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

SSP Group

SSP [LON:SSPG] issued a pre-close trading update today, covering the April-September period. The company, which provides branded catering and shopping services at transport hubs worldwide, has had a tough ride in the wake of COVID. Sales are expected to now come in at the lower end of previous forecasts, down some 86% year on year. The company notes some return in demand, with current weekly sales down 76%. The company has worked hard to conserve cash with a burn rate now of £25m/month and has around £500m worth of headroom. Shares are down 70% from pre-COVID levels. A return to more normal travel patterns could leave this as a great recovery stock.

Ten Entertainment

Ten Entertainment [LON:TEG] operates a network of family entertainment centres across the UK so its half year results for the period to June 28th make for predictably grim reading. Like for like sales have essentially been halved, although outperformance was seen in the first 11 week period and the company has now resumed operations at all 46 of its sites. Spend per head has been maintained and the company has bolstered its debt headroom. The threat of further lockdown restrictions is obviously cause for concern, but initial customer response to the implemented safety measures has apparently been positive.


Lockdown may have served the DIY community well, so perhaps it’s no surprise that it has been full steam ahead for Hornby [LON:HRN] during recent months, too. In an AGM trading statement it released this morning, sales and margins have been higher than previous years and are higher than internal budgets, too. The company does however note the uncertainty that comes with the UK’s imminent departure from the customs union.

And a shout out to Kingfisher [LON:KGF] who we covered yesterday. This was a long report so I missed the fact they are repaying furlough cash received from the government, which in my mind is absolutely the right thing to do and something that should be applauded by shareholders.

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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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