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Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.

ScS Group

ScS [LON:SCS], one of the country’s largest flooring and furniture retailers, has published a half-year trading update covering the period to January 23rd. Sales were 13.9% higher compared to the previous year, as a result of pent up demand following the first national lockdown which saw the business – including its distribution network – shuttered. Although online sales are up, the company notes that given the tactile nature of the products – and arguably the fact that purchasing typically isn’t time sensitive – there’s a belief that another spike in sales will be seen once lockdown concludes. The company notes it has no debt, over £90m on hand and access to a further £20m via government financing if required. When the brakes do come off, this could be an interesting play to watch.

3i Group

Investment company 3i [LON:III] has a Q3 performance update out today. There seems to be little of concern here, with targets all remaining as expected including the plan to increase dividend payouts by 6.5%. The company also remains well financed – meaning it will be well positioned to snap up distressed assets in the months ahead.


Fresnillo [LON:FRES] has published a Q4 production update this morning, covering the period to the end of December. There’s a fair bit of detail in the note so plenty to dig through, but the trend seems to be on the downside for gold and silver, although by-product production of less-valuable lead and zinc is higher. A quick look ahead suggests that the impact of COVID will accelerate silver production in the current FY, although gold output is set to show another annualised decline as a result of a landslip at one mine and lower ore quality being found at another.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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