Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
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.
- Whitbread’s Costa sale awaits shareholder approval
- Can Whitbread shares wake up and smell the coffee?
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, 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.