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

Whitbread

Half year numbers from Whitbread have been released this morning, with the results focused very much on Premier Inn now that Costa Coffee has been sold to Coca Cola. Weaker UK consumer demand is acting as a drag on the business to some extent although capacity increases have seen revenues rise 2.6%. Despite any negativity, there’s a commitment to continue with the expansion plans into the second half of the year, with up to 4,500 new rooms set to be delivered across both the UK and Germany.

Bunzl

There’s a Q3 trading update out from Bunzl this morning, showing results in line with expectations. Revenues for the quarter are up by a meaningful 7%, although around half of that is as a result of disposals. The company also used the opportunity to announce a further acquisition in Brazil, subject to regulatory approvals, although with annual revenues of just £41million, this bolt on is more about strengthening the local position rather than being transformative.

Intu Properties

Intu, the owners of many large shopping centres, have published a trading update this morning and the business takes a punchy tone. Physical retail as a sector has been struggling, but Intu is quick to claim it owns the winning locations, as opposed to ‘the rest’. That said, footfall is down 1.3% year to date and with an adjusted Net Asset Value of 297p per share, the underlying price suggests a significant discount. With no suggestions that the wider sector’s fortunes are going to improve quickly, creativity will be key.

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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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