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Alibaba invented Singles Day as a shopping celebration for the unattached as opposed to the romanticism of Valentines Day. It is now the world’s biggest online sales event, exceeding the combined totals of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Yesterday saw sales hit a record $1bn in 85 seconds and the total spend for the day came in at $30.8bn, a 27% rise on last year. UK High streets were probably closed for the day unable to think of anything to celebrate and Primark no doubt steadfastly maintaining that online sales damaged its business.
PS; I remember when Archie Norman became boss of ASDA, he introduced a singles night, so that the unattached could exchange erotic glances with each over the frozen peas. It was in the nineties on a Thursday night and was very well attended. Oh for the sound of trolleys gently bumping into each other.
Diageo DGE has agreed to sell nineteen brands to Sazerac for $550 million. The net proceeds of approximately £340 million, after tax and transaction costs, will be returned to shareholders through a share repurchase. Completion is expected early in 2019.
Babcock International Group BAB confirms that it strongly refutes the contents of a report issued by Boatman Capital which so far has ensured that it remain anonymous and untraceable. The report included many false and malicious statements and the Group is continuing to seek to discover the identities of those behind Boatman Capital. Babcock is currently delivering 128 contracts for the UK Government. Underlying earnings are in line with expectations and the outlook is confirmed for the financial year ending 31 March 2019.
Amur Minerals AMC admits that the completion of the Pre Feasibility Study has taken longer than initially expected and that the delay has caused concern. The release of the PFS is now scheduled for Q1 2019. AMC believes that the additional time taken to address points which are of interest to a number of potential partners has greatly enhanced the quality of the content of the Pre Feasibility Study and allowed for the creation a document that more readily meets their expectations.
Sirius Minerals SXX announces a significant milestone for it in the completion of its major construction procurement programme to support its stage 2 senior debt financing process. Final lender commitment letters are expected to be received in December and January and the Company is targeting quarter 1 2019 for the financial close of stage 2 financing.
Kingfisher KGF Despite double digit declines in virtually everything for the half year to the 31st July, Kingfisher tries to put a brave face on things and claim that for the third year in a row, it is on track to deliver strategic milestones. That can only be true if it had some very peculiar milestones in mind such as falls of 30.1% and 29.5% in statutory post and pre tax profits and basic earnings per share down by 27.1%.The half year report is littered with words such as tough, challenges, inefficiencies, mixed and difficult, each one a give away as to how bad things really are.
Constant currency sales fell by 1.1%, adjusted profit before tax was down by 18% and basic earnings per share by 15.4%. The performance in France needs support which does not sound very encouraging and all that is said for the outlook for the rest of the year, is that in its main markets things will continue to be mixed.
Babcock International Group BAB has issued a further update covering the period from the 1st April, confirming that it continues to make significant progress in expanding its international businesses. New offices are being opened in South Korea and Japan. Low single digit underlying organic revenue growth at constant currency is expected for the full year and margins are expected to be stable.
Stagecoach Group SGC provides an update for the financial year to the 27th April which is rather curates eggish. Revenue decreases in London Bus reflected the impact of contracts lost in the previous year but the regions provided like for like growth of 3.2%. Operating costs were higher in the hot weather which sounds like a sort of “wrong type of leaves on the line” sort of excuse. North America failed to impress with a like for like revenue decline of 3.8%.
Science in Sport SIS enjoyed strong growth in the half year to the 30th June with revenue rising by 20% to 9.93m. In the three months to August growth is described as having been very strong. Core business has been profitable at the half year for the first time with £0.3 million EBITDA. International markets also performed strongly with growth of 53% and international revenue now accounts for 34% of the total compared to 27% in the previous year.
SSE plc SSE The first quarter was impacted by weather conditions with hydro output higher than last year due to higher snow melt but for both years output was below expected levels, with this year, some 20% lower than expected. Output from onshore and offshore wind farms has been around 15% below expectations due to poorer than average wind conditions. Finally temperatures in the UK for the three months to the 30th June were 1.5 degrees centigrade warmer than thirty-year average, leading to a fall of about 10% in average domestic gas demand. Dry, still and warm weather, has also been accompanied by persistently high gas prices. Thus energy costs have risen, electricity output from renewable sources has fallen at the same time as demand. All of these factors have negatively impacted adjusted operating profit for the quarter by some 80m which will potentially have an impact on the full year results.
Unilever plc ULVR claims a solid all round performance in challenging market conditions for its first half with one of the highlights being a 5% drop in turnover including an adverse currency impact of 8.9%. More and more companies failing to meet expextations, seek refuge in challenging market conditions, without ever explaining what exactly the challenges were and why management was incapable of meeting them. SSE appears to be no exception treating it as one of the facts of business life for which they need not offer a meaningful explanation.
Sports Direct Intl SPD will no doubt please shareholders with the news that t has am elevation strategy which is continuing to exceed expectations. Preliminary results for the year to the 29th April show that on a reported basis, profit before tax fell by 72.5% and earnings per share by 88.3%. On an underlying basis the figures showed rises of 34.5% and 74.6%, respectively.
Babcock International Group BAB updates that it has delivered strong growth in its aviation and nuclear sectors but defence revenues have been impacted, albeit perhaps only on a temporary basis, by another government restructuring in the creation of a Submarine Delivery Agency whose main purpose in life, apart from the creation of more jobs for the boys, appears to be the creation of slowdowns and delays in activity levels. Perhaps another level of bureaucracy could be added to get levels of activity back to where they were before the new agency was created.
BP plc (BP.) 2017 was one of the strongest years in BP’s recent history and on the exploration front it was the most successful since 2004. Underlying profit rose by 139%. Underlying replacement cost profit soared both for quarter 4 and for the full year. For the quarter it rose five fold from $400m. to $2.1 bn whilst for the year it was up from $2.1bn to $6.2bn
easyJet plc EZJ January passenger figures rose by 8.7% and the load factor was up by 2.2pp to 88.4% which well down on the 12 month rolling figures of 93.2% and 91.5% for January 2018 and 2017
Babcock Intnl Group BAB is on track to achieve another record year after continuing to make steady progress in the period to the 31st January. Revenue will be slightly lower than expected at between 5.3 and 5.4 bn
Softcat Trading SCT Trading has been strong across all segments in the 6 months to the 31st January and is ahead of the boards expectations. Gross profit and adjusted operating profit grew by approximately 22% and 19%.
Amino Technologies plc AMO is increasing its final dividend by 10% for the year to the 30th November, the sixth consecutive year of dividend increases. Adjusted profit before tax rose by 10% and basic earnings per share by 12%. The company has a strong sales pipeline for 2018
Wall Street in Crisis For those who will never understand stock market psychology, the crisis on Wall Street which is being copied this morning in the City, is being caused, believe it or not by the success of the US economy. So whether its the Great Depression of the thirties or the Great Boom you cant win !
Dart Group DTG is aware of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations and the effect which the outcome of these could have, especially on the extent of its “freedom to fly”. For the year to 31st March revenue rose by 23% and the proposed final dividend is to be increased by 26%. Profit before tax for the year fell by 14% after considerable investment to launch its new operating bases at Birmingham and London Stansted and a £10.9m charge for foreign exchange revaluation losses. Without the foreign exchange losses the fall in profit before tax was limited to 4%. Basic earnings per share fell by 14%.
Telford Homes TEF expects that the current financial year will produce profit before tax of £40m of which over 80% has already been secured and that in 2018-19 the figure will rise to £50m of which over 60% has already been secured.
ASOS ASC Total reported retail sales in the 4 months to the end of June rose by 32% or 26% on a constant currency basis as the company’s strong first half sales momentum continued. The only weak spot appeared to be in the US where reported sales growth fell from 51% over ten months to 38% in the 4 month period.
Babcock International BAB has made a good start to its new financial year with 82% of revenue now in place for for 2017-18 and 55% for 2018-19. A major contract worth up to £500m. has been secured to operate a fleet of specialist fixed wing aircraft for the Norwegian Health Service.
AdEPT Telecom ADT is increasing total dividends for the year to 31st March by 19.2% after the company’s 14th consecutive year of underlying EBITDA growth.This year saw a rise of 27.2% to £7.83m. and adjusted earnings per share were up by 20.3%
BTG plc BTG The strong performance experienced in 2016-17 has continued into the new financial year and double digit sales growth is expected over the full year.
Marks & Spencer M&S must be desperately awaiting the arrival of Archie Norman in the hope that he can achieve the turn round which has so far eluded the company. Todays results paint a sorry picture for a company which was once the leading presence on the UK high street.Profit before tax for the year to 1st April fell by 63.5%, basic earnings per share by 70.7% and profit after tax by 71.1%. Revenue growth of 4.2% in food sales came from new stores.On a constant currency basis like for like sales in home and clothing fell by 3.4% but home and clothing was a main item in current plans for recovery and growth. Despite this management is to reduce space for home and clothing by between 1 and 2% Overall like for like group sales for the year fell by 1.1%.
Babcock International BAB continued its enviable record of strong growth in the year to the end of March. The full year dividend is to be increased by 9.1% after a revenue increase of 7.1% and rises of 7.6% in profit before tax and 8% in basic earnings per share.. The year saw significant breakthroughs with receipt of the first ever orders from the French Ministry of Defence and becoming the first non US company to win business for a critical US nuclear submarine programme. The order book remains robust.
Mediclinic international MDC is to pay a final dividend of 4.7% making a total for the year to the end of March of 7.9%, in line with its dividend policy. revenue for the year rose by 30%, earnings per share by 5% and earnings by 29%. The company benefited from the weakness of sterling. South Africa’s performance was particulary strong but the Middle east was very and did not come up to expectations.
Dixons Carphone plc DC. claims another good year with a 4% rise in like for like revenue, although in the final quarter to the 29th april, this fell to 2%, due mainly to a late Easter and the delayed arrival of the Samsung S8. Southern Europe has had a very good year with like for like revenues up by 6% and Greece being a particularly strong performer.
In today’s Tip TV Finance Show open, we discuss the Brexit fallout, its political implications, top stock picks – Ocala Group (OCDO), Babcock International (BAB); and they key trending market news, with Zak Mir Technical Analyst at Zak’s Traders Cafe, and Alan Green, CEO at Brand Communications.
Marks & Spencer MKS what a pleasure it is to see a shopkeeper back in charge of Marks and not just any old shopkeeper but one who knows the business inside out, one who has started turning it round in a very short time and who sounds confident and is confident that he can do the job.
The first sign of his success is continuing strong growth in food plus the realisation that sales performance in Home and Clothing has been unsatisfactory and the determination to rectify it. Profit before tax for the 53 weeks to the 2nd April is down 18.5% and basic earnings per share by 16.2% but a final dividend of 11.9% makes an increase for the full year of 3.9%. Confidence in the future means that a special dividend of 4.6p for the first half of the current year will be payable in July. Central to Steve Rowe’s recovery plans is that Marks will put customers back at the heart of the business which is bad news for the Greek stores who may now be forced to start offering customer service occasionally.
Dixons Carphone DC has enjoyed a strong fourth quarter to finish off a very strong year. Like for Like revenue rose by 5% both for the quarter and for the year, with market share gains in the UK & Ireland, the Nordics and Greece. The UK and Ireland had an excellent year with like for like revenue up by 6%. Profit before tax is expected to have risen by 17% over last year.
Babcock BAB is raising its dividend for the year to 31st March by 9% after rises of 5% in profit before tax, 4% in revenue and 8% in basic earnings per share. It claims that it is well positioned for future growth and that the order book and bidding pipeline are impressive. 78% of revenue for the current year is already in place and 53% for 2017/18
Petra Diamonds PDL Christies Magnificent Jewels auction on the 9th June, will include the largest Fancy Intense Blue Diamond ever to be auctioned. Petra expects the 24.18 carat stone to fetch between $23 -$29 million. Petra’s share price now standing at 119p has more than doubled since November.