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