Three things you need to know in the financial markets today from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. Henry Boot full year trading update paints mixed picture
Property investment firm Henry Boot [LON:BOOT] has published a full year trading update covering the period to 31st of December ahead of results due in late March. Strong sales mean the company has posted its best year ever, although management add that tax implications mean pre-tax profits will be slightly below consensus forecasts. The note also adds that 2023’s performance is likely to be rather more challenging although whilst residential property sales are slowing, the company is insulated against this by pre-sales levels of land and housing. The market reaction will be worth watching here.
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#2. Marston’s solid Christmas trade
PubCo Marston’s [LON:MARS] has a 16 week trading update out, covering the period to 21st January. Sales are up 12.9% year on year, with a significant up weighting of that in the latter half of the period covering Christmas and New Year. The note also adds that drinks sales continue to outperform food and although management note that there are still cost challenges to address, the pub remains an affordable treat for many. The strategic goals of £1 billion of sales and getting debt below £1 billion remain in tact.
#3. City Pub Group: positive start to ’23, upbeat outlook
City Pub Group [LON:CPC] has issued a Q4 and full year update covering the period to 25th December. Like for like sales growth over the Christmas period hit 7.8%, with the company noting the significant drag here off the back of rail strikes which are estimated to have lost revenues in the region of £750,000. The company notes it has weathered the volatility of the last three years and believes that its low gearing combined with a high quality pub estate will allow the business to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves, with the board confident of further progress in 2023. They conclude that trade in 2023 has got off to a better than expected start with optimism that economic conditions will improve in the months ahead.