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Three Quick Facts: L&G, Intercontinental Hotels and Bellway

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

#1. Legal & General H1 operating profits beat expectations

There’s a lengthy half year report out from Legal & General LON:LGEN this morning, but the headlines paint a suitably robust picture. Operating profits are 8% higher – a number which has marginally beat expectations – although the return on equity has dropped from 22% a year ago to 21.3%. Shareholders are however being rewarded with a 5% increase in dividends and the company notes it is confident that profitable growth can continue to be delivered as it executes its growth strategy.

#2. Intercontinental Hotels revenues soar but room rates still below 2019 levels

Intercontinental Hotels LON:IHG also has half year numbers out today and with the travel sector continuing to benefit from favourable comparatives as COVID restrictions ease, this is no exception. Revenues are 49% higher, operating profits have doubled and the adjusted EPS is treble last year’s number. Critically however, RevPAR – revenue per available room – still sits below 2019 levels, although that gap continues to close, being down 10% for H1 and just 4.5% for Q2.

#3. Bellway: bumper margins but company flags challenges for year ahead

House builder Bellway LON:BWY has issued a trading update covering the full year to 31st July. Housing revenue reached a new high, completions rose 10% and operating margins advanced to 18.5%. The company does flag the end of the help to buy system as a potential challenge but notes the strength of its forward order book and land investments as leaving it in a good position. Despite the looming threat of recession, the company believes that average selling prices for the 22/23 FY will still exceed £300,000, although down slightly from the £314,000 seen for the year just completed.

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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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