Three things you need to know in the financial markets today from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. National Express wins another German train contract
There’s a note from transport operator National Express [LON:NEX] out this morning, advising that it has been awarded a 10 year contract from Germany to run two train routes in the country. The company has stepped in to provide a service here on an emergency basis last year and this award establishes NEX as the second largest rail transport company in the Rhine-Ruhr region. The contract is valued at EUR1 billion over the 10 year lifetime.
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#2. Dignity full year trading update shows pressures persisting
Funeral operator Dignity [LON:DTY] has published a trading update for the year to 30th December. Revenues for the period are expected to be no more than £275m against £312m a year earlier, whilst underlying operating profits will also be hit hard. Despite higher than average mortality rates persisting after COVID-19, changes in pricing strategy and increased demand for lower priced products are weighing on performance. As announced at the start of the year, talks are ongoing regarding a cash buyout of the company, which if agreed the board would universally recommend.
#3. Saga confirms underwriter is up for sale
Saga Group [LON:SAGA] has responded to media reports that it is considering selling Acromas Insurance Company, the underwriter which currently covers 25%-30% of its insurance business. This is in order to optimise the operational performance of the business and would also serve to decrease debt. No such deal has been agreed and management add that both regulators and shareholders would need to approve such a deal.