Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. Unilever sees 5.4% growth in revenues
Half year numbers are in from Unilever [LON:ULVR] which show 5.4% growth in revenues – but a 100bps drop in margin, at least partly a result of rising input costs. Of that 5.4% uptick, 4% came from volume and the remainder from price growth. Management note that they are making good progress off the back of strategic decisions made earlier in the year and are confident of delivering further sales growth. The second half however faces some tough comparators and also the risk that input prices will continue to rise.
#2. UK Government to sell a tranche of its NatWest shares
News from the government this morning that it intends to initiate a scheme to sell down another tranche of its NatWest Group [LON:NWG] shares. The taxpayer currently owns almost 55% of the bank and over the next twelve months this could be reduced to around 40%. Still a weighty stake for the British public and there’s an undisclosed floor price so this is no fire sale, but with post-COVID financial holes to fill, this was arguably an obvious target.
#3. Britvic confident of a strong summer
There’s a Q3 trading update from Britvic [LON:BVIC] covering the period to June 30th, which notes an interesting position as the hospitality industry reopens. The company highlighted a good performance both in the at-home channel as well as out-of-home and on-the-go in the domestic market. This hasn’t been reflected in Ireland as it takes a different route out of lockdown, but there’s confidence that a strong summer lies ahead and full year profits will be in line with expectations.
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