Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
1. British Land: London office lets remain sluggish
Full year results are out from British Land (LON:BLND) this morning, with the company printing a strong set of results across the board in terms of capital returns, although there is a note of caution over the letting of office space in London, where take-up remains below long term averages although continues to recover well. There’s a lot in the report and the company does flag the real risk of macroeconomic headwinds in the short term, but the portfolio diversification is likely to lend support here, too. The above forecast dividend also has the potential to offer cause for cheer.
2. Marston’s: Pub sales almost back to pre-COVID levels
PubCo Marston’s (LON:MARS) published numbers today for the 26 weeks to 2nd April. Sales posted 97% of 2019 levels despite the plan B lockdown hitting pre-Christmas trade. The company believes that its well positioned estate of predominantly freehold pubs located out of city centres positions it well both to account for new ways of working and also to offer a resilient response to challenging consumer environments. The dividend remains suspended in light of the ongoing uncertainty but management acknowledge that this is being kept under review.
3. N Brown reports strong profit growth despite modest dip in sales
Online clothes retailer N Brown (LON:BWNG) has issued results for the 52 weeks to 26th February. The company obviously was pushed into an advantageous position during lockdown, so the fact group revenues are only 1.8% lower year on year is arguably cause for cheer. Debt is also down, whilst pre-tax profits have advanced, too. There’s caution over short term consumer behaviour and inflationary impacts, but the company notes that in the medium term it expects to deliver 7% product revenue growth and 13% EBITDA margin.
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