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

Smurfit Kappa

There’s a trading update out from Smurfit Kappa [LON:SKG], covering the first nine months of the year up to 30th September. The company is quick to highlight the exceptionally strong performance seen in the third quarter, with EBITDA coming in ahead of expectations. The company, which provides paper-based packaging, is well placed to benefit from the global momentum being seen in the e-commerce market, something that is reflected well in the 50% gain seen by the share price since March.

Marks & Spencer

Half year numbers from Marks & Spencer [LON:MKS] are also out this morning, with the business noting headline group revenues down by almost 16%, pushing the company to pre-tax loss of £17m. Food sales have however fared somewhat better, with the new Ocado joint venture faring well. Revenues here are up almost 50% and the M&S share of the first half profit is close on £40m. COVID and Brexit both present the company with significant uncertainty in the short term, but the company adds that it has increased online capacity as well as launching a series of applications to help shoppers maintain social distancing in the run up to Christmas.

Mitie Group

Mitie [LON:MTO] has published a half trading update this morning, covering the period to 30th September. Trading has been more resilient than expected with 12% revenue growth being seen in the second quarter, although year-on-year, H1 revenues were almost 10% lower. That said, it’s the profitability of these service contracts that ultimately counts for shareholders, who will have to wait another two weeks for the actual half year results which will offer this added granularity.

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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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