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Three Quick Facts: Barratt, SSP and Hays

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

#1. Barratt’s FY profits set to beat expectations

A trading statement from housebuilder Barratt (LON:BDEV) out today following the recent end of the financial year has shown excellent performance, with management now expecting to post profits just above market expectations. Completions are up almost 4% and average selling prices advanced by a similar amount.

#2. SSP sales now at 89% of pre-pandemic levels

A Q3 update from SSP (LON:SSP), the operator of retail and catering franchises at transport hubs. Revenue has continued to strengthen since interims were published around 6 weeks ago and now run at 89% of 2019 levels. The UK territory is the day’s laggard with sales averaging 82% of pre-pandemic levels, but the company remains upbeat about the outlook, despite macroeconomic headwinds and the impact of industrial action, again most notably in the UK. Expectations are that full year numbers will now come in at the upper end of previously offered guidance.

#3. Record quarter for Hays

Recruiter Hays (LON:HAS) issued a Q4 update this morning, which made for a record quarter as fees rose 23%. Operating profits for the full year are now expected to come in at £210m, which would be at the upper end of guidance. An interesting extract here is that the stronger revenue growth is being seen in permanent rather than temporary recruitment, although both sides continue to perform well. The company’s strong cash position is also set to continue funding the share buyback program, plus payment of core and special dividends.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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