Stock markets in brief: Construction firm Persimmon; Building supplier Marshalls; Online retailer Gear4music

X The Business Desk

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THREE leaders of the stock markets this morning delivered trading updates, with attempts to placate investors after the Brexit decision at the forefront of their thoughts.

Building supplier Marshalls’ revenue for the 6 months ended 30 June 2016 was up 2% to £202m, having reached £199m in the same period the year before due to stronger sales performance in May and June.

The company said that a strong domestic market contributed to this growth, with year on year growth at 12%.

Sales in the public sector and commercial end market, which make up more than 60% of Marshalls’ business, also picked up over the last 2 months and were 2% ahead of the prior year period.

The company said: “Notwithstanding the potential for uncertainty following the result of the EU Referendum, the underlying indicators remain positive. Marshalls continues to be well placed to deliver the growth initiatives set out in the 2020 Strategy and continues to drive through sustainable cost reductions and improvements in operational efficiency.”

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RECENTLY listed online retailer Gear4music reported that it had seen a 191% increase in European like-for-like sales in the first full week following the UK’s EU Referendum vote.

The company said it compared “favourably” to a 120% increase in European like-for-like sales in the week preceding the EU Referendum vote (13-19 June).

It said European sales supported by favourable exchange rates and responsive pricing.

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FOR the half year to 30 June, housebuilder Persimmon said that trading had been strong, completing 7,238 homes in the period.

This was a 6% increase in volume on the same period in 2015, with the average selling price of £205,500 having increased by 6% (2015: £194,378).

Group revenues of £1.49bn were 12% ahead of last year. It also opened 108 new sites in the period.

Approvals remained ahead of last year despite a period of increasing uncertainty leading up to the EU referendum, the company said.

The York-based housebuilder said: “It remains too soon to judge the effect that the result of the EU Referendum will have on the UK new homes market. We believe that market fundamentals remain strong, supported by long term unfulfilled demand, and that the UK housing market will continue to provide good opportunities for those companies with the right strategic focus and the balance sheet strength to navigate future changes in trading conditions.

“The Group remains committed to building the new homes across the country that Britain needs.”

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