Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
Full year results are out from Smurfit Kappa this morning and investors might not be all that impressed by the outcome. Revenues are up 4% to EUR8.95 billion, but this is at the bottom end of analyst expectations. That said, the key metrics are all pointing in the right direction and the company does seem to be executing its transformation plan well. It’s just the shortfall in headline income may be sufficient to see the shares under pressure in early trading.
Half year numbers from Dunelm Group are out this morning and again, it’s proving to be something of a bright spot in the struggling retail sector. Like for like sales are up almost 7%, gross margins have passed 50% and the overhaul of the company’s online presence continues to deliver, too. Shareholders are being rewarded with a proposed 7% increase in dividends. The CEO’s statement includes praise for not overcomplicating matters – that certainly seems to be paying off.
Estate agents Countrywide have published a full year trading statement today, ahead of full results in three weeks time. The property market in general is facing something of a slowdown and this theme is reflected in the numbers. Income fell around 6.5% and EBITDA fell by close on 50%, although this is all seen as being in line with management expectations. The company did embark on a turn around plan back in the summer which is reported as being well executed and an uptick in ancillary income is also worthy of note.