Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Premier Inn owner Whitbread [LON:WTB] has this morning announced preliminary results for the full year. Sales have been decimated by COVID shutdowns with revenues off by 71% but the company notes it has outperformed the mid-range sector since reopening in August. The dividend has been suspended as part of the company’s cash preservation strategy but there’s plenty of optimism over what happens next. The reopening of UK leisure next month is expected to give the chain a significant boost, whilst investment plans are set to continue including the roll out of more “plus” category rooms, offering a higher level of service.
Tour operator and budget airline group Jet2 [LON:JET2] has published a trading update. There’s not too much that’s new in here, but the liquidity position looks sound with a cash reserve excluding customer deposits in excess of £1bn. There’s disappointment that the government is still to offer clarity over what the travel map will look like after May 17th which means that bookings are now suspended through to June 23rd although bookings for the winter season and next summer are both looking strong.
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Q1 numbers from BP [LON:BP] are out this morning, with strong commodity prices and an upbeat economic outlook helping the stock comprehensively trounce expectations. The underlying replacement cost profit metric for the quarter was almost double consensus estimates and the company expects demand to remain brisk throughout the year as a successful COVID vaccination rollout programme stands to underpin the market.
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