Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
Packaging group Smurfit Kappa has published a quarterly trading update this morning showing a strong start to the year. The global demands from online shopping continue to buoy this sector and it’s helped drive 7% revenue growth for the business. The company continues to expand its geographical reach, a move which ought to help suppress some degree of economic risk, although a global slowdown would likely present some cause for concern.
Hotel operator Intercontinental has published Q1 numbers this morning which contrast fairly sharply with those of Whitbread from earlier in the week. RevPAR – revenue per available room – is increasing across the vast majority of markets, although slower booking rates are still acting as something of a break here, with occupancy down by 0.2%. The company does however continue to expand apace, with 12,000 new rooms having been added to the portfolio in the last quarter.
HSBC has published Q1 numbers this morning, coming in well ahead of market expectations. Lower legal expenses have helped deliver a 31% uptick in profitability. With a focus on China and the UK, the company is susceptible to a hard landing for the world’s second largest economy and the overhang of a hard Brexit, but with both of these risk factors looking less likely, tailwinds could start to follow.