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Three Quick Facts: Centrica, Diageo and ITV

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

#1. Centrica EPS soars in H1

There’s no shortage of blue chip companies reporting today, with Centrica’s [LON:CNA] half year report kicking things off. Soaring energy prices mean that the company has delivered an adjusted basic EPS of 11p, compared to the 1.7p from a year ago. The company is also de-risking itself through the building of cash reserves and now sits on £300m, compared to the £3.9billion debt the company was sitting on pre-COVID. They acknowledge the implications of the current market on consumers, but ultimately there’s little they can do to bring down prices. The inevitable tabloid headlines will follow.

#2. Diageo shows strong sales growth as spirits outperform

Full year results from Diageo [LON:DGE] paint an upbeat picture for the global drinks brand. Sales are up 21.4%, with double digit growth being recorded in each of its territories, something that has been supported by the outperformance of spirits within the sector. Operating profits are 18% higher, with price increases more than offsetting inflationary impacts. Management acknowledge the threat posed by weakening consumer demand in the coming year but it seems as if there’s plenty to cheer off this performance.

#3. ITV has better than expected H1

Half year numbers from broadcaster ITV [LON:ITV] show a better than expected performance both in terms of production and advertising. The second half of the year may be somewhat more challenging with the comparative Q3 period including the Euros, but Q4 will include the Football World Cup. The forthcoming launch of its free, ad-funded streaming service will also be closely watched, especially given its likely appeal in a deteriorating economic outlook.

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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.

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