Three things you need to know in the financial markets today from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. Vistry performance beats management expectations
Half year results are out from housebuilder Vistry [LON:VTY] this morning, with the group’s performance having exceeded management expectations for the reporting period. The note adds that a solid start has been seen to H2 as well, with 96% of forecast completions for the second half having already been completed. Adjusted pre-tax profits are up 14.3% and investors are being rewarded with a proposed 15% increase in interim dividends.
#2. Restaurant Group sales double – as storm clouds gather?
Casual dining operator The Restaurant Group [LON:RTN] has published interim results today covering the 26 weeks to 3rd July. Sales are around double the levels seen for the comparative and in the majority of sectors now sit ahead of pre-COVID levels, with only the concessions category lagging. Utility prices are hedged through to 2024 which may provide some certainty and whilst acknowledging the uncertain consumer environment, management believe the group is well positioned to deliver long term growth. What’s clear is that the challenging times for this sector will continue for a while longer yet.
#3. Spire interims show losses shrinking fast
Spire Healthcare [LON:SPI] issued its interims today as well, with revenues up 7.1% and a sharp contraction in terms of losses compared to H1 ’21. Management note fundamental change in UK healthcare as driving strong underlying growth and guidance remains unchanged from that stated at the release of the most recent full year numbers, although interruptions by recurring COVID waves have taken a toll, with July’s impact alone being some £6m worse than expected. There are a number of risks to manage here, both in terms of rising input costs and staffing overheads but the company is confident that it can manage these with commensurate increases in pricing and being selective in terms of service offering.