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Three Quick Facts: FirstGroup, Berkeley Group and 88 Energy


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

#1. Profit upgrade from bus & train operator FirstGroup

There’s a trading update out from FirstGroup LON:FGP this morning, which kicks off noting that passenger volumes are now at 83% of pre-pandemic levels, although part of this uptick is a result of the £2 fare cap which has been brought in to stimulate demand. The company also notes stronger than expected demand from passengers on its open access rail operations. As a result, full year profit expectations are being upgraded, with FY24 forecasts remaining unchanged.

#2. Berkeley Group sales remain sluggish but inflation pressures moderating

Berkeley Group LON:BKG has issued a trading update covering November through to February. The company notes that sales remain in line with those reported in December’s interims, 25% down from the first five months of the year but management see this as a resilient performance given market conditions. Pricing has remained firm and there are signs that margins pressures are receding, supporting the three year sales guidance offered with those interims.

#3. 88 Energy: drilling starts on new Alaska test well

88 Energy [LON:88E] has this morning reported that drilling of the Hickory 1 well has now commenced. It’s expected to take around four weeks for the rig to reach target depth. Subject to results here, flow testing won’t take place until the 2023/24 season. Investors will likely need patience.

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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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