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Polypipe Group plc PLP delighted to report another record performance and claims significant strategic progress for 2018 together with a continued focus on organic growth ahead of the market. Revenue rose by 5.2%, profit before tax by 4.7% and underlying basic earnings per share by 4.4% The dividend is to be increased by 4.5% and the balance sheet is robust.
Learning Technologies Group plc LTG Profit came in ahead of expectations for the year to the 31st December, with EBIT up by 104% to £27.2m. Revenue rose by 83% with half of it coming from the US. and the full year dividend is to be increased by 67%. In the five years since the company was listed on the London Stock Exchange a compound annual growth rate of 48% in adjusted diluted EPS has been achieved. A good start has been made to 2019.
EasyJet EZY has abandoned talks to join to join the consortium which would have bid for Alitalia although it said at the time that it was not certain that a bid for Alitalia would materialise. The Italian government has now given Delta Airlines and the Italian State Railway, the two remaining members of the consortium, until the end of this month to come up with a rescue plan for AlItalia.
Softcat plc SCT produced a very strong performance over the six months to the 31st January characterised by additional market share gains and a 36.4% rise for the shareholders, in the interim dividend. Revenue for the half year rose by 21%, diluted earnings per share by 40,8% and gross profit by 26.5% The company is debt free and has a cash balance of £52.8m. It is anticipated that the outcome for the full year will be marginally ahead of previous expectations.
Bonmarche Holdings BON the main aim of Bonmarche during the winter “sale” period covering January and February 2019, was to recover from the third quarter sales experience which was below expectations and in that it has succeeded. Autumn/winter season stock levels are now 40% lower than at this time last year but that has only been achieved at the cost of heavy discounting. And now things have got worse. Trading since the beginning of March has become significantly weaker, reversing sales gains which had been made in the previous months.It is now anticipating that the the underlying loss for the year will be far greater than the anticipated £4.0m. and current estimates are that it will rise to between £5.0m and £6.0m.
ASOS plc ASC for the 3 months to the end of February total retail sales rose by 11%, The UK outperformed with growth of 14% and France and Germany both proved to be challenging. For 2019 unchanged sales growth of 15% is expected.
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Ocado OCDO The 26 weeks to the third of June was a transformational period for Ocado, claims the CEO but perhaps not the sort of transformation which every company would welcome. Group EBITDA fell by 13.9% and 2017’s first half profit before tax of £7.7m was transformed into a loss of £9m.for the current year. First half sales growth however was significantly ahead of the market at 11.7% and retail revenue growth of between 10% and 15% is expected for the current year.
My Sale Group MYSL updates that the year to the 30th June produced another record performance with double digit revenue growth of 10% driving EBITDA growth. Results are expected to be at least in line with the top end of market expectations leading to a significant year-on-year increase in profitability.
Softcat plc SCT expects that adjusted operating profit for the year to the 31st July will be materially ahead of prior expectations following an exceptionally good performance in the final quarter. Market conditions have been very favourable and growth against last year has accelerated.
Dechra Pharmaceuticals DPH has delivered another year of strong revenue growth, with reported group revenue for the year to the 30th June showing an increase of 14% at constant exchange rates and 13% at actual rates. North America produced what is described as an excellent performance.
Young & Co Brewery plc YNGA Trading in the current year has started well, with managed house sales for the first thirteen weeks up 8.8% in total and 5.2% on a like-for-like basis and the warm weather getting at least some of the credit.
Begbies Traynor BEG proposes to increase its total dividend for the year, by 9% the first increase since 2011 and whilst this may be good news for shareholders it does not bode well for the economy. Profit before tax for the year to the 30th April rose from last years £0.6m to £2.3m and basic earnings per share increased from £0.2m to £1.3m
Kingfisher KGF claims to have delivered key strategic milestones for the second year in a row as statutory profit before tax fall by 10.1% and basic earnings per share by 18.5%. Definately a milestone of some sort there. Even the CEO joins in claiming this is all good progress.On a reported and adjusted basis earnings per share fell by 10.7% and like for like sales on a constant currency basis were down by 0.7%. Dividends for the full year are to be increased by 4%. The company claims that it is aware of the challenges ahead and is ready for another big year of implementations in 2018-19. The shareholders will perhaps be hoping that the Board learns that falls are a bad thing and in many companies are not regarded as “good progress.”
GKN plc GKN fights back against some of the more dubious claims made by Melrose in an attempt to ensure that GKN shareholders have information which is both complete and correct and that they will not be influenced by Melroses misleading statements. GKN scathingly makes the point that Melrose has failed to disclose any plans for GKN’s aerospace business but at the same time is lambasting GKN for having copied those non existent plans. It points out that Melrose is a novice in automotive, without experience as a tier one supplier, only minimal experience in aerospace and only a minimal track record in both automotive and aerospace.
If words are anything to go by GKN must be winning hands down by the clarity and factual nature of its responses which compare well with the frenzied attitude adopted by Melrose. Unfortunately this battle between behemoths will not be won by words but as is usual in these cicumstances, by greed.
Softcat SCT In the six months to the 31st January Softcat enjoyed strong growth, robust customer demand, strong cash generation and profitable gains in market share. Revenue for the half year rose by 24.9%, operating profit by 19.1% and the interim dividend is to be increased by 13.8% to 3.3p per share.
Telford Homes TEF Profit before tax for the half year to 30th September fell slightly to £8.7m. compared to last years £9m.due to development timing but a profit before tax of over £40m. is expected for the full year. The interim dividend is increased by 11%. Longer term growth plans are underpinned by the structural shortage of homes, both to buy and rent, in non prime areas of London. Telford plans to deliver 4,200 homes worth over £1.5b to what it describes as an undersupplied London market.
RPC Group RPC saw record profit levels and strong cash generation during the half year to the 31st September. Revenue grew by 53% and statutory profit before tax rose by 129% and earnings per share by 94% in what is now the company’s 25th consecutive year of growth, with the interim dividend being increased by 28%. The second half year has also started well.
Britvic BVIC claims another strong performance for the year to the 1st October, with revenue rising by 7.7% or 2.5% on a like for like basis. Basic earnings per share were down by 3.2% and profit after tax by8 2.5% but the shareholders are looked after with an increase of 8.2% in the years dividends. At present there is sme uncertainty about the future with the introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy due in April.
Softcat plc SCT has made a good start to the year, with strong customer demand across all segments in the quarter to the 31st October and further profitable growth again delivered.
eve Sleep plc EVE The strong trading momentum seen in the first half has continued into the second half and it is expected that group revenue for the year will have risen by 130%. The UK has been stronger than expected with revenue up by 105% whilst international revenue is up by 180%. The company is on track to reach profitability in the UK in the fourth quarter of 2018 and for the group overall in 2019
Reckitt Benckiser RB Rarely has a board been so isolated from reality that it shows not the slightest comprehension of the fear which its own chosen headlines for its third quarter update, could instill in shareholders. Those headlines speak of a continuing challenging environment and then worse still, an admission that the company needs reorganising for growth. So what exactly have the directors and senior management been doing recently to earn their remuneration. How can they have let things get so out of hand that they are forced to admit that the company is so badly organised it is incapable of growth.
Net revenue both for the quarter and for the year to date both fell by 1%. The best it could manage was growth in only one category out of four and that was a lowly 1% in hygiene, It was a soft quarter bemoans the CEO whose best expectations are for a flat like for like target for the full year, whilst at the same time claiming to be excited about the prospects for the company.
BHP Billiton BHP updates that its first quarter performance leaves it on track for 7% volume growth in the current financial year but the figures are somewhat patchy. Petroleum and gas production declined compared to the same quarter last year, as did iron ore and coal. Copper was the only bright spot with a rise of 14%. However there are four major projects under development one of which involves investment of $2.5 billion.
Softcat SCT announces another very strong year with double digit growth in both gross and operating profit. Revenue for the year to 31st July rose by 23.8% and operating profit by 18.9%. The final dividend is to be increased by 69.4% and a special dividend of 13.5p per share, down 15% on last year, is also to be paid, making a total dividend increase for the year of 15%. The company has now produced 48 consecutive quarters of top and bottom line year on years growth.
Eckoh ECK has been trading strongly in the UK during the half year to the 30th September, whilst in the US where it only entered the market in 2014 it also appears to be going from strength to strength, having won a total of 30 contracts since then. Good progress is being made in converting its contracts pipeline into orders and new contracts awarded in the first half, have equaled those awarded in the whole of the last financial. year