There’s a trading statement out from Sainsbury this morning, covering the 16 weeks to the end of June. After bad weather hampered retailers – and indeed the whole UK economy – at the start of the year, the positive figures perhaps weren’t too much of a surprise, but the stand out fact is arguably the idea that growth in general merchandise and clothing is running ahead of the broader market. That certainly looks much better than the like for like sales growth, which ticked up just 0.2% for the period. If investors hone in on this, the stock could be in for a bumpy ride.
Another quarterly update from retail this morning with Q3 numbers from Topps Tiles. The company is also struggling against a softer consumer market, although the 2.3% decline in sales for the quarter is at least an improvement on the 4.7% drop we saw a year ago. The company is expanding into the commercial tile market and clearly attempting to innovate – how long this will take to yield results is the question.
National Express are posting about a contract win in Morocco this morning. It’s the fifth one they’ve secured in the Kingdom, making them the country’s largest transport operator. The contract is expected to secure EUR1 billion over its lifetime, but it’s worth noting that is a 15 year duration. Over three quarters of National Express’ revenues are now generated abroad.