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Dunelm Group plc DNLM saw reported profit before tax rise by 24.3% in the 26 weeks to to the 29th December and strong like for sales up by 6.9%. Revenue was up by a comparatively small 1.2% and basic earnings per share by 23.8%. The Winter sale is described as having traded well but there is caution about the outlook for the remainder of the financial year due to the continuing political uncertainty in the UK. The interim dividend is to be increased 7.1%
Syncona Ltd Sync produced a continuing strong performance across the group of companies for the quarter from the 1st October to the 31st December. Blue Earth demonstrated strong sales momentum, whilst Nightstar, Autolus and Freeline all made excellent clinical progress. The remaining Syncona companies in the Life Science portfolio continued to make positive progress in the quarter.
Galliford Try plc GFRD claims record pre-exceptional profits and a strong first half group performance.for the six months to the 31st December. When one looks at the actual statistics, however, the performance is not quite as strong as the company would have us believe. In fact on both a pre exceptional and statutory basis, apart from those profits, everything is down, including even the dividend which has had to be sliced by an unhealthy 18%. At Linden Homes the private average selling price fell by 5% at £352k which will be very unwelcome news amongst the rest of the housebuilding industry. The Chief Executive tries to put a brave face on it and and describes the outcome as a strong financial and operational performance.
Tullow Oil plc TLW continues to be underpinned by its West African business which performed strongly in 2018. The year to 31st December saw operating profit rise from 22$m to 528$m and last years loss of 175$m turned into a profit of 85$m, whilst gross profit rose from 815$m to 1082$m
Dunelm Group DNLM Unprecedented levels of uncertainty have forced Dunelm to delve deep into the jargon drawer in an attempt to mask its half year and fourth quarter problems.The one strong area has been online sales which rose by 37.9% during the 13 weeks to the 29th December, as against like for like store revenue which only managed growth of 5.75 in the same period. The retail industry can not even begin to comprehend that the shopping public has staged and is continuing to stage a massive rebellion against the big stores. And who can blame them ? Massive increases in the cost of public transport with journeys of 15 minutes costing a fiver each way per adult. That immediately adds 20 pounds to the supermarket bill. Unless you are a councillor, parking costs are exorbitant and the queues to get into a car park or shopping mall make the whole experience unpleasant.Far better to stay at home, put your feet up and do it online in warm pleasant surroundings.
The really bad news can not be hidden. Total growth at group level came in at 2% after store closures and over six months the figure was even worse at 1.2%. By Dunelm standards these are fairly poor figures but a sign of the times. Management boasts that gross margins have been improved but only by the sleight of hand of closing down low margin stores and businesses. Despite the importance of online sales management has had to delay the launch of its new website to quarter 4 because it needed to “evolve and optimise its plans” which raises the question as to why it did not opyimise them in the first place. The company no longer counts the number of stores it has (169) but shows how mod it has become by claiming it now has a store footprint, which really is nonsense English.
Full year profit before tax is expected to be modestly ahead of the top of the range current analysts forecasts. The Chief Executive regards the first half performance as a strong one but is cautious about the outlook for the second half. Perhaps he had better pull his finger out and hurry up with that new website.
Churchill China plc CHH has enjoyed a strong finish to the year and the operating performance for the year to the 29th December will be ahead of current market estimates. Growth in export markets has remained strong and the UK performance improved in the second half.
WH Smith plc SMWA appears to be well esconced in cloud cuckoo land with a claim that it had a good year in the High Street where trading profit fell by 3%. Nonetheless it identified and joined the latest trend by becoming a one-stop-shop for all “slime related” products. Not surprisingly a relationship to slime was followed by a 3% fall in revenue,which is perhaps a good thing. Despite the strength of travel where revenue rose by 3% on a like for like basis, group profit before tax for the year to 31st August was down by 4% and diluted earnings per share by 5%. All this lack of success resulted in a 13% rise in the final dividend, no doubt well justified and logical in the eyes of the board. Let us hope that those slime related products are not as unsafe and potentially harmful as some busybodies like Which are beginning to suggest. Otherwise that 3% drop in revenue may be regarded as having been a good year as news of alleged safety problems including burns begin to surface. The dangers of slime related toys were exposed by The Telegraph as recently as July when it reported that consumer watchdogs found many slime related toys are potentially poisonous because of their boron content.exposure to excessive levels of which can cause irritation, diarrhea, vomiting and cramps in the short term,
Countryside Props CSP produced one of the biggest disasters to hit the house building industry in recent times. It was forced to reduce its average selling price by 7% in the year to the 30th September due to what is described as “regional mix”.(nothing to do with Mother’s Pride I am assured) However, with the average selling price still as high as 402,000 there is still plenty of room for more good news for the few who can still afford to buy a house. Completions for the year rose by 27% and as at the year end the total order book was up by 40% compared to 2017
Dunelm Group plc DNLM reports total like for like revenue growth of +4.2% in its first quarter to the 29th September, compared to 9.3% for the previous year. In fact but for tablet-based selling in-store for home delivery, underlying like for like performance would have fallen by 0.4% which is not a good sign at all. Online sales however helped to save the day with a rise of 33% which would have been even greater at over 50% had those in store online tablet sales been included.
Hays plc HAS claims a good start to its financial year, with yet another record quarterly net fee performance producing growth of 9%. The Rest of The World in particular showed strong growth with the USA and China, up 27% and 29% respectively.
Galliford Try plc GFRD claims a very strong underlying performance for the year to the 30th June which is perhaps the understatement of the year, with profit before tax up by 145% and earnings per share by 128%. The final dividend is however reduced by 10%, following the re-statement of last years dividend. The continued financial support for the housebuilders by its friends in government begins to look more and more unjustified and more like an outright bribe to the industry in exchange for political support. This has become capitalist greed at its worst and nobody cares less that a direct consequence is that few can now afford what used to be a Tory birthright – ownership of your own home.
SSE plc SSE Things have not got any better for SSE after it issued its July update warning of the consequences of warm dry weather, lower consumption and higher gas prices, which were expected to impact first quarter operating profit by some £80m. It has continued to suffer from dry, still and warm weather and persistently high gas prices, resulting in higher energy costs, lower output from renewable sources and lower consumption. In the first five months operating profit has been negatively affected by about £190.m with the result that adjusted operating profit for the six months to 30 September 2018 is expected to be about halved from last year’s figure.
Sports Direct Intl SPD updates that its strategy to transform House of Fraser into the Harrods of the High Street will be ” a game changer.”, with current expectations that it will achieve between a 5% and 15% improvement in underlying EBITDA for the current financial year, excluding the acquisition of House of Fraser.
Dunelm Group DNLM reports what it describes as healthy sales growth during the last year which enables it to increase its final dividend by a mighty 1.9%. Group revenue for the year to the 30th June increased by 9.9% whilst like for like sales sales grew by 4.2%. Underlying operating profit before tax was down by 6.7%. The UK retail environment continues to remain challenging says the company but trading during the current financial year to date is in line with expectations .
Saga plc SAGA In its preliminary results for the year to 3st January Saga comes out with the statement that the fall of 7.6% in like for like profit before tax is due (inter alia) to cost savings. No wonder the CEO admits that it has been a challenging few months for the company with the share price under pressure. Like for like earnings per share fell by a similar amount, down 7.8%. As a sign of what could be done, there was strong growth in travel with a rise of 36.9% The full year dividend is to be increased by 5.9% to 9p per share but just imagine where it might have been without those cost savings.
WH Smith plc SMWH claims it delivered a good performance in the half year to the 28th February with the interim dividend increased by 10% as senior management celebrates falls of 1% in profit before tax, diluted earnings per share and profit from trading operations, not to mention a 6% drop in High Street trading profit. In fact the only growth came from the travel division which once more saved the day with a 5% rise in trading profit. The CEO is confident in the outcome for the full year. Shareholders can only hope that it will not be as “strong” as the first half.
Dunelm DNLM The new Chief Executive says has become increasingly excited since he joined the company in February but that may soon wear off once he has to deal with the reality of keeping store sales rising.In the quarter to the 31st March like for like online sales rose by 35.7% and store sales by 1.2%, a sign of the times if ever there was one. Total group sales for the quarter rose by 5.1% but gross margins were down by 15bps although they are expected to improve in quarter 4. No new stores at all are to be opened in the second half which is perhaps an even greater sign of the times.
Hays plc HAS Total net fees for the three months to the 31st March grew by 9% as the world, with the exception of the UK, prospered. Again the figures reveal the plight of the UK economy where net fees fell by 2% compared for exmple to Germany which had a record quarter with a rise of 19%. Twenty of the company’s 33 markets achieved double digit growth which makes the UK look sick indeed.
HSBC Holdings HSBA claims that 2017 produced good results which demonstrate the strength and potential of HSBC and, believe it or not, it is simpler, stronger and more secure than it was in 2011.If that is the best it can find to say about itself that is not a rosy picture. Adjusted profit before tax rose by 11% and reported profit before tax by 141 %. The final dividend has been maintained and the group has benefited from 1% of positive adjusted jaws which should please everyone who enjoys jargon. Significantly I can not find in the report a single mention of service or customer care, although plaudit upon plaudit is heaped on senior management for the sterling work it is said to have done during the year. HSBC has also agreed to pay over $100m dollars by way of settlement of a US criminal investigation into rigged currency transactions in which its excellent senior management involved it.
Dunelm Group DNLM is increasing its interim dividend by 7.7% for the half year to the 31st December, after like for like sales growth of 6% and total growth of 18%. Online sales grew by 50% or 36.8% on a like for like basis. Underlying basic earnings per share fell by 6.6% as against a rise of 1.8% on a reported basis, whilst underlying profit before tax fell by 8% compared to a tiny rise of 0.7% on a reported basis. The company is pleased that it continued to gain market share in a static homeware market.
Tracsis Group TRCS trading across all parts of the business was strong in the six months to the 31st January and comfortably ahead of the previous year. Revenue rose from £15.6m to £18m and EBITDA was up by 25%. The completion of two acquisitions on the 1st February are expected to lead to further growth
Lighthouse Group LGT delivered an excellent set of results for 2017 with profit before tax rising by 32%, in celebration of which it is increasing the final dividend from 18p per share to 30p.representing an increase of 55% for the full year after taking into account the increase in the interim dividend from 9p. to 12p. Revenue for the year grew by 13% and EBITDA by 27%.
Synectics plc SNX is increasing its final dividend by 50% to match the rise in profit before tax also up by 50%, despite revenue for the year to 30th November remaining static and a fall in the year end order book.
Savills plc SVS no longer has estate agencies in the UK. They have gone posh, moved up market and now describe themselves as operating residential transaction businesses. That really will send the share price rocketing. Whatever they call themselves they have experienced a stronger than anticipated finish to the year, with the UK proving resilient in achieving year on year revenue growth in challenging markets. Asia. Pacific and continental European transactional businesses have performed ahead of expectations and underlying results for the year to 31st December will be ahead of previous expectations.
Dunelm Group DNLM Quarter 2 and second half sales provide further evidence of the rise and rise of online sales and the decline and fall of old fashioned store sales. Dunelm continued to gain market share in the six months to the 30th December with total revenue rising by 13.6% in the second quarter and 18.4% over the half year. The star performer was however like for like online sales with rises of 30.5% and 36.8% respectively, compared to a lowly 1.1% for quarter two like for like store sales. The writing is well and truly on the wall, with online sales now accounting for 16% of total sales.
JD Sports Fashion JD Headline profit before tax for the year to the 3rd February will now be about 300m., slighty above previous expectations. Positive levels of performance have continued throughout the second half and like for like store sales, including Europe have grown by 3.3%, with further growth coming from online sales and expansion in overseas selling space.
Greggs plc GRG Fourth quarter trading was particularly favourable and provided the 17th consecutive quarter of like for like sales growth. Like for like sales in company managed shops rose by 3.7%. As at the 31st December Greggs had 1854 shops open and will increase the rate new shop openings in 2018 from last years 131. Industry wide cost pressure are expected to ease in 2018 but the customer environment is still seen as uncertain and emphasis will continue to be placed on what the company describes as providing outstanding customer value.
1PM PLC OPM Group revenue for the six months to the 30th November rose by 74% and profit before tax by 77% of which 34% was organic, as the group’s stated strategy proved to be successful.
Countryside Props CSP did what for a house builder, is the unthinkable, it slashed its average selling prices with the result that for the year to 30th September, completions rose by 28% overall and the forward year end order book stood at a record level. The rise in completions was 17% in the partnership division and 31% in the private division. The private average selling price was reduced by a massive 23% to £515,000 and not surprisingly customer demand remains strong. The private average selling price in the partnerships division, however was increased by 12% to £343,000 with the strange explanation that this was due to strong price growth in outer London and regional cities. The logic of all this appears to be dubious to say the least because it indicates that we should, logically speaking, be expecting bad news from the private house builders whereas the opposite is more likely. (but see Telford Homes below)
Telford Homes TEF expects pre tax profits for the half year to the 30th September will be significantly lower than they will be in the second half of the current financial year and than they were, last year. Shareholders must understand that this is all down to the timing of completions and the company’s answer to this is to base the interim dividend on what they expect the full years profits will be, rather than on the actual outcome of the first half. It is understood that there is no question of a refund being asked for if the boards expectations for the full year are wrong.
Dunelm Group DNLM Trading in the first quarter to the 30th September was boosted by favourable weather which helped to produce strong growth, as the company outperformed the homewares market. Revenue rose by 24.8% reduced to 9.3% on a like for like basis. % new stores were opened in the quarter and five more are still to come.
Page Group Plc PAGE Gross profit for the groups third quarter grew by 8.8% in constant currency terms but with the poor old UK the laggard, with a fall of 7.6% due to those old favourites, challenging market conditions and the impact of Brexit. Only one other country showed a decline and that was Australia, down 2%, whilst the mighty French grew strongly, up 21% and the US led the pack with a rise of 29%. Foreign exchange movements also gets a mention, having contributed 3% points to the profit growth.
Wood Grp (John) Plc WG. has been awarded a new five year multi million dollar contract by Total to provide onshore maintenance services at it Lindsay oil refinery. There is a right to extend the contract for a further 2 years. Woods CEO immediately goes for the jargon and says that the new contract will help the company to broaden its downstream footprint but thankfully makes no mention of pipelines.
Galliford Try GFRD When the best that a company can find to say about its annual results is that they show a strong underlying performance, then you know that something went wrong. Otherwise it would be claiming a strong financial performance, and that is something which Galliford can not claim. Profit before tax for the year to 30th June fell by 57% and earnings per share by 55%, even though it had the benefit of robust market conditions. The financial performance for the year was impacted by legacy costs in Construction – so that’s alright then ? Can’t be laid at the door of management, that sort of thing, can it ? The shareholders are kept happy with a 17% rise in fully year dividends. To cover itself for the future it is even reduced to blaming the politicians and a board of directors can not sink much lower than that. It is cautious about the future it says, because of the impact of current political uncertainty. That does not seem to be a worry or even a concern for other house builders and in any event politicians and the uncertainty they create have been with us since the dawn of time.
Dunelm Group DULM went ex growth in the year to 1st July with a fall of 0.5% in like for like revenue and profit before tax down by 28.3%, as it tried to cope with a challenging and subdued Homeware and Furniture Market. EBITDA fell by 7.8% and earnings per share by 28% from 50.3p to 36.1p. The ordinary dividend is to be raised by 3.6%. Things improved with the start of the new financial year and sales growth in the first two months is described as being good. What exactly “good’ means in round figures is for some reason being kept a closely guarded secret.
Adv. Medical Solutions AMS continues to go from strength to strength as profit before tax for the six months to 30th June rose by 27% and the interim dividend is increased by 17%. Group revenues grew by 8% at constant currency rates with US revenue rising by 52% and sales of Liquiband strong in all its markets. the company is optimistic about future organic growth.
Surgical Innovations SUN produced strong growth in both revenue and profits in the half year to the 30th June. Revenue rose by 14.1% and last years first half loss of £0.6m was turned into a profit of £0.3m. both sets of figures being at the upper end of the board’s expectations. The acquisition of Elemental Healthcare on the 1st August is regarded as being transformational for the company.
Alliance Pharma APH is increasing its interim dividend by 10% following strong growth from its international brands and an 8% rise in revenue. The integration of Sinclair Pharma has now been completed and “bolt on” acquisitions are now being pursued.
AVEVA Group AVV reports a solid start to the financial year and expects the phasing of revenue in FY 2018 to be broadly similar to the prior year. The full year outlook remains in line with board expectations.
blur Group BLUR announces yet another placing to raise a minimum of £1.5m (before expenses) at 1.75 pence per Ordinary Share.
Dunelm DNLM provides a year end trading update, and says total Q4 revenue rose by 17.7% to £240.0m, with total like-for-like growth (combining LFL stores and Home Delivery) up 3.8%. CEO John Browett said the Worldstores acquisition “will provide a massive leap forward to our online and store offer that we think our customers will love.”
Fenner FENR updates on trading and continues to make strong progress, principally in new product development, augmented by a further increase in the US rig count. Cash flow during the period has remained in line with expectations and, on the basis of the improved outlook, most notably in the medical businesses, the Board anticipates that the Group’s operating profit for the financial year ending 31 August 2017 will be comfortably ahead of its previous expectations, with the added benefit of a reduced interest charge going forward.
Portmeirion PMP says total Group sales are up 16% for the six months ended 30 June 2017 relative to the same period last year, and it continues to expect profit before tax to be in line with market expectations for the full year.
Scholium Group SCHO the rare books and art company reported full year revenues of £6.12m (2016: £6.74m) and an adjusted operating loss of £224k (2016: £24k profit). Although the result was poor, Scholium recorded a turnaround to profitability during H2 once the uncertainty around the UK Referendum lifted. Following cost savings, CEO Jasper Allen said Scholium was now “well-placed to deliver a positive outcome.”