Good morning, it's Paul here with Thursday's SCVR. Jack is busy with other things today & tomorrow, so it's just me here.

Re-opening day in Bournemouth yesterday wasn't madly exciting. I did enjoy going to my local branch of Revolution Bars (LON:RBG) (I hold) though, for some cocktails, 2 for £10, or £8.50 each, so you're practically obliged to have 2. That reminds me of my favourite joke about cocktails - but it's probably going to offend someone, so I'd better not tell it.


Timing - update at 14:48 - I'm working on the OMG section now, which should be up by about 15:30. Today's report is now finished.

Agenda - not a huge amount of interesting small cap results today;

Clipper Logistics (LON:CLG) - interim results (done)

Oxford Metrics (LON:OMG) - Preliminary results (done)


J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY)

Has today followed Tesco (LON:TSCO) yesterday, by foregoing c.£450m of business rates relief saying;

Sainsbury's sales and profits have been stronger than originally expected, particularly since the start of the second national lockdown in England and we have therefore taken the decision to forego the business rates relief on all Sainsbury's stores....

As readers commented yesterday, these decisions by Tesco & Sainsburys might be connected to their desire to pay divis, which would look pretty awful if they had just been heavily subsidised by the taxpayer.

... the Board believes that shareholders should not bear the full short-term financial impact this year of the business making the right decisions for customers and colleagues through the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, when considering free cash flow allocation this year the Board will prioritise payment of dividends to shareholders over net debt reduction
As a consequence, while we expect to make good progress towards our target of at least £750 million net debt reduction in the three years to March 2022, we now expect to achieve this target by March 2023

I wonder if other supermarkets will follow suit? It will be very difficult for them not to.

Many thanks to Wimbledonsprinter for pointing out in the comments below, that Wm Morrison Supermarkets (LON:MRW) also waived its business rates relief in full yesterday, totalling £274m. These are huge numbers, for businesses to be voluntarily returning to the taxpayer. Would this have happened, say 10…

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