Reckitt Benckiser RB Rarely has a board been so isolated from reality that it shows not the slightest comprehension of the fear which its own chosen headlines for its third quarter update, could instill in shareholders. Those headlines speak of a continuing challenging environment and then worse still, an admission that the company needs reorganising for growth. So what exactly have the directors and senior management been doing recently to earn their remuneration. How can they have let things get so out of hand that they are forced to admit that the company is so badly organised it is incapable of growth.
Net revenue both for the quarter and for the year to date both fell by 1%. The best it could manage was growth in only one category out of four and that was a lowly 1% in hygiene, It was a soft quarter bemoans the CEO whose best expectations are for a flat like for like target for the full year, whilst at the same time claiming to be excited about the prospects for the company.
BHP Billiton BHP updates that its first quarter performance leaves it on track for 7% volume growth in the current financial year but the figures are somewhat patchy. Petroleum and gas production declined compared to the same quarter last year, as did iron ore and coal. Copper was the only bright spot with a rise of 14%. However there are four major projects under development one of which involves investment of $2.5 billion.
Softcat SCT announces another very strong year with double digit growth in both gross and operating profit. Revenue for the year to 31st July rose by 23.8% and operating profit by 18.9%. The final dividend is to be increased by 69.4% and a special dividend of 13.5p per share, down 15% on last year, is also to be paid, making a total dividend increase for the year of 15%. The company has now produced 48 consecutive quarters of top and bottom line year on years growth.
Eckoh ECK has been trading strongly in the UK during the half year to the 30th September, whilst in the US where it only entered the market in 2014 it also appears to be going from strength to strength, having won a total of 30 contracts since then. Good progress is being made in converting its contracts pipeline into orders and new contracts awarded in the first half, have equaled those awarded in the whole of the last financial. year