Intercontinental Hotels Grp IHG presents a jargon riddled preliminary report for the year to the 31st December which makes for difficult reading, not made any easier by giving its readers a choice between Segment results and Group results. which excludes exceptional items, except for basic earnings per share. Group results show a 6% rise in revenue, operating profit down by 7% and basic earnings per share down by 34%. The total dividend is to be increased by 10% after what the CEO describes as a year of excellent progress, which delivered a strong set of financial results.
Greggs plc GRG updates that it has made an exceptionally strong start to 2019 with total sales up 14.1% for the seven weeks to 16 February after a strong finish to 2018. Credit goes in the main to the exceptional sales performance following the January launch of its vegan-friendly sausage roll which apparantly received extensive publicity for some reason. At least it made a change from Brexit headlines.The Board now anticipates that 2019 full year underlying profit before tax is likely to be ahead of previous expectations.
First Group plc FGP Delivers a winter update which recognises that overall conditions in its markets remain uncertain, and poor weather retains the potential to affect its performance. Reported Group revenue growth for the year to date comes in at 13.7% supporting an unchanged outlook for the full year. Greyhound continues to face a difficult trading environment in some markets.A disappointing operating performance for passengers is recognised at First Rail. This resulted in like-for-like passenger revenue growth slowing to 4.2%. and is blamed on significant infrastructure challenges.
Spectris plc SXS produced a 2018 performance which was slightly ahead of expectations and on a statutory basis delivered good LFL sales growth of 5% during the year to the 31st December.Profit before tax rose by 22%, basic earnings per share by 20% and the dividend is to be increased by 8%. The new Chief Executive says that Group would benefit from becoming a more focused and simplified business.