Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. Wickes Group full year results show sales ahead of price inflation
Wickes Group [LON:WIX] has published full year results to 1st January this morning. Revenues advanced 14% whilst adjusted pre-tax profits increased by an impressive 70%, resulting in a total dividend for the FY of 10.9p per share being paid out. The note also reveals that the estimated inflation impact for the year was 7%, so growth remains very much in tact. Trade over the first eleven weeks of the new FY is said to be in line with expectations and although this is against some tough comparatives, buoyant demand from local trades is said to be driving the business. Further progress is expected during the year although the company acknowledges the threat of global macroeconomic uncertainty.
#2. Government rail contract awarded to Go Ahead Group for next three years
Go Ahead Group [LON:GOG] has this morning advised the market that the Department for Transport has awarded a National Rail Contract to the company. This de-risked form of franchise pays an annual management fee, with bonuses payable on top under certain conditions. Running for the next three years, the maximum receivable by the operator is £31.7m pa, equivalent to a 1.85% margin on operating costs. The champagne corks can probably stay in their respective bottles, but the three year term presumably also offers us some clues as to how long the government thinks passenger numbers will remain depressed for…
#3. Cinema operator Everyman plotting return to profitability
AIM-listed cinema operator Everyman [LON:EMAN] has published final results to 30th December this morning. Despite only being able to open fully for 24 weeks, this was still significantly better than 2020, allowing the company to bolster admissions by 67% and reverse the £0.3m loss in the prior year into a £8.3m adjusted profit from operations. On an operating basis the company remained loss making, but the trajectory here is worthy of note. Average ticket prices are also up more than 4% whilst spend per head advanced by more than a quarter. The company’s optimism is being underlined by its desire to accelerate business openings in the short to medium term.
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