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Centrica CNA Produced weak second half results, after poor performances in Business Energy and in particular in North America created material uncertainty around the company and resulted in what it admits was a very poor shareholder experience.. A combination of political and regulatory interventions gets part of the blame but Centrica makes no comment as to whether these were justified or not. Despite a 3% rise in revenue, adjusted operating profit fell by 17%, EBITDA by 9% and basic earnings per share by 25%. Statutory operating profit collapsed by 80% and the dividend not surprisingly remains unchanged at 12p per share.
British Am Tobacco BATS is increasing its dividends by 15.2% after a record year in 2017 which delivered another set of strong financial result. Revenue rose by 37.6% and adjusted diluted earnings per share by 14.9% after completion of the acquisition of Reynolds American in July which it describes as a transfomational deal. On an organic basis cigarette volume fell by 2.6% but that outperformed the market which fell by 3.5%
BAE Sytems BA Delivered a good performance in 2017 and sees an improved outlook for 2018 for defence budgets in a number of markets. Underlying earnings per share rose by 8%, EBITA by 4% and the increase in the final dividend to 13p per share makes a total increase of 2% for the full year.
Moneysupermarket MONY continued to deliver robust results in its core business for the year to 31st December and is increasing final dividend by 6%. Adjusted EBITDA rose by 5%, profit after tax by 6% and basic earnings per share by 7%.
Go Ahead Group plc GOG produced a good performance in the half year to the 30th December and expectations for the full year have have increased due to one off rail benefits. Results for the rail division are ahead of expectations. Profit before tax rose by 19% and basic earnings per share by 7.3%. The interim dividend remains unchanged.
Serco Group SRP delivered a solid performance in 2017, producing profits at the top end of expectations, in a difficult market. The year ended with a strong order book. Despite a 2% drop in revenue for 2017 underlying profit rose by 10% over 2016 and are expected to contiue to grow in both the current year and in 2019.
British Am. Tobacco BATS has a new policy of keeping its shareholders and investors generally less informed about its financial progress or the lack of it and has stopped issuing interim management statement, replacing them instead with short updates twice a year prior to the start of its closed periods. So all it will tell you with todays update is that the business is trading very well but no figures are quoted to justify that assertion.
All that it will tell is that it has benefited hugely from a currency translation tailwind of 14%, thanks no doubt to the destruction of the value of the pound, by our political leaders. One possible strong point is that full year volume is expected to outperform the market but then it admits that market volume is expected to be down 4%, so in the end that is hardly going to set the share price alight.
WH Smith SMWH has continued to focus on profitable growth with the result that total high street sales fell by 4%, during the 15 weeks to 10th June, as did like for like sales. Travel sales continued to shine with a rise of 8% or 5% like for like but as far as the high street is concerned the lack of focus continues to be alarming.
Bellway BWY experienced strong sales demand and robust market conditions in the period from the 1st February to the 4th June. Volume growth for the year to 31st July is expected to reach 10% and the average selling price should get up to about £260,000 as against last years £252,793. The company also regained its status as a five star housebuilder.
Mulberry Group MUL profit before tax rose by 21% in the year to 31st March with revenue rising by 8% and cash up by 50% to £21m. UK sales did well with a rise of 10%. For the 10 weeks to the 3rd June retail like for like sales rose by 1%. The proposed final dividend remains unchanged at 5p per share.
WHITBREAD WTB claims good all round growth for the 53 weeks to the 3rd March and is raising its final dividend by 10% but somehow the excitement and the buzz at Premier Inns and Costa seems to have disappeared. Underlying profit growth at Costa slumped to15.8% from 28% for the first half. On a like for like basis Costa sales rose by only 2.9% compared to 4.4% at half time and 3% for the group as a whole, figures which show that Costa is no longer the great engine of growth as in previous years and has clearly fallen or been knocked off its perch.
Basic earnings per share for the group rose by 5.3% and profit by 5.8%. Net debt nearly doubled to £909 million compared to the previous years £583m.
BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO BATS saw momentum continuing and market share rising during the 3 months to the end of March. Revenue rose by 7.5% and cigarette volume by 3.6% or 2.4% on a like for like basis. The trading environment was challenging because of the impact of adverse exchange rates. A bit strange that from a company which trades all over the world.
BP plc. BP. expects robust demand plus weak supply growth will lead oil markets to be more in balance by the end of the year i.e. the market will continue to be manipulated by the producers to keep the price over $40 per barrel.First quarter underlying replacement cost profit came in at $532m compared to $2.6 billion for the first quarter of 2015. Cost reductions have saved BP $4.4billion over the past two years.
Trakm8 Holdings TRAK announces a proposed maiden dividend of 2p for the year to the end of March after strong trading saw revenue up by 44% or 28% on a like for like basis. Orders rose by 29% and net debt fell to just under £1 million. The shares have opened 25p up following the good news.