed brewer Youngs [LON:YNGA] out this morning in response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Details over its store sales or thoughts over the reopening of the hospitality industry are lacking, but the note does show that the business has lined up a further £100m liquidity headroom. Lending banks have also agreed to waive any covenant tests that may fail as a result of pubs being shuttered.
Half year numbers from tour operator TUI [LON:TUI] show a polarised position for the business. The financial year started with five months of solid earnings growth, before the global health crisis saw sales dry up. The company notes that COVID-19 is the greatest crisis either the industry or TUI has ever faced and whilst actions have been taken to mitigate the downside wherever possible – including taking a EUR1.8bn loan from the German government – the reality remains that bookings this summer will be hit hard. TUI is using this as a catalyst for a global realignment program and believes it can emerge as a leaner, more efficient business. Most critically however will be confirmation from national governments that tourist hotspots are ready to welcome overseas visitors once again.
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