Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
Interim results from WH Smiths this morning again show that the traditional retail sector still has some pockets of success, despite high profile tales of troubles. Revenues for the first six months of the year are up 8%, with the company’s travel division performing especially well in terms of profit growth. High Street revenue is however continuing to decline – like for like revenues fell 2%, which was the second best performance in a decade. The interim dividend is being upped by 8% to reflect the solid start to the year, whilst profits for the full year are now pitched slightly ahead of expectations.
News from Ted Baker this morning that the fashion chain is now clearly hoping to put last year’s alleged scandals behind it. Its lawyers have concluded their review into events and a new CEO has been appointed. Lindsay Page, the former Finance Director and COO took the role of acting CEO in December and has now been confirmed in the role on a full time basis. With the shares now trading close to December’s lows, investors will be hoping this comes close to drawing a line under the matter.
Active Investment Manager Man Group has this morning published results for the quarter, showing a modest uptick in funds under management over the last three months. The positive investment movement was +4.5% which given the underlying market may not look too impressive, but the real test will be performance when the mood reverses.