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

Ted Baker

Ted Baker [LON:TED] has published full year results this morning covering the period up to the end of January. Trading restrictions off the back of COVID have taken a marked toll on the business, with revenues falling by almost half and last year’s £4.8m pre-tax profit tumbling to a £59.2m pre-tax loss. Q1 revenues for the current year show little change to this pattern, but again with non-essential retail having been closed in England until mid-April it’s going to take another quarter for a clearer picture to emerge here. The company is perhaps rather belatedly pushing its ecommerce initiatives with a full platform relaunch on the agenda although one key point to note here is that gross margins in this channel have improved by around 250bps.

Serco Group

There’s a note out from Serco Group [LON:SRP] on a significant UK defence contract win this morning but the key take away here is that the company is also increasing its guidance for full year profits by £15m to around £200m. It’s not these defence contract wins that will be driving the improvements here either, as they won’t have an impact on performance until next year but it’s an expectation that the UK government test and trace contracts will continue yielding for some time yet that seems to be bolstering optimism.

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Saga

Ahead of today’s AGM, Saga [LON:SAGA] have issued a trading update. A couple of stand outs here include the fact that the company is selling more multi-year insurance policies which presumably benefit both retention and margin, whilst cruise sailings are due to restart imminently. Bookings for both for the current year and next year are ahead of expectations, whilst cash burn for the travel division so far this year has been at the lower end of guidance.

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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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