Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Interims have been published by Whitbread [LON:WTB] this morning, showing how trading conditions in the UK remain challenging against a weak economic backdrop that’s afflicting business and leisure travel alike at its Premier Inns brand. Not only have occupancy rates fallen by 1.8% in the domestic market, but RevPAR – revenue per available room – is also down a chunky 5.2%. The company is working hard to mitigate these downsides with the release of a new premium category of room targeting business travellers and accelerating the roll out of properties in Germany, but the market may be less than impressed with this news.
There’s a Q3 update from building supply merchants Travis Perkins [LON:TPK] out today which shows a resilient performance by the business despite uncertain market conditions. Year to date sales growth across the business is up 3.6%, with the vast majority of divisions performing well. The company remains on track to demerge Wickes from the core business and has identified a number of cost savings that can also be made in the coming years.
On The Beach
There’s an interesting year end update from travel agents On The Beach [LON:OTB] ahead of their full year results due in around 5 weeks time. The company notes that all customers affected by the Thomas Cook liquidation were either refunded or rebooked quickly, and the failure of the iconic brand has created unprecedented opportunity for the business going forward. The disruption has had no effect on guidance for the full year, so next month’s numbers will be under close scrutiny as the market looks to decide just how big this opportunity actually is.