Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
There’s a short trading update out from SSE [LON:SSE] this morning, following the preliminary full year results released just a month ago. Two stand out points in the report are the company’s apparent determination to ensure regulatory change helps deliver net zero ambitions, and also a robust defence of the dividend. This seems curious – few would suggest that profitable companies who haven’t used the furlough scheme and are unlikely to run into cashflow issues in the near term have a case to answer here. However SSE is quick to note that this income stream is of critical importance to supporting pensions. Whilst that’s true, in the current environment this does seem like a curious approach to take.
Recruiter Hays [LON:HAS] has published a Q4 trading statement today, covering the period to June 30th. Performance across the board is universally lower with growth down by around one third. UK permanent postings took the biggest hit, down 58% although one outlier was Switzerland where fees for the period rose by 6%. The company has taken action to reduce costs in recent months, but expects this to be short lived as its own staffing liabilities rise once again. The company has lined up £600m through the Bank of England’s CCFF but notes that given current forecasts they are highly unlikely to use the facility.
Experian [LON:EXPN] has published Q1 numbers today, again covering the period to June 30th. A strong performance in its dominant North American market – accounting for 63% of income – has helped provide significant support for the business, with total revenue at constant exchange rates down by just 1%. Expectations are that revenues for the second quarter will be between flat and 5% lower and although this business has some resilience in a recessionary market, a contraction in the availability of credit may prove a constraining factor.
Sign up for three quick facts and more with our Free Daily Digest newsletter, every weekday morning.