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

TalkTalk

Solid half year numbers from telecoms company TalkTalk this morning, showing a return to profitability. A headline profit of £5 million for the first six months has been recorded, reversing losses of £21 million for the same period a year ago. Critically, cost of sales are falling, and levels of customer churn are down too, with Q2’s number of 1.1% being the lowest ever recorded.

Sage

Sage may have only recently found itself a new CEO but it seems as if he’ll be happy enough presenting this morning’s full year figures. Revenues are up almost 7%, although critically the percentage of which is subscription based is fast approaching 50%. The company is keen to be positioned in the SaaS (Software as a Service) category. Shareholders will be rewarded with an impressive 7% increase in the dividend.

Kingfisher

Third quarter numbers are out from B&Q owners Kingfisher this morning and it seems to be a case of more of the same for the company. There are some pockets of strength such as Screwfix in the UK where sales are up over 10% year-on-year, but the Castorama division in France continues to disappoint. The company is exiting operations in Russia, Spain and Portugal to instead focus on markets where it has or believes it can reach a leading position. Shareholders may be cheered by a further £50m buy-back, but the company’s turn-around still seems some distance from delivering definitive results.

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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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