Mitchells & Butler MAB tries to claim a strong performance for the half year to the 14th April but is reduced in the process to having to adjust its growth figures by calculating the impact of snow. Thus like for like sales growth of 1.6% becomes 2.5% on a snow adjusted basis. In the end it decides to give up the pretence and restore its credibility by admitting that underlying profitability remained flat, which is in itself perhaps something of an exaggeration with reported profit before tax down from £75m to £69m. It is a pity when management has to admit that it can not tell the difference between flatness and a fall. Basic earnings per share came in at 13p as against 13.7p
SSP Group SSPG reports another strong performance for the half year to the 31st March, with underlying profit before tax rising by 40.3% and earnings per share by 33.3%. Like for like sales increased by 2.8%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 50% to 4.8p per share.
Burberry Group BRBY saw 2018 as a year of transition which would leave the company ready to start its transformation. Like for like sales for the year to the 31st March grew by 3%, together with growth in both profit and cash flow. Revenue for the year fell by 1% both on a reported basis and and at constant exchange rates. Adjusted operating profit was up by 2% on a reported basis and by 5% at constant exchange rates and adjusted diluted earnings per share was up by 6% and 10% respectively. The final dividend is being increased by 6% from 38.9p per share to 41.3p. The outlook for 2019 includes a proposed share buy back of 150m.
Coats Group plc COA is now undergoing a transformation which will accelerate its transition from the industrial age to the digital age. In the first four months of the year it has seen robust growth of 4% in its core thread business and double digit growth continued in Performance Materials with a rise of 19%. Group sales were up 5% at constant exchange rates with a strong performance from the industrial business with growth of 6%.