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Telecom Plus TEP delivered record revenue, profits and dividends in the year to the 31st March, with growth and momentum becoming significantly faster. The impact of a warm winter and the Ofgem price cap have led to expectations that pre-tax profits will be towards the lower end of previous guidance at around £56m. For 2020 however it is expected that accelerating growth will lead to adjusted profit before tax of between £60m and £65m and a 10% increase in the total dividend to 57p per share, compared to this years 4% rise to 52p per share,
Countryside Properties plc CSP reports solid trading in the 6 months to the 31st March, with completions up by 43%, the private average selling price down by 4% and a strong forward order book up 49%. After a slow start to the year, the spring selling season is described as having been robust. Completions are expected to be weighted towards the second half.
Bunzl plc BNZL Group revenue in the first quarter from the 31st December increased by 4% at actual exchange rates whilst at constant exchange rates the rise was 2.5%. The rate of underlying revenue growth however slowed during the quarter due to mixed macroeconomic and market conditions across the countries in which the Group operates, especially in North America.
ZOO Digital Group ZOO reports that the financial outturn for 2019 is frustrating and has been impacted by market shifts and client disruption, The company has already disclosed that planned investment has impacted on profitability to such an extent that adjusted EBITDA in the second half will be around break-even at around $0.5m.
SEGRO plc SEGRO has continued to grow well during the quarter commencing on the 1st January. Increasing occupancy, uplifts from rent reviews and renewals and development activity, all contributed to securing £21 million of new headline rent. 44 projects are currently under construction, 72% of which are already leased, and expected to generate £57 million of annualised rent. The vacancy rate has reduced to 4.4 per cent with decrease since December reflecting strong lettings of both existing and recently completed speculative space.
Dialight plc DIA continues to work on its recovery and global end markets continue to be robust.The Board expects further progress to be made in 2019 and the Group’s results to be heavily weighted towards the second half.
Sports Direct Intl SPD saw underlying profit before tax and earnings per share fall by 26.8% and 35.4% respectively in the half year to the 28th October. Never one to be mealy mouthed, Mike Ashley comes out fighting and tries to put the blame fairly and squarely on the previous House of Fraser senior management team for having traded for a long time whilst House of Fraser was insolvent. This means he claims that they have significant challenges ahead in turning House of Fraser around but nonetheless he believes it is a fantastic opportunity. Excluding House of Fraser the half year was another successful period producing 15.5% growth in underlying EBITDA. This is impressive he claims in the context of current High Street struggles and proves his strategy is continuing to go from strength to strength.
Ocado Group plc OCDO produced strong retail growth of 12% over the 13 weeks to the 2nd December and double digit growth of 13.1% in average orders per week. The new facilities at Andover and Erith are both performing well. The CEO claims that although 2018 has been a transformative year for Ocado, the story has only just begun.
Bunzl plc BNZL updates that for the year ending 31st December Group revenue is expected to increase by between 8% and 9% at constant exchange rates due to organic growth of more than 4% and a similar impact from net acquisitions.It has recently acquired CM Supply, a food service distributor based in Copenhagen which is forecast to achieve revenue in 2018 of about.£4 million. The proposed acquisition of Volk do Brasil, has now been cleared by the Brazilian competition authority and is expected to be completed at the beginning of January.
TUI AG TUI Results for the year to 30th September produced the fourth consecutive year of double-digit earnings growth with a 10.9% increase in underlying EBITA1. This was a sustained strong performance in a challenging market, demonstrating, claims TUI, its successful transformation as an integrated provider of holiday experiences. A proposed dividend of 72 cents per share is to be declared, a rise of 10.9% from 2017’s 65 cents per share.
Serco Group plc SRP expects underlying trading profit to grow between 30-40% in 2018 with underlying earnings per share for both 2018 and 2019 likely to be a further 5-10% ahead of current consensus. 2018 is expected to be another year of strong order intake. Trading in the second half of the year has been better than anticipated and an underlying trading profit within the range of £90-95m. will represent a significant improvement over the £80m which the Board expected at the start of the year,
Whitbread plc WTB can not quite make its mind up as to whether its full year results are good or solid, so to be on the safe side, it claims they are both.On an underlying basis revenue rose by 2.6% and profit before tax by 2.5% which is hardly impressive. On a statutory basis, operating profit and profit before tax rose by 0.1% and 0.2% respectively, which appears to be neither good nor solid. Even solidly good seems to be a bit of an exaggeration.
The man event of the year was was the sale of Costs to Coca Cola for £3.9bn. A significant majority of the net cash proceeds will be returned to shareholders but not just yet because regulatory approval is still required from the EU and perhaps more importantly China. Trump had perhaps best tread carefully on the sanctions front if he wants Coca Cola to get its approval. The one figure which does stand out among these somewhat mundane results is that the shareholders are to be well looked after with a dividend rise of 4%.
Bunzl plc BNZL Third quarter Group revenue rose by 7% at constant exchange rates due to a mixture of organic growth of approximately 4% and an impact from net acquisitions, of approximately 3%. This is as expected at the time of the half year results.Since then Bunzl recently has entered into an agreement to acquire Volk do Brasil which .will expand its already well established safety business in Brazil
Plus500 Ltd PLUS expects trading for 2018 will now be ahead of expectations. Despite a third quarter drop in revenue of 14%, the nine month figures show a healthy rise in revenue of 86% whilst the number of new customers has risen by 19% and the number of active customers by 74%.
Intu Properties plc INTU has continued to deliver a strong and resilient operational performance from 1st July to the 23rd October but it has not been able to ignore the fact this has been a particularly challenging period for UK retailers. Rent reviews settled in the period have on average been 5 per cent above previous reviews but significantly anticipated growth for 2018 is expected to be no more than 0 to 1% as tenant failures impacted the figures by some 1.5 %.and footfall for the year fell by 1.3%. The occupancy rate however rose to 97%
Countryside Properties plc CSP enjoyed robust trading during the firt half year to the 31st March., in addition to which there was growth from acquisitions. Total pricate completions rose by 15% with the total average selling price falling by 11% to £392,000. Housebulding completions rose by 7% with the average selling price remaining flat. The company claims that private forward bookings were strong with a fall from £347m. to £327m. Current trading is described as robust and building cost inflation has moderated particularly in London and the south east.
Bunzl plc BNZL Since the 31st December revenue at constant exchange rates has risen by 14%, with underlying growth of 6% and an impact of 8% from acquisitions. Underlying growth is expected to return to more normal levels for the reminder of the year. In March two further acquisitions have been completed, one in the US which produced revenue of $50m in 2017 and the second in the Netherlands which produced 6m. Euro in 2017.
Mediclinic Intnl plc MDC Results for th year to the 31st Mach are expected to be marginally ahead of expectations following a significant second half improvement from the Middle East division, which is now entering an expansionary phase. This is expected to produce a srong increase in revenue and margins over time. In Southern Africa revenue growth of 5% is anticipated which is ahead of expectations.
Moneysupermarket.com Group MONY produced total revenue growth of 4% for the quarter to the end of March, in line with expectations and led by Home Services with a rise of 15%. The group anticipates meeting current market expectations for the full year.
AnimalCare Group plc ANCR Revenues to the 31st December will be slightly ahead of management expectations whilst sales growth during the current financial year is expected to be stronger, with underlying EBITDA, net earnings and earnings per share all expected to maintain at least double digit growth
Segro plc SGRO made a strong start to 2018 with a record level of new headline rent delivered for the quarter from the 1st January to the 17th April. Last year the first quarter figure was £16.3m.. This year the figure shot up to £27m.
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.
Sports Direct Intl SPD Mike Ashley claims a spectacular trading performance during the half year to the 29th October which is hardly justified by the reality of the situation, namely a fall of 1% in UK sports retail revenue or 1.2% on a like for like basis. So, he limits his claim to the trading performance in his flagship stores, of which they are going to open more. If his flagship stores are doing so well it makes the the rest of UK retail look even more gloomy. Gross margins in the UK fell by 80bps compared to a rise of 110bps for international retail. Group revenue for the half year rose by 4.7% which again only serves to illustrate how bad trading in UK high streets and shopping malls has become. Underlying profit before tax is, he claims, healthy with a rise of 22.9% although on a reported basis it fell by 67.3%. Underlying earnings per share were up by 32.9% as against a fall of 68.6% on a reported basis.
Ocado Group OCDO Sales growth was impacted during the quarter to the 3rd December, by a lack of capacity and especially a shortage of drivers. Average orders per week rose by 50% during the quarter, whilst the average order size remained stable.
PZ Cussons plc PZC Cautious consumers have created tough conditions and adversely affected performance in the half year to the 30th November with the result that profit for the half year is expected to be 10% lower than in the previous period, despite strong profitability in Asia, which has been offset by Africa and Europe. A robust and innovative pipeline has helped to underpin the first half and it is expected that the out turn for the full year, will be broadly in line .
Advanced Medical Solutions AMS updates on trading to the 31st December and confirms that it is continuing to deliver strong organic growth. Revenue and profit are,anticipated to be in line with current market expectations.
Bunzl BNZL Group revenue for the year to 31st December is expected to have risen by 15%, or 9-10% at constant exchange rates, as expected at the time of the October trading statement.
Whitbread plc WBT places such emphasis on its various pipelines new and old that one has to wonder which business it is in, hotels or oil and gas. Verbiage in its interim report has not however stopped it from having a good first half. On a statutory basis, profit before tax for the six months to the 31st August rose by 19.9% and basic earnings per share by 23.6%Revenue growth was strong at 7.4% and Premier Inn and Costa are both gaining market share. In the UK over 2,000 new rooms have been 0pened and Direct bookings now account for 95% of the total which is not good news for the likes of booking.com.
As for those pipelines, in Germany it has accelerated new hotel pipelines and achieved nine secured pipeline hotels as well as strengthening a new Costa Store pipeline. The focus is on growth channels which are of course much better than straightforward ordinary growth without the channels.
Bunzl plc BNZL Since the 30th June revenue at constant exchange rates has grown by 11% and underlying growth has improved by between 5 and 6%. Growth through acquisition has also continued as an important part of the company’s strategy and for which it has an active pipeline.
GB Group GBG traded strongly in the half year to the 30th September with revenue rising by 40%, equal to 17% on n organic basis. An adjusted operating profit of £10m. is expected, which will be an increase of over 90% on last year.
Shoe Zone plc SHOE Despite the continuation of foreign exchange impacts continuing into the second half, full year profit before tax should be broadly in line with expectations. Revenue in the second half fell slightly due to the planned closure of loss making stores. The Big Box format as proved successful with six opened during the year and a further 10 planned.
Distil plc DIS Lapped prior year pipeline fill, with strong year on year growth in the six months to 30th September., which saw volume rise by 41.3% and gross profit by 22.1%.Operating losses fell by 68.1% to £22,000.
Stagecoach Group SGC Does not expect to be profitable until 2019 so it is playing safe and to make sure that shareholders do not get too angry is raising the dividend for the year to 29th April by 4.4% to 11.9p per share. Basic earnings per share for the year fell from 17.1p to 5.5p and profit before tax on a statutory basis slumped from £104.4m to £17.9m. The company is now trying to focus on sustainable growth for the long term.
Dixons Carphone DC claims a good result for the year to 29th April, with a rise of 10% in headline profit before tax. On a statutory basis profit before tax rose from £263m. to £386m and basic earnings per share from 14p to 25.6p. The final dividend is to be increased to 7.75p. per share making a total increase for the year of 15%
Petra Diamonds Ltd. PDL Financial results for the year to 30th June will be below market expectations following a fall in production to 4.4m carats some 6.9%. lower than previous guidance. Despite this Petra is still on track to achieve record revenue and production for the full year as well as expecting to reach its target of 5m carats, a year earlier than planned.
Bunzl plc BNZL expects group revenue for the six months to 30th June will have grown by 7% at constant exchange rates, half of which will come from underlying growth and half from acquisitions. Exchange rate movements will provide a 12% benefit. Bunzl also announces that it has acuired a further three companies in Spain and Canada as part of its strategy for growth
The Prime Minister was either a liar when she claimed only a few months ago that there was no need for an election before 2020, or she was so completely out of touch with the political realities of Westminster that she is completely unfit to govern the country. In those months since the referendum, nothing has changed except that the prime minister has woken up to the fact that the groupings of our elected MP’s, especially in her own party, are going to make it very difficult if not impossible to get approval for even the main features of the Brexit deal. How is it that she has only discovered this over the last few days, when the evidence has been staring her in the face for months.
Had she been CEO or Chairman of a public company, yesterdays announcement that the country (i.e. the PM ) suddenly needs an election in June would have been evidence of such utter incompetence that she would have to either resign or be removed. But this being politics, anything goes and she will get away with it but she has now shown herself to be and to have been, completely out of touch with feelings both in Westminster and in the Tory party. And she is so brazen about it, no hint of an apology, no sign of embarrassment as she admits that she got it completely wrong after the referendum, indeed the complete opposite. She wears her incompetence as a badge of pride, a clear sign of strong leadership, which will enable her, she hopes, to have such a large majority that every tiny clause in the Brexit deal will be able to be steamrollered through a tame House of Commons.
BUNZL BNZL provides an excellent illustration as to how meaningless trading figures are becoming and how headline figures can easily be selected to give a misleading impression and make things look better than they really are. Not that Bunzl has done anything wrong or misled in any way. It is just the way things now have to be done.
Thus group revenue in quarter 1 rose by 18%. Great, fantastic, but that is at actual exchange rates i.e. in real money. At constant exchange rates the 18% falls to a lowly 4% and of that, underlying growth comes out at a not very impressive 2%. Acquisitions produced growth of 3% and a further five acquisitions have been announced so far this year.
Aveva Group AVEVA expects that results for the year to the end of March will show a return to growth in both revenue and profits but only because of “positive currency translation effects”. Pity the board and the management could not have claimed a bigger hand in the success.
Bonmarche Holdings BON had a tough time with its stores in the year to the 1st April but trading in quarter 4 improved somewhat and helped the annual figures look a bit less gloomy. In the 14 weeks to 1st April online sales rose by 15.2%, store sales were down by only 0.5% and total sales actually rose by 2.7%. Despite this full year figures were still less than impressive, with store like for like sales down by 4.3%, online up by only 2.2% and total sales still showing a loss of 0.5%. Trading since Christmas has been challenging despite an improvement over the last two months.