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

Vodafone

Full year results are out from Vodafone this morning and as had been expected, the dividend has been cut. A full year pay out of EUR0.09 per share has been announced, down from just over EUR0.15 a year ago and, with the company promising a progressive dividend from here. Revenues are off 6.2% and adjusted EPS has fallen by half. Geography-specific headwinds are causing challenges for the company whilst high auction spectrum charges have also been problematic.

Premier Foods

Full year results from Premier Foods show revenues up 0.6% and trading profits up 4.5%. The relaunch of Mr Kipling has gone exceedingly well (sorry) with sales for the brand up 12% over the accounting period, whilst the company will presumably be hoping to emulate Greggs’s success from the vegan sausage roll with the launch of its own health brand, ‘Plantasic’. The share price remains well below the pre-credit crisis highs, but today’s news once again suggests a step in the right direction.

Greggs

Keeping with that food theme, there’s a trading update from Greggs out, with total sales in the first 19 weeks of the year up 15.1%. Growth for the same period in 2018 was just 4.7% and it’s those vegan sausage rolls that are being seen as helping drive growth. Product innovation at the start and end of each day is also noted in the report and the chain is now coming close to hitting 2,000 stores across the UK. Signing off with a comment that full year profits are now expected to be materially higher than previous expectations and shareholders could well have something to applaud this morning.

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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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