Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Tesco [LON:TSCO] has published full year numbers this morning, which painted a mixed picture from the retailer. There has been a 7% uptick in sales (excluding fuel) and a doubling of the online business as a result of the pandemic, but these gains aren’t seen as being all that sticky. The company also last year elected to repay the government business rates support, so all told retail operating profits were down close on £350 million with COVID-19 response costs weighing. The dividend is being maintained at last year’s level.
easyJet [LON:EZJ] has numbers for the six months to March 31st out today. The company strikes an optimistic tone over the outlook for European travel this summer and notes that it has unrestricted access to £2.9bn of liquidity. Passenger numbers are down 89% but the company adds that cash burn is being reduced, with £470m being incurred in the second quarter, an improvement on previous guidance. The company expects to fly up to 20% of the 2019 program in Q3, with demand picking up rapidly from May. That however is going to revolve around the UK government traffic light categorisation of countries in Europe. Little movement here and no breakthrough in lowering testing costs will continue to weigh.
There’s a Q1 trading update out from Foxtons [LON:FOXT], which notes a strong start to the year as revenues advanced 24%, despite downside pressures on rental prices in London – down by an average of 12%. Mortgage broking was also notably higher, although the furtive activity amongst buyers to get deals over the line before the stamp duty holiday comes to an end is likely playing a role here. The company notes it has confidence that H1 performance will be significantly better than the comparative figure from 2020.
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