Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
William Hill has published a Q3 trading update this morning, highlighting rapid growth in the US. There’s a continued flow of from physical shops to online for the business, but expansion in North America remains a key driver for growth. In more established markets, average revenue per user is slipping, although as this represents a more sustainable user base, it should also come with the benefit of lower acquisition costs.
Associated British Foods
Full year numbers from Associated British Foods are out today. In addition to the food lines, the company also owns Primark, and the headline performance is good. Revenues and profits are both higher, paving the way for a 10% increase in dividend payouts. The sugar business continues to struggle with falling prices taking a toll here, but the agriculture business is doing well, whilst at Primark, sales are 6% up on last year whilst operating profits have grown from 10.4% to 11.3%. The diversification is serving ABF well.
A quarterly trading update from supermarket WM Morrison covering the 13 week period up to last Sunday has been published and growth remains upbeat. Like for like sales are up 5.6%, although the bulk of this is coming through the wholesale agreements it has both with Amazon and newsagents McColl’s as these channels come on stream, so sustaining growth rates here in the longer term may present fresh challenges. The retail figures are down somewhat from Q2, although the World Cup and the hot summer weather were both seen as key drivers here.