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Ian Pollard – Bonmarche #BON Rejects Takeover Bid – But Only Asks For Talks

Bonmarche Holdings BON which had seen trading become significantly weaker than expected sine the beginning of March, has rejected a takeover bid from Phillip Day’s Spectre Holdings, on the basis that it undervalues the business and its future prospects. These included a rise in the underlying loss for the year from a possible  £4.0m. to between £5.0m. and £6.0m. 2 April, Mr Day, who owns Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, acquired 26 million Bonmarché shares at 11.445p a share, which brought his stake up to 52.4% and a warning that he expected a “material reduction” in staff. The Bonmarche Board was left with nothing but the expression of a wish to hold discussions, which would be for the benefit of all shareholders, including no doubt, themselves. So far they appear to be unable to find a reason why shareholders would  benefit from their continued presence in the governance of the company, especially having regard to its recent continued decline under their stewardship.

Games Workshop Group GAW has today declared a dividend of 35 pence per share, in line with the Company’s policy of distributing truly surplus cash and  to be paid on 31 May.This takes the total dividend declared and paid during the year ending 2 June 2019 to £1.55 per share. Trading has continued well since the half year report in January with sales and profits ahead of last year. The Board’s current expectations are that profit before tax for the year to June 2019 will be c. £80 million.

Plus 500 Ltd PLUS updates that financial markets in the three months to the end of March were extremely subdued and revenue.fell by 65%. New customers were down by 10%. The company that It is impossible to predict market conditions for the rest of the year and  conclusions can not be drawn about the full year outcome based on the Group’s first quarter performance.

Mobile Streams plc MOS has had to undergo  a comprehensive cost-cutting exercise, in fact so comprehensive that both Non-Executive Directors have had to volunteer a deferral of 50% of their respective remuneration. Sizable one-off redundancy and severance payments have had to be made, to employees, many of whom were of long service. With falling revenue, decisive steps became necessary to allow the company to preserve and protect its remaining cash balances.

National Express NEX has acquired a 60% stake in WeDriveU an employee shuttle company serving many of the world’s largest and fastest growing companies in Silicon Valley and other fast growing US cities.. The deal also includes an Option to acquire the  remaining shares in tranches over the next three years.

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Ian Pollard: National Express (NEX) – Another Record Breaking Set Of Results

National Express NEX is delighted to have again delivered a record-breaking set of results.  Group revenue rose by 5.6%, profit before tax by 10% and basic earnings per share by 13.1%. It is again proposed to increase the final dividend by 10 per cent.. Growth in the UK was very strong at 12.6% compared to 6.4% in North America and a decline of 15.1% in German rail

CRH plc CRH 2018 was another year of record profit delivery, with basic earnings per share up by 33% and group profit by 31% for the year to the 31st December. Sales for the year rose by 6% and the final dividend is being increased by the same amount. For 2019 the US economy is expected to continue to advance at a similar pace to recent trends and with positive progress also continuing in Europe.

Mondi plc MNDI has produced a strong financial and a robust operational performance for 2018. Whilst revenue was up by only 5%, on an underlying basis EBITDA rose by 19%, operating profit by 28%, basic earnings by 27%  and profit before tax by 25%. The recommended full year ordinary dividend of 76.0 euro cents per share, shows an increase of 23%

Bovis Homes BVS claims excellent operational progress and a 47% increase in profits for the year to the end of December. The first eight weeks  of the new year have seen good demand with average sales per site per week up 15.7%. The Board is recommending a 20% increase in ordinary dividend for FY18 to 57.0 pence per share reflecting the strong performance and also its confidence in the outlook for the business. Further operational and financial progress is expected in 2019.

Hunting Titan HTG also delivered a record performance in 2018 as the US onshore market accelerated and sales volumes improved in other international operations. Ongoing commodity price and geopolitical volatility ensures  that the company remains focused on the agility and flexibility of the business to respond to market conditions.

Howden joinery Group HWDN delivered another good performance in 2018 with sales increased by 7.7%, profit before tax up by 2.7% and basic earnings per share by 4.7%. The dividend is to be increased to 11.6p per share, a rise of 4.5%. Four new depots are to be opened in the Paris region but operations have ceased in the Netherlands and Germany from January 2019;

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Ian Pollard Victoria Plc (VCP) Politely Invites Shareholders To Take A Walk

Victoria plc VCP decided to take advantage of difficult market conditions to  pursue market share. The Board now recognises this impacted earnings this year and has unsettled some shareholders. It believes however that the strategy is in the best long-term interests of the Group and its shareholders and appears in effect to have told the shareholders to take a walk and has continued with the strategy. The  Board believes markets are down 6-8% in the UK and Australia and flat in Europe but the Group has continued to grow overall like-for-like revenues and gained meaningful market share. The Group expects that the current-year to March 2019 EBITDA is likely to be £95m-£97 million a rise of nearly 50% over the year to March 2018 and the Group’s 2019 underlying pre-tax profits are expected to be around around 35-39% higher than 2018.

Reckitt Benckiser Gp plc  RB  claims that 2018 was a year of good financial progress, achieved in an environment of challenging market conditions. Pro-forma and LFL growth  came in at 3%. plus 2% from volume and +1% from price / mix.The final dividend is being being increased to 100.2p, a rise of  3% and like for like net growth is targeted at 3.4% for 2019. The CEO says that the company is well positioned for long term, sustainable growth. 

Angling Direct plc ANG expects to report revenue of £42.0 million,an increase of 38.9% for the 12 months to the 31st January compared to the same period in the previous year.In store sales showed an increase of 50% overall or 6.2% on a like for like basis. whilst online sales grew by 30.3%. International sales surged by 98% to £4.66m and now account for 20.9% of the Group’s online sales. with shipments going to 49 different countries, this success has delighted the board. The business has also now been structured in readiness for Brexit

Xpediator plc XPD confirms that it  has achieved its growth objectives and recorded significant increases in sales and profits for the twelve months to 31 December 2018. Total revenues increased by 54% Import Services Logistics and Anglia Forwarding, both of which were acquired during 2018, contributed an additional  18% in revenue and added over 400 new customers. The Company’s Brexit team has been working closely with leading transport associations and port authorities to plan ahead. and will be able to support both exporters and importers post Brexit.

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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 4 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased its rental income by one-third to £1.95m in the six months to October 2018. Profit from continuing operations improved from £218,000 to £271,000 and a dividend of 0.83p a share has been announced. Four properties have been purchased since April 2018 and Hume House was sold.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased its NAV from 42.69p a share to 43.35p a share in the year to August 2018. The strategic focus is to make larger investments in bigger employee-owned businesses. There was £175,000 in the bank at the end of August 2018, so there appear to be limited funds available for further investments, although there are £1.3m of loans to investee companies.

Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) was hit by delays in projects planned by its Morgan Ashley joint venture in the six months to October 2018. Only one scheme reached financial close during the period and a loss was reported for the period. Modular buildings demand is strong with a good pipeline of potential projects. A profit is still expected for the 14 months to June 2019, but this still depends on the timing of projects.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) increased its full year profit from £127,000 to £153,000 on turnover 4% higher at £3.66m. There is £1.09m in the bank at the end of October 2018. The dividend was maintained at 21p a share, which is covered 1.2 times by earnings. The strategy is to encourage more direct bookings with the hotel and an online booking system was launched last September. The completion of refurbishment activities has enabled an increase in bookings for weddings. Bedroom refurbishments continue.

Formation Group (FRM) reported an improvement in revenues from £37m to £38.6m in the year to August 2018, but the operating loss nearly quadrupled to £416,000. There was a gain on financial asset of £450,000 and an exceptional cost of £318,000 relating to an accident in 2015. Management is cautious about taking on new property developments under the current economic conditions.

Karoo Energy (KEP) is still trying to raise cash to enable it to move to AIM. Management is confident that it will be able to raise the funds in the near future.

Formerly AIM-quoted Altona Energy (ANR) did not managed to obtain a replacement nominated adviser for Northland and it has moved to NEX on 1 February. Sino-Aus Energy Group is subscribing for £500,000 of 7% convertible loan notes July 2020. The conversion price depends on the market price in the 2o days prior to conversion although the minimum is 10p a share.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) has appointed Epsion Capital to help it raise up to £20m from a share issue at a price of at least 0.5p a share. There will be a warrant issued with every four shares. A circular is being prepared to gain shareholder approval. Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £187,500 at 0.75p a share.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that 15%-owned LHT has launched its hapac medicinal cannabis inhaling technology in Milan, Italy. The initial reaction has been positive.

VI Mining (VIM) has completed the acquisition of the Cushuro gold project for $27.5m in shares.

Nuclear notes linked to guaranteed contingent value rights relating to the takeover of British Energy will mature and stop being traded on 7 February.

Dealings in the shares of Wheelsure (WHLP) and Ecovista (EVTP) have been suspended because they have not published their results for the year to August 2018.

AIM  

Recruitment and training company Staffline (STAF) has delayed the publishing of its accounts because of concerns about invoicing. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Electronic and battery products supplier Solid State (SOLI) says trading is significantly better than previously expected. Gross margins are continuing to improve. finnCap upgraded its 2018-19 earnings per share forecast by 26% and the 2019-20 figure by 21%.

Filtronic (FTC) fell into loss in the first half even before the write-off of £500,000 of capitalised development costs. Massive MIMO antennas sales will not build up as quickly as initially expected. There is £2.2m in the bank so the antennas and telecoms hardware supplier has a strong cash position while it waits for orders to come through. There is expected to be a full year loss but cash should still be £1.8m. A focus on defence and public safety markets will help to diversify the customer base and provide new opportunities.

A court has ordered Grant Thornton to pay £21m relating to its failures in the auditing of AssetCo (ASTO) accounts in the financial years to March 2009 and March 2010. AssetCo had been seeking £40m from Grant Thornton and there is still interest to be calculated on the award.

Location Sciences (LSAI) says that 2018 trading was in line with expectations and 2019 has started well. There has been a soft launch of the Verify product that ensures that responses to advertising from mobiles are genuine. Paid for trials in the US will provide further evidence of effectiveness.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has acquired Manchester-based Croft Transport Planning and Design, which provides highways and traffic advice to property developers, for an initial £1.5m in cash and shares. This widens the range of services offered by the property services division.

Utilitywise (UTW) has not published its accounts and trading in the shares has been suspended. The utility cost management consultancy has also effectively put itself up for sale as part of its strategic review. This was sparked by the failure to raise cash required from a share issue. The £25m bank facility expires in April.

MAIN MARKET  

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has secured an investment of up to $30m to fund the commercialisation of molecular biology products being developed by Ador Diagnostics, a joint venture with Gamida for Life, that is valued at $30m prior to the investment. The first $14.5m should be invested by the end of March and the rest will be invested at a 33.3% premium to the enterprise valuation after the initial investment by the end of 2020. Most of the cash will come from medical sector investors and Puma Brandenburg. BATM and Gamida will each invest $2m and after the initial investment BATM will own 38.2% of the company. Shore Capital will reinvest its total fees of $1m into Ador.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) is obtaining a $750,000 convertible security investment and a 24 month equity facility of up to $7m from an entity managed by The Lind Partners, which will get an initial commitment fee of $75,000. Between $100,000 and $300,000 can be drawn down each month. The shares will be issued at prices that are linked to market prices at the time. Rare earths production at the Gakara project in Burundi is expected to build up over 2019 as two further areas are opened up. Production costs were higher than sales revenues in the three months to December 2018.

Sportech (SPO) has acquired digital gaming technology business LOT.TO Systems, which has developed the iLottery platform.

Path Investments (PATH) has sold its Turkish oil and gas interests for £400,000. The focus is the acquisition of ARC Marlborough. The plan is to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland, via a share issue.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has agreed a forward funding and assignment of the contract of the Wavertree property in Liverpool. This is the second project that has reached this stage. Dukemount will continue to manage the redevelopment of the property and a development profit will be received on completion. Executive chairman Geoffrey Dart has been awarded a bonus of £80,000 for the completion of the first two transactions and it will be received in shares at 0.3p each.

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard: Countryside Properties – Average Selling Prices Broadly Flat

Countryside Props plc CSP Total completions in the first quarter from the 1st October to the 30th December rose by 28 % and the forward order book by 78%. The strong growth in completions was driven by a sharp increase in affordable homes, up 52%  and Private Rental Sector, up 66% . This was due to the acquisition of Westleigh. Broadly flat average selling prices  at £395,000  with a 1% to 2% underlying increase, is not the sort of news which the housebuilding industry, likes to hear.

Restaurant Group plc RTN opened a record number of new sites in 2018 but saw like for like sales fall by 2% and total sales rise by 1%. Since the World Cup however the Group has delivered like-for-like sales growth  and the Pubs business is continuing  consistently to trade ahead of the pub restaurant sector and the Concessions business has also traded strongly. The company describes the year as a pivotal one which is hardly matched by the sales figures..

Biome Technologies plc BIOM saw 2018 group revenues show a rise of 42% over 2017.. Over 2018, sales of the non-woven filter mesh for the US single serve coffee market increased, together with other revenues, by more than 50%, The company’s portfolio of bioplastics applications are expected to contribute substantially to sales, particularly in the latter part of 2019.particularly, something known as the rigid ring project. A much higher performing disposable cutlery is another new product expected to be successful in the US. Revenues in the RF Technologies division for the year ended 31 December 2018 provided a 75% increase on the previous year. 2019 is expected to see a gradual but substantial increase in Bioplastics revenues.

Shield Therapeutics plc STX has entered 2019 in good shape with revenues for the year to 31st December 2018 expected to to have soared to. £11.9 million from 2017’s £637,000 and including the 11m. upfront payment received from Norgine on the signing of the licence agreement. Royalty income from Norgine during 2019, is anticipated to grow steadily based on sales in the UK and Germany,

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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 21 January 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Sport Capital Group (SCG) is acquiring Italian football club Palermo for a nominal sum. The deal also includes the project for a new stadium for the Serie B team, which is currently five points clear at the top of the table. Promotion back to Serie A would boost revenue generation and it would also trigger an earn-out payment. There is also potential for more sponsorship and match revenues. There is a plan to raise up to £10m from a bond issue that would be traded on NEX.

Clinical decision support technology provider DXS International (DXSP) reported a lower interim loss in the six months to October 2018. Revenues edged up from £1.61m to £1.69m and the loss declined from £92,000 to £35,000. Tax credits meant that there was a post-tax profit of £70,000, up from £28,000. The GPSoC tender has been delayed but it is expected to be completed this year.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its priorities for 2019 are to demonstrate the potential of the blockchain investments that it has and to take advantage of the growing sector. There were record levels of investment in the blockchain sector last year. Management wants movements in the share price to reflect progress rather than the movement of the price of bitcoin, as has been the case in the past year.

KR1 (KR1) has set up a subsidiary in Gibraltar. KRX Ltd will sponsor token-based projects that will list on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, which operates the first regulated blockchain exchange. The subsidiary will generate fees from clients and there are a limited number of sponsors.

AFH Financial Group (AFHP) has acquired fellow wealth management firm Hayburn Rock for up to £3.5m. The initial payment is £900,000. In 2017, the firm made a profit of £400,000.

TechFinancials (TECH) is selling its stake in MarketFinancials, which no longer trades, for €100,000. The investment had no value on the balance sheet.

Smaller company investor Gledhow Investments (GDH) had £167,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018, having made a small profit in the period. The NAV is £793,000.

Ashley House (ASH) is changing its year from April to June. This is the end of the first six months period for joint venture Morgan Ashley Care Developments LLP. There will be interim results for the six months to October 2018 reported at the end of January.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has commissioned the Hellyer processing plant and in the fourth quarter generated £3.2m of revenues from lead, zinc and pyrite.

AIM   

Ascent Resources (AST) is attempting to raise cash at 0.3p a share, which is a 20% discount to the market price, via PrimaryBid.com. Ascent has successfully raised cash via the platform in the past. The broker handling the deal is Stanford Capital Partners. Ascent, which has €400,000 in the bank plus a deposit for a bank guarantee of €200,000, is refocusing its expansion outside of Slovenia because of regulatory hold ups in the country. Revenues from the export of gas from Slovenia totalled €2.1m in 2018 but gaining permission to process the gas and sell it to the national grid has proved difficult.

Knights Group Holdings (KGH) has acquired Leicester-based legal services business Cummins for £1.57m in cash and shares. This fits well with the existing east Midlands operations. In the six months to October 2018, group revenues were 37% ahead at £23.9m and organic growth was 10%. Underlying pre-tax profit doubled to £4.4m. The maiden interim dividend is 0.6p a share. Net debt was £9.5m at the end of October 2018. Average fees per fee earner was one-quarter higher at £66,000.

Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) did better than expected last year. The 2018 pre-tax profit forecast has been raised by 5% to $29m. Net cash is $25m and 50% of the excess over $15m will be paid in a special dividend on top of the ordinary dividend. Somero has also paid $2m for concrete pouring and line dragging company Line Dragon and this broadens the product range.

Student accommodation activities fuelled the growth of Watkin Jones (WJG) last year but private rental will become increasingly important from this year onwards. Richard Simpson has taken over as chief executive.

Kromek (KMK) is making progress towards breakeven and it has plenty of cash in the bank to take it there. The imaging and radiation detection technology developer has a strong order book. There was a dip in first half revenues because of the transfer of production to a new site in Pittsburgh. Even so, full year revenues are forecast to increase from £11.8m to £15m and the loss should reduce from £2.5m to £1.9m.

Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is selling its antinomy exploration interests in Turkey. The company’s main asset is the 40% shareholding in the Sohar antinomy and gold production facility in northern Oman. Some engineering problems have to be sorted out before the plant is fully up and running. More cash will be required. The venture has requested $10.5m from its shareholders.

The market was disappointed by news from Verona Pharma (VRP) about the clinical trial results for COPD treatment Ensifentrine (RPL554). Two different does were used in combination with Stiolto Respimat. The treatment did work better than the placebo, but the improvement in breathing was not statistically significant. The share price slumped by more than one-third, although there was a small subsequent recovery.

CH Bailey (BLEY) has decided to cancel its AIM quotation and it is asking for shareholder approval. The company is offering to buy back shares at 100p each via a tender offer.

Ariana Resources (AAU) says that its 50%-owned Kiziltepe mine produced 27,110ounces of gold in 2018. Ariana expects its $33m development loan to be fully repaid during 2019.

Tax Systems (TAX) had reduced net debt from £20.5m to £13.9m by the end of 2018. Pre-tax profit of £5.8m is forecast for 2018.

Ideagen (IDEA) is acquiring Cork-based Scannell Solutions, which provides environmental health and safety software, for £3.5m. Annualised revenues are around €1m, of which, two-thirds is recurring.

Consumer engagement technology provider Pelatro (PTRO) has confirmed that 2018 figures are in line with expectations and there was improved cash generation in the second half. Net cash was $1.8m at the end of 2018. finnCap expects 2019 pre-tax profit to double from $2.9m to $6m.

Plexus Holdings (POS) plans to buy back 4.95 million shares owned by LLC Gusar. The price will be 50.5p a share. Gusar will use the cash to buy two POS-GRIP wellhead systems, which it announced it was going to buy one year ago.

Midwich Group (MIDW) has acquired MobilePro AG, which expands the audio visual products distributor into Switzerland. The business has annual revenues of CHF25m.

Pharmaxis has completed a toxicity study for two LOXL2 inhibitors in which Synairgen (SNG) has a 17%carried financial interest. Pharmaxis can brief potential licensing partners with the information gained.

Tracsis (TRCS) is acquiring Compass Informatics, which is a data analytics and systems development business. Tracsis is paying up to €5.15m for the Dublin-based company, which made a pre-tax profit of £600,000 last year.

Portmeirion Group (PMP) has achieved record sales in 2018 and beat the profit forecast of £9.5m. The fastest growth came in the home fragrance division.

Iofina (IOF) achieved record iodine production levels in the second half of 2018. Full year production was 17% higher at 588.8 million tonnes. There should be a further rise in production this year and that could move Iofina into profit.

Brandon Hill has initiated coverage of Karelian Diamond Resources (KDR) and it has valued the company’s Lahtojoki diamond project in Finland at $32.9m, based on an average diamond price of $100/carat.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) has postponed the appointment of an administrator as negotiations with interested parties continue.

Kestrel Opportunities has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) from 22.2% to 23.1%. Little more than one year ago the stake was below 15%.

Caledonia Mining Corporation (CMCL) has cut 2019 gold production guidance for its Blanket Mine and WH Ireland has downgraded its forecast from 61,200 ounces to 55,500 ounces, which is at the higher end of the guidance. There was 54,5000 ounces of gold produced in 2018.

MAIN MARKET 

Athelney Trust (ATY) is holding the requisitioned general meeting on Tuesday 22 January. Robin Boyle has requisitioned a general meeting in order to get himself reappointed. He left the board last year after a disagreement over the future of the investment company. He wanted to stay on as a non-executive director to shepherd the change in investment management for the trust. The plan is to get Gresham House involved in the investment management. Boyle also wants David Lawman and Paul Coffin to be appointed and the three existing directors, Dr Emmanuel Pohl, Simon Moore and Jemma Jackson, to be removed.

Path Investments (PATH) has signed heads of agreement with ARC Marlborough. The plan is to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland, via a share issue. Path had £31,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has agreed to sell its $300,000 investment in the Dallas Wheel project back to the developers. Challenger has received $27,000 in interest and will receive $50,000 a month, plus interest, for six months.

Gresham Technologies (GHT) has sold its VME mainframe software business for £2m.

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has sufficient cash to finance continued exploration in the first quarter of 2019. By the middle of the year the gems explorer will be able to estimate how much cash it requires to start trial mining.

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard: Morrisons – The Legacy Lives On With Bumper Christmas

Morrisons W. Sprmkts MRW If you do not know how to sell a pack of frozen peas, then you should not be on the board of a chain of supermarkets. Britains high streets are riddled with major retail outlets which are in a state of collapse and its Boards are littered with bankers, accountants and management experts with not a grocer amongst them. At Morrisons however the legacy of “our Ken” lives on and the company is leading the big guns of British retailing a pretty dance. Whilst they cry over their shelves of unsold peach and ratatouille consomme, Morrisons just get on with the job of selling goods which its customers want to buy in stores which they want to visit.

The result,  Morrisons has just enjoyed its fourth consecutive Christmas of like for like sales growth. Total sales for for the nine weeks to 6 January rose by 4%. Customer satisfaction increased significantly and the price of its basket of key Christmas items remained  the same as last year.

Greene King plc GNK is another company which got its festive hat perched at the right angle, as like for like sales over the last two weeks of Xmas and the New Year leapt by 10.9% compared to a rise of only 3.2% over the first 36 weeks of the financial year. It is accepted that the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit may still have an impact on consumer confidence and spending during the year, but the company is confident of the outlook for the full year.

Safestore Holdings plc SAFE has announced its fifth consecutive year of double-digit earnings per share and dividend growth. Revenue for the year to the 31st October rose by 10.4% or 5.2% on a like for like basis and underlying EBITDA by 6.5%.The dividend has been increased from 14p to 16.2p per share, a rise of 16.1%. The company says that the start to its current financial year has been encouraging.

SIG plc SHI faced challenging market conditions and lower trading revenues in the second half of the year, particularly in December. Group like-for-like revenues were down 2.3% over the full year, with the UK and Ireland being particularly badly hit  with a like for like fall of 5.7%.

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Ian Pollard: Dairy Crest Slightly Ahead At Half Time

Dairy Crest Group DCG expects profit for the half year to the 30th September to be slightly ahead of  last year, with revenue driven by strong performances from its two largest brands, Cathedral City and Clover. Cathedral City continues to go from strength to strength reports the company and several new products will be released by the brand, over the coming months.

Finsbury Food FIF claims that its performance over the year to the 30th June has  illustrated its resilience and ability to deliver against its strategic priorities.The dividend is to be increased by 10% after like for like revenue rose by 2.4% and on a statutory basis profit before tax, fell by 65.7% and basic earnings per share by 76.1%, whilst an adjusted basis they rose by 4% and 2.7%. respectively.

Christie Group CTG is raising its interim dividend by 25% for the six months to the 30th June after operating profit nearly doubled from £1.1m to £2. and basic earnings per share rose from 1.53p per share to 5.18p. Revenue for the half year rose by 10%.

Warpaint London W7L is increasing its interim dividend by 7% after sales for the half year to the 30th June shot up by 38.7%, or 7.3% on a like for like basis and gross profit rose by 30%. The order book as at the 30th June was significantly ahead compared to the same time last year

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Ian Pollard: Pure Circle Mystery – Directors In The Dark

Pure Circle Ltd PURE announces that the Directors have noted the increase in trading volumes and the share price volatility over the past few trading sessions. They are not aware of any price sensitive information about the Company which has yet to be disclosed and previous disclosures made by the Directors in their opinion reflect fairly the most updated performance of the Company.

Computacenter CCC enjoyed a record first half with sales growth of 29.5% producing a record gross first half revenue of over 2bn for the first time. This continued the outstanding performance from the second half of 2017, ensuring that 2018 will also be a year of significant progress, helped by bouyant market conditions.Revenue for the six monthe to the 30th June, rose by 18.1% and profit before tax by 24.3% or 9.5% on  statutory basis. The interim dividend  is to be increased by 17.6%.

Camellia plc CAM Profits for the half year to the 30th June were better than expected and the interim dividend is to be increased by 8.1% from 37 to 40p. per share. However Kenya tea prices are now experiencing significant downward pressure and avocado selling prices have fallen significantly

Inspiration Healthcare Group plc IHC updates that it has continued to trade at satisfactory levels during the first half and expectations for the full year remain unchanged.

 

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Ian Pollard – Sainsbury’s Investment in Price Cuts Pays Off

Sainsbury J SBRY First quarter sales for the 16 weeks to the 30th June saw a continuation of the improving volume trend which became evident in the second half of last year. Like for like retail sales grew by 0.2% excluding fuel and grocery sales rose by 0.5% helped by online grocery growth of 7.3% and an improving price position. Clothing and General Merchandise, including Argos both outperformed the market in what Sainsbury claims were challenging conditions.  It is also on track to achieve its target of 200m in cost savings for the current year.

National Express NEX has been awarded a major bus contract in  Morocco.covering the major cities of the Kingdom and with expectations of carrying 100m. passengers a year across 61 routes. The initial contract is for 15 years with an option to extend for a further 7 years and services are expected to commence with a year.

Gresham Technologies plc GHT expects a strong second half despite an anticipated decline of 5% in group revenue for the six months to the 30th June. Like for like Claretti revenue should show a rise of 17% for the first half but non Claretti revenues are expected to slide by 21%.

Staffline STAF updates that it is only trading inline despite a strong performance in The Recruitment division which has continued to perform strongly allowing it to meet growing customer demand during the six months to the 30th June.

Mattioli Woods MTW produced another year of strong and sustainable growth, with organic revenue growth of over 15% in the year to the 31st May. Acquisitions remain a core part of the company’s growth strategy. and recent acquisitions have continued to perform well. EBITDA has also continued to grow and the EBITDA margin for the year remains slightly ahead of the 20% target

Nektan NKTN delivered very strong growth, with record net gaming revenue  of £5.7m,in quarter 4 an increase of 10.9% over the third quarter and  36.7% compared to quarter 4 of 2017. The strong fourth quarter ensured that full year net gaming revenue was £19.4m, an increase of 48.1% over the previous year. The strong momentum is expected to continue in the year ahead.

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