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Three Quick Facts: N Brown, Hotel Chocolat, Hays


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

#1. Unseasonable weather hampers N Brown sales

Online retailer [LON:BWNG] N Brown Group has published interim results for the 26 weeks to 2nd September. Revenue contracted by more than 10% as a result of unseasonable weather and challenging market conditions, with a adjusted EBITDA falling in line with management expectations. Operating costs are being squeezed, trading during the early part of Q3 is showing an uptick and full year forecasts are in line with market expectations. The board adds that stock management has improved, in turn bolstering the company’s liquidity position.

#2. Hotel Chocolat tips to loss but outlook is sweeter

Hotel Chocolat [LON:HOTC] has full year numbers out today. The company notes these highlight a rebalancing post-pandemic with online sales giving way to more traditional channels. Revenues are off 10%, in line with market expectation and in store sales advanced 8% year-on-year. Last year’s £22m profit has tipped to a modest loss and the RCF has been renewed with what management see as a significant level of headroom. Store revenues continue to accelerate in Q1 FY24 whilst cost reduction projects are now yielding results, leaving the business well positioned as it runs into the key Christmas season.

#3. Hays: slow hiring cycle and limited talent pools weigh

Recruiter Hays [LON:HAS] has a quarterly update out noting sales for the period to 30th September are down by 9%, with permanent recruitment the worst performing sector and Australia & NZ the most sluggish territory. Longer hiring cycles and skills shortages in key markets (as PageGroup reported yesterday) are both weighing on performance here, although wage inflation is offering some support here. Group headcount continues to contract and the company notes that ongoing appreciation of the Pound is offering some support.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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