Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
WM Morrison Supermarkets
There’s an interesting set of interims out from supermarket WM Morrison [LON:MRW] this morning, showing a very modest increase in revenues but a significant jump in profits. Like for like sales are up 0.2% over the first half compared to a 4.9% jump a year ago, but pre-tax profits have risen by over 5%. Investors are being rewarded with a 4.3% increase in the interim dividend, plus a 2p per share special dividend. The company has announced an extension of its offering on Amazon Prime and appears happy to discount the decline of revenues as being a factor of tough comparatives after last summer’s good weather, the World Cup and a Royal Wedding.
The Trainline [LON:TRN] has published interim results today, showing a heathy 19% increase in ticket sales and a 29% uptick in revenues for the last six months. eTicketing – the delivery of train tickets to a mobile phone – is seen as driving much of the growth. Revenue expansion in the second half of the year is expected to be a little less aggressive but the company is confident that the full year figure will still be in the low to mid 20% range.
Haynes Publishing Group
Full year numbers from publisher Haynes [LON:HYNS] paint an impressive picture. Revenues up 7%, gross profits up 12% and earnings per share up 44% have made for a third consecutive year of growth. Investors may be disappointed by the fact the dividend is being left unchanged, but with the company now debt free for the first time since 2013, such prudence is probably to be applauded.