BT Group BT.A airs its dirty washing in public after describing the year to the end of March as a challenging one, made worse by headwinds in the UK public sector. It is still managing to increase its final dividend by 10% despite a 19% fall in reported profit before tax, which slumped even more in quarter 4 with a fall of 48%. Reported basic earnings per share were also down by 33% for the year and 49% for quarter 4. And that is not the end of the bad news. Revenue for the current year is expected to be broadly flat and dividend growth will fail to reach the anticipated 10%.
To add to its list of excuses there were further headwinds from the international corporate market and the self inflicted in house disasters created by BT management itself, including hefty fines and avoidable problems in Italy. Management has learned lessons, it humbly claims. A bit late in the day perhaps but we shall see. The lack of heads rolling around on the boardroom and executive canteen floors may be regarded by some as a cause for concern.
Stobart Group STOB is proposing a 50% increase in dividends for the year to 28th February with a final payment of 4.5p per share. The year produced a statutory loss of £8m after deduction of non underlying items of £ 35.4m. On an underlying basis, profit before tax rose by 48.9% and basic earnings per share by 62.4%.
On The Beach Group OTB is paying a maiden interim dividend of 0.9p for the half year to 31st March, after a 7.3% increase in revenue led to a 33.8% surge in profit before tax. Adjusted earnings per share rose by 27.1% and net debt fell by some two thirds to £2.3m. The group describes this as a solid performance, strengthening towards the end of the half year and continuing to grow in the second half.
United Carpets UCG has announced a special dividend of 1p per share which will be paid on the 25th May
Supergroup SGP The year to 29th April produced good sales and profit growth, with revenue ahead by 27.2%. Profit for the year is ecpected to be in line with expectations at £86-87m