Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
1. MADE.com: Challenging market, outlook upgraded
Digital lifestyle brand MADE.com (LON:MADE) has published a trading update this morning, noting that the company expects to achieve a significant outperformance against the online furniture market. For the year to date, the wider sector has seen sales drop by between 30% and 40%, whereas MADE notes gross sales declined by a mere 10%. The company is upgrading expectations for the full year despite the fact the market is set to remain somewhat challenging. This note does however serve to underline the challenging trading conditions which exist and this in turn may prove unsettling for investors.
2. Greggs: Cost pressures mount for high street baker
Another trading update, this time from Greggs (LON:GRG), which notes a 27.4% uptick in life for like sales over the first 19 weeks of the year, a number which the company notes is flattered by high streets having reopened in turn increasing footfall. The company notes that this will now start to normalise, whilst they also face the dual challenges of rising cost inflation and disposable income being squeezed. The company’s value proposition could however serve to provide some support here.
3. National Express pushes for Stagecoach merger
National Express (LON:NEX) has this morning issued an update regarding its proposed all share merger with Stagecoach. The deal has been complicated by a competing offer for Stagecoach from a German asset manager, but management are keen to stress that a tie up between the two British companies provides a superior deal for investors. They also note that in a period when private equity investors have been on something of a buying spree, this merger presents a rare example of two UK listed companies combining to form a global industry leader.