Associated British Foods ABF warns that for the first half so far like for like sales at Primark have gone into decline with a 1% fall. This is despite a strong performance in the UK with produced a 4% rise in like for like sales and an 8% overall sales rise which was helped by an increase in selling space. Nonetheless one can not go on for ever increasing selling space and producing lower like for like sales. For Primark it is not all that long ago that these figures would have been seen as a disaster and it looks like the glory days may have gone at least for the time being. All other businesses except sugar will show sales growth, which again is the opposite of what one used to expect during the years when Primark was in its heyday
Hammerson plc HMSO 2017 saw Hammerson achieve the highest level of lettings in its 75 year history and group occupancy rose to a 17 year high at 98.3%. Over the past 5 years earnings per share have grown at an annual rate of 8.3% and all this despite the retail disasters which have hit high streets and shopping malls, as shopping habits have changed. The final dividend is to be increased by 6.5%
Bunzl plc BNZL is to increase its final dividend by 10% maintaining a 25 year track record of unbroken dividend growth. Revenue for the year to 31st December grew by 16% and led to 13% rises in earnings per share and profit before tax. Organic revenue growth was the highest for 11 years at 4.3% on top of which was the beneficial impact of newly acquired businesses. The future is seen as being positive and the policy of consolidating the fragmented market in which it operates, will be continued.
One Media iP Group OMIP claims to have weathered the worst of the storm, got back on track and seen the first green shoots of recovery, as the Chairmans forecast that streaming would replace downloading, turned into reality. The result is that in the year to the 12th October, revenue rose by 14%, EBITDA by 121% and operating profit by 927% as the industry saw the birth of a whole new market for audio visual entertainment. No dividend is to be paid but that is a decision which will in future be reviewed each half year.