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

Vodafone

Half year numbers from Vodafone have been published this morning, and there may be some disappointment for investors. Group revenues are around EUR 1 billion lower than consensus analyst estimates, the dividend is being maintained and net debt is on the increase, too. The company has recently shifted reporting structures, making quick comparisons difficult, although currency headwinds also took a toll on performance.

First Group

There’s a solid half year update from the transport operator First Group out this morning. Like for like group revenues are up 6% (the figure is far higher if you take the South West Rail franchise into account), although the move into this rail franchise is taking a toll on profit margins. The dividend however remains suspended.

Premier Foods

Has Premier Foods turned a corner? Shares in the makers of Mr Kipling pies have been languishing for years and at the current price of under 40p, are a long way below the dizzy pre-crash highs of over £50. However, this morning’s half year trading update shows a revenue increase for the period of 1.3% and a 13% increase in pre-tax profits. The company is in talks to dispose of its Ambrosia brand and is lauding the success of the Mr Kipling brand re-launch. Could this be a turning point for the stock’s fortunes?

Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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