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

Whitbread

There’s a cautious trading update out from Whitbread this morning, with UK income struggling in the face of macroeconomic uncertainty. The critical RevPAR figure – revenue per available room – is down 6%, but perhaps more telling is the fact the company appears to be underperforming against the broader sector, where RevPAR is off 3.4%. Organic growth is propping up income and expansion into Germany also has the potential to yield results but shareholders may be less than impressed with this update.

Saga

SAGA has issued a trading update ahead of the company’s AGM today. The company has been through a repositioning exercise for its insurance products and notes that encouraging progress has been made, although it remains early days. Claim rates and margins are in line with previously stated objectives whilst forward bookings for cruise holidays are also proving resilient.

Berkeley Homes

Full year results from housebuilder Berkeley Homes have been published. Profits are down 6%, although that’s far less than the 30% which had been predicted. The company also notes that profitability is expected to normalise now, following the run out of the financial crisis over a decade ago. Strong forward sales, a healthy cash balance and a significant property land bank all put the company in a good financial position, but the statement does note the political uncertainty facing the UK.

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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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