Begbies Traynor BEG announces doom and gloom for many British companies with 450,000 of them suffering from signs of financial distress, even before the effects are felt of any interest rate rise on Thursday. The number has risen by 27% from a year ago and 250,000 have become “zombie” companies with no net worth and who will not have the reserves available to survive increasing employment costs due to changes in the minimum wage and the Revenues crackdown on personal service companies.
Next plc NXT is unable to determine any underlying sales trend in the quarter to the 31st October, the main impact appearing to have come from the weather which does not seem to say much for management’s marketing skills. Sales rose significantly in August and September coinciding with the arrival of warmer weather and temperatures which were higher than last year. The end result is that third quarter full price sales rose by 1.3% compared to last year but 1.2% of that growth came from new space. Total sales including markdowns rose by 0.8% but for the year to date they are down 1.2%. The future does not look any brighter and a further decline of 0.3% is expected for quarter 4.
Paddy Power Betfair PPB found quarter 3 to the end of September to be encouraging and trading since the interim results has been good. The international businesses have performed well with Australia producing an exceptional revenue rise of 29% followed by the US with a rise of 18%. Group revenue for the quarter was up by 9% led by 11% in sports revenue but offset by a 3% drop in online revenue. Underlying EBITDA rose by 7% and it is anticipated that full year EBITDA will be between £450 and £465m.
Biome Technologies BIOM saw third quarter revenue jump from £0.9m. to £1.5m. making a rise of 46% for the year to date and the fourth consecutive quarter of EBITDA profitability. The progress and momentum seen so far are expected to continue for the remainder of the year.