Three things you need to know in the financial markets today from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. HSBC half-year profits beat analyst expectations
Half year results have been published by HSBC [LON:HSBA] this morning, although as usual these dropped in the Hong Kong market’s lunchtime break rather than at 7am BST. Pre-tax profits of $5bn were reported, well ahead of analyst estimates and the bank has committed to returning dividends to pre-pandemic levels. The sector’s benchmark RoTE – Return on Tangible Equity – advanced to 9.9%, with a target of lifting this to at least 12% from next year.
#2. Pearson adjusted H1 profits up 22%
Educational publisher Pearson[LON:PSON] has issued half year numbers, showing underlying sales up 6% and adjusted profits up 22%, allowing management to reaffirm full year expectations. Beyond that, further efficiency gains are also expected to be seen with at least £100m earmarked for the next financial year. A 5% uplift in interim dividends will likely be welcomed by investors and the company has added that a strategic review into its online programme management business is also being conducted.
#3. JD Sports completes Footasylum disposal
The Competition and Markets Authority’s reach is probably more typically associated with managing the behaviour of high profile, utility-like companies, so this latest incursion into the sport and leisure footwear market has perhaps looked a bit curious. That chapter has however been concluded today with news that JD Sports [LON:JD.] has sold Footasylum and its associated subsidiaries to AURELIUS for £37.5m. Arguably the sting here is that JD originally purchased the marque for some £90m in 2019.