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Reckitt Benckiser Gp RB. The first quarter got off to a slow start but improving growth is seen for the remainder of the year, particularly in the second half. Like for like full year net revenue target is expected to show growth of 3-4% compared to 1% in the first quarter. The health business was impacted by an unusually weak cold and flu season across US and several European markets. First quarter sales of over the counter health products showed a like for like decline of 9%. The good news is that March saw an increased incidence of cold and flu and coincidentally, of course, an increased share performance.
Paddy Power Betfair PPB updates that the first quarter to the 31st March was a good one with total revenue up by 17%, led by gaming with a rise of 26%.Online revenue performance at Sports was affected by unfavourable results in both the UK and Ireland. Australia is described as having had a very strong quarter, whilst from the US huge progress is reported.
Smith & Nephew plc SN has made a good start to 2019 across the whole of the company. Underlying revenue growth for the full year is expected to be in the upper half of the guidance range of 2.5% to 3.5%.Mid-teens growth from the Emerging Markets, A strong quarter in China was accompanied by Mid-teens growth from Emerging Markets. First quarter revenue of $1,202 million saw growth 4.4% and all three global franchises accelerated, with growth ahead of 2018.
Rolls Royce Holdings plc RR updates for its AGM that it has continued to make progress with its restructuring programme. The market environment is healthy, with strong order intake at Power Systems, good flying hour growth in Civil Aerospace and positive order momentum in Defence. Costs are being brought down and engineering efficiency is being improved
Fisher (James) FSJ reports for its AGM that its first quarter financial performance at its Tankships and Offshore Oil divisions in the first quarter. is well ahead of last year. The pipeline of opportunities in its Specialist Technical remains strong. With a good start to 2019 the outlook for the year remains positive and the company is well placed for further growth.
Bellway BWY updates that it has broken through the 10,000 homes barrier for the first time in its history, with an increase of 6.9% to a total of 10,307 for the year to the 31st July. Market conditions have remained favourable, trading and customer confidence have been robust, enabling the average selling price to be increased by 9.4% to an all time inflation beating high of 284,900.
Paddy Power Betfair PPB After a flat first quarter, the half year was saved by double digit growth in the second, the pending arrival of the world cup and especially strong performances in the USA and Australia where revenue jumped by 20% and 19% respectively. For the six months to the 30th June, revenue rose by 5%, profit before tax by 4% and earnings per share by 1%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 3% and the company believes that the momentum which is now underway, will carry it through the second half.
Quilter plc QLT reports record adjusted profit before tax of £110 million and a special interim dividend of 12.0 pence per share in its first results as a listed company. The Chief Executive believes that its market offers significant growth opportunities and that the company is someway from demonstrating its full potential.
Page Group plc PAGE increased both profit before tax and basic earnings per share by over 18% in the half year to the 30th June, whilst revenue grew by 11.7% shareholders are rewarded with a 5.1% increase in the interim dividend yo 4,10p per share and the payment of a special dividend of of 12.73p per share. However there are challenges to be faced including Brexit in he UK and elections in Latin America.
Spirax – Sarco Engng SPX reports strong organic sales growth of 7% in the half year to the 30th June. Reported revenue rose by 28%, adjusted profit before tax by 22% and basic earnings per share by 25%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 14%.
Sainsbury (J) plc SBRY tries to present itself as the blushing bride dressed in all her finery and waiting at the altar for her handsome suitor. Certainly the blushing is well justified having regard to the way in which the annual figures for the year to the 10th March are presented. On an underlying basis the Chief Executive is pleased to announce an increase in profit before tax of of 1.4% and a rise of 9% in group sales. No hesitation there in stating the % differences between this years figures and last years, until that is, one comes to the statutory results. There the comparison percentages have all been carefully omitted and the reader is left to work them out for himself. And that is where the first blush of embarrassment begins to show with a collapse of some 20% in profit before tax from last years £503m to this years £409m. and a fall in basic earnings per share from 17.5p per share to 13.3p, a fall of some 25%.
When it comes to the annual dividend this is presented in such a way that most people outside Sainsbury’s head office would conclude that it had been increased but it hasn’t.” We propose to pay a final dividend of 7.1 pence per share, an increase of eight per cent, .”, they claim. Point number one, the increase appears to be 7.6%, not 8%. “Bringing our full year dividend to 10.2 pence per share.” they add- that is seriously misleading because “bringing it to 10.2p” means that it was not at that level previously – otherwise it could not be “brought” to10.2p. The truth is that this years dividend of 10.2 p. per share is identical to last years. By now the bride should be in full blushing mode and the groom, if he has any sense, will be back in the wedding car legging it at a great rate of knots up the MI and back to his home in Morley.
Paddy Power Betfair plc PPB As one would expect from a bookmaker the figures for the quarter to the 31st March are presented just as they are and without any pretence. Sports results from November to February were so good for the bookmaker, that the punters stopped punting which meant that the year got off to a bad start, with revenue falling by 2%, underlying EBITDA down by 8% and operating profit down by 12%. It is expected that £500m of cash will be returned to to shareholders over the next 12 to 18 months.
Rolls Royce Holdings RR 2017 was a year of strong recovery, with financial result ahead of expectations. Underlying organic revenue for the year to the 31st December rose by 6%, profit before tax by 25% and earnings per share by 27%. The results were however impacted by the challenge and cost of managing what it describes as significant in service engine issues which are likely to continue for several years. 2018 is expected to be a year of significant operational progress despite the fact that it will take a few years to implement solutions for customers, to the engine problems which Rolls is currently experiencing and the costs of which are and will continue to be, significant.
Legal & General LGEN continued to perform strongly in 2017 with operating profit rising to a record £2.1bn. Profit before tax was up by 32% and profit after tax by 50%. Growth in earnings per share is described as terrific and the full year dividend is to be increased by 7% to 15.3p. per share.Confidence is expressed of further growth in 2018 and beyond.
Paddy Power Betfair PPB produced good growth in 2017 with a final dividend of 135p. per share promised, making a total rise of 21% for the year. Preliminary results for the year to 31st December show a rise in underlying revenue of 13%, EBITDA up by 18%, earnings per share by 20% and operating profit by 19%. The Chief Executive describes it as as an exceptional business with market leading positions in key online and retail markets which will continue to generate shareholder returns in the long term.
Page Group PAGE 2017 was a year of many records with 22 counties producing record performances. Revenue at constant exchange rates rose by 9.8% for the year to 31st December and the final dividend is to be increased by a modest 4.3% to 12.5p per share on top of the special dividend of 12.73p. announced in October.
Begbies Traynor BEG announces doom and gloom for many British companies with 450,000 of them suffering from signs of financial distress, even before the effects are felt of any interest rate rise on Thursday. The number has risen by 27% from a year ago and 250,000 have become “zombie” companies with no net worth and who will not have the reserves available to survive increasing employment costs due to changes in the minimum wage and the Revenues crackdown on personal service companies.
Next plc NXT is unable to determine any underlying sales trend in the quarter to the 31st October, the main impact appearing to have come from the weather which does not seem to say much for management’s marketing skills. Sales rose significantly in August and September coinciding with the arrival of warmer weather and temperatures which were higher than last year. The end result is that third quarter full price sales rose by 1.3% compared to last year but 1.2% of that growth came from new space. Total sales including markdowns rose by 0.8% but for the year to date they are down 1.2%. The future does not look any brighter and a further decline of 0.3% is expected for quarter 4.
Paddy Power Betfair PPB found quarter 3 to the end of September to be encouraging and trading since the interim results has been good. The international businesses have performed well with Australia producing an exceptional revenue rise of 29% followed by the US with a rise of 18%. Group revenue for the quarter was up by 9% led by 11% in sports revenue but offset by a 3% drop in online revenue. Underlying EBITDA rose by 7% and it is anticipated that full year EBITDA will be between £450 and £465m.
Biome Technologies BIOM saw third quarter revenue jump from £0.9m. to £1.5m. making a rise of 46% for the year to date and the fourth consecutive quarter of EBITDA profitability. The progress and momentum seen so far are expected to continue for the remainder of the year.
Bellway BWY is riding on the crest of a wave, with favorable market conditions, the continued availability of cost effective mortgage finance and of the voters friend, Help to Buy. Revenue for the year to the 31st July is expected to have risen by 13%, volume growth in completions by 10% and at the end of the year the forward order book was 16% higher than a year ago. It seems ludicrous that the poorer the country gets, the more its currency collapses and the more its services , from health and education to police, show signs of following suit, the brighter the prospects become for the housing industry.
Standard Life SL s increasing its interim dividend by 8.2% to 7p per share after a strong half year performancew which produced a rise of 6% in half year operating profit before tax and a 5% rise in fee based revenue. The merger with Aberdeen is due to be completed on the 14th August and this it is expected will open the next chapter of the the company’s transformation.
Intercontinental Hotels Group IHG enjoyed a good first half to the year and passed the landmark of over 1 million pipeline rooms – just amazing how pipeline has become such a buzz word in the world of industry and commerce, unless, of course, you happen to be in the business of manufacturing pipelines. Operating profit rose by 8% on revenue up by a rather meagre 2% but the interim dividend is upped by 10%. The group continues to focus on high quality brand growth and has opened 95 hotels with over 11,000 rooms, whilst removing 63.
Paddy Power Betfair PPB Management takes full credit for the efficiencies and investments which have seen strong results for the six months to 30th June and a 25% increase in the interim dividend. Half year operating profit rose by 22%, EBITDA by 21% and earnings per share by 23%. The figures were also helped just a little bit by the fact that Cheltenham was far more favourable this year than last, as well as by the provision of better odds and more generous offers.
Sainsbury J. SBRY slashes its final dividend by 18.5% for the year to 11th March, sees profit before tax fall by 8.2% and basic earnings per share by 26.8%. And the CEO has the cheek to trumpet it as a pivotal year with a clear growth strategy which has made significant progress. If it did have a clear growth strategy then it was one which obviously failed and management should have the courage to admit it.
Imperial Brands IMB at least remains on planet earth with its first half results, is raising its interim dividend by 10% and has a CEO who has found the time to invent a new language even if is is one which is unlikely to be understood by most of her employees, shareholders and board members. She appears pleased that it has a Market Repeatable Model deployed in e-vapour, and, best news of all, this is going to be used to drive growth in other “adjacencies”. As if that is not enough they are developing their footprint and “building blu” through investment.
As for the figures themselves, on a constant currency basis, total adjusted operating profit and earnings per share fell fell by 7.6% and 5.9% respectively. Obviously growth of adjacencies may be some time away.
ITV plc ITV announces that Adam Crozier is stepping down both from the board and as CEO, on the 30th June. No explanation is given for the suddenness of the departure. Indeed ITV seems to be pretending that just short of two month is not sudden at all but is long enough for it put in force its well developed succession plan, which is so well developed that they are having to take interim measures to fill the gap. Only “in due course” will a longer term successor be announced.
At least Paddy Power Betfair PPB has come out with figures, comment and details which make sense and are not hidden in obfuscation. First quarter revenue to the of March rose by 15% in constant currency terms, whilst underlying EBITDA was up by 83% and underlying operating profit by 117%. For a change punters at Cheltenham did not do at all well and were responsible for most of the quarters growth, although their fortunes changed for the better at other major sporting events in April.
Paddy Power Betfair PPB did not have a happy fourth quarter. Firstly it got its odds wrong on the US presidential elections and Trumps victory cost it almost £5m. On top of that its European sportsbook lost money on football bets in December and far too many customer friendly results reduced group revenue by some £40m. Adverse sports results reduced online gaming revenue by 3%, despite a 15% rise in sportsbook stakes. Australia helped to save the day with a rise of 25% in the stakebook and 18% in revenue. The year as a whole however still showed healthy growth.
Petra Diamonds PDL reports strong operational results for the half year to 30th December visit their website. Despite flat rough diamond prices, revenue rose by 48%, as diamonds sold surged by 47%. Production during the half year was up by 24% and the new Cullinan plant is due to be commissioned towards the end of the third quarter.
Safestyle UK SFE produced another year of record turnover in 2016 as strong trading continued throughout the year. Installations rose by 4.7%, frames manufactured by 3.2% and revenue for the year was up by 9.8% helped by price increases at the start of the year. Cautious optimism prevails for 2017
Thalassa Holdings THAL has doubts that the global recovery is convincing and believes that it is far weaker than meets the eye because there is no sign of it being matched by rising employment in the major industrialised countries. However it is anticipated that 2016 profits will exceed market expectations and the board is extremely pleased with the strength of the year’s operational and financial results. A new stock buy back programme will be introduced when the present scheme comes to an end. As for the outlook for 2017, Thalassa is cautiously optimistic
J. Sainsbury SBRY has been forced to cut its final dividend, even if only by a small amount,0.1p or 1.2%, making a total cut for the year of of 8.3%. It claims a strong performance in clothing, general merchandise and financial services which, coming from a food store, indicates a problem or two with the food side of the business. Group sales for the full year fell by 1.1% and like for like by 0.9%. Underlying profit before tax slumped by 13.8% and basic earnings per share were down by 8.3%
Ryanair RYA hit new records in April with traffic growing by 10% to 9.9 million and customer load factor up by 2% points to 93% and all achieved despite strikes by air traffic controllers in a number of European countries. Annual traffic growth over the past 12 months now stands at 12%. What was that Willie Walsh was saying about weak markets only a few days ago – test – how many can tell me accurately and now what his airline’s name is, this year.
SHELL RDSA First quarter cash flow nearly disappeared with a fall of 91%, whilst first quarter income was down by 89% as the oil crisis savaged the company. Shell fought back with cost cuts and with strong results from Downstream and Integrated Gas. The combination with BG also got off to a strong start.
JD Wetherspoon JDW saw third quarter like for like sales grow by 3.8% and total sales up by 5.5%. Nineteen pubs have been closed since the start of the financial year of which only 8 have been sold but 16 new openings are expected for the year. The full year outcome is expected to be reasonable.
Direct Line DLG claims another quarter of top line growth on which it is aiming to build fir the rest of 2016. First quarter gross written premiums rose by 4.2% with Motor & Home being singled out as strong. despite the no of policies in force has actually fallen over the past 12 months, with only Motor and Commercial showing a rise.
Paddy Power Betfair PPB The merged group has got off to a good start with revenue fior the 3 months to the end of March up by 16% and operating profit by 36%. All 4 of its brands are trading well.