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Brand CEO Alan Green talks Open Orphan #ORPH, Volga Gas #VOLG, Thomas Cook #TCG & IMC Exploration #IMC on Vox Markets podcast

Alan Green, CEO of Brand Communications talks about: Open Orphan #ORPH Volga Gas #VGAS Thomas Cook #TCG IMC Exploration #IMC with Justin Waite on the Vox Markets podcast. Interview is 7 minutes 29 seconds in.

Brand CEO Alan Green talks Thomas Cook #TCG, Tertiary Minerals #TYM, Cadence Minerals #KDNC & Bidstack #BIDS on Vox Markets podcast

Brand CEO Alan Green discusses Thomas Cook #TCG, Tertiary Minerals #TYM, Cadence Minerals #KDNC & Bidstack #BIDS with Justin Waite on the Vox Markets podcast. Interview is 9 minutes 50 seconds in.

Brand Comms CEO Alan Green argues with Justin Waite about Thomas Cook #TCG on Vox Markets podcast, plus Brave Bison #BBSN & Itaconix #ITX

Brand Comms CEO Alan Green argues with Justin Waite about the investment merits of Thomas Cook #TCG on the Vox Markets podcast, plus Brave Bison #BBSN & Itaconix #ITX. Interview is 29 minutes 7 seconds in.

Brand CEO Alan Green talks Bluefield Solar #BSIF, Thomas Cook #TCG, Petrofac #PFC & Andalas Energy #ADL on Vox Markets podcast

Brand CEO Alan Green discusses Bluefield Solar Income Fund (BSIF), Thomas Cook Group (TCG), Petrofac (PFC) & Andalas Energy & Power (ADL) with Justin Waite on the Vox Markets podcast. Interview starts at 12 minutes 20 seconds.

Ian Pollard – Thomas Cook Suspends Dividend

Thomas Cook Group TCG updates on its expected results for the year to the end of September and at first it looks like a mixed bag until you get to the important bits, the main one of which is that the full year dividend is being suspended. On top of that it has been impacted in the lates market where the UK was particularly disappointing. the prolonged period of hot weather in the key summer trading period is blamed for a larger-than-anticipated decline in gross margins, whereas other tour operators welcomed it as being good for business. Perhaps this is indicative of the quality of Cooks management..The final result is expected to be around £30 million lower than it had previously hoped for

Intertek Group plc ITRK is going from strength to strength with organic revenue growth accelerating during the first 10 months of the year. In the first half group revenue rose by 3.4% whilst in the quarter from July to October growth increased to 4.5%. Generally growth in different divisions is described as varying from robust to strong.

Greggs plc GRG Total sales rose by 9.0% in the nine weeks to 24 November and full year 2018 profit before tax is expected  to be at least £86 million.The improved trading performance reported in the third quarter trading update  strengthened further in October and November. Like-for-like sales sales in the nine week to the 24th November are ahead of expectations.

Pennon Group plc PNN delivered a strong performance in the first six month to the 30th September, with profit before tax up by 8.7% and EBITDA by 8.1%. Good news for the consumer is that South West waters  average bills are lower than they were 9 years ago, with further falls to come over the next seven years.

Renew plc RNWH trumpets another set of excellent results for the year to the 30th September, with profit  before tax down by 25.8% and adjusted earnings per share by 4.6%. As is  perfectly normal in these circumstances the dividend is to be hiked by 11%.  I wonder also why year end net debt has risen so sharply to £21.4m. from a net cash position of £3.9m at the end of last year. Perhaps it is due to that excellent set of results.or the 0.8% fall in group revenue.

Luxury Villas For Sale in Greece  http://www.hiddengreece.net

Ian Pollard: Dixons Abandons Smartphone Sales in Greek Stores

Dixons Carphone plc DC Greece had become the jewel in Dixons international empire with like for like sales up 9% but it looks like that will not last for long unless Dixons management can start getting its act together. Smart phones is its problem. At one of its biggest Kotsovoulos stores in Athens it has had to stop selling smart phones because it has no staff trained and qualified to explain to customers what the terms of the  contracts are which it offers with the three main service providers to enable it to give huge discounts on the prices of smart phones. Each model of smart phone has a price label next to it showing the discount and the specific contract which it offers with each provider. The problem is permanent, not temporary and it is that no staff member is allowed to tell customers what the terms of those contracts are because they are untrained and unqualified. Worse still they are trained to lie about the reason.Thus customers are told that a qualified employee from another store will be there from  5pm but it is just a lie. Other more truthful members of staff they will have to go to a store several miles away to find an employee with the necessary qualifications. They even advise customers to go directly to branches of the providers in a distant shopping mall, thus ensuring that Dixons loses the sale permanently. The manager joins in the deceit by claiming that the price labels do not advertise the package offered, they are purely notifications. Often it is the tiny things which expose the failings of management which is not on the ball, in some of our largest companies.

Thomas Cook Group TCG has been forced to admit that it can not compete with UK holidays when the UK enjoys hot summers, as it did this year in June and July. And if one thinks about it, that is not surprising because who wants to go through the trauma of spending part of their annual holiday trapped in a UK airport full of undrinkable coffee and British rail sandwiches, plus overbearing security officers waiting to pounce and perform an intimate body search at the slightest opportunity. What Cooks describes as the “unprecented” hot weather, led to higher levels of discounting and the recent trading performance has been disappointing, with full year operating profit expected to be only 280m. But then Cooks gives the game away by admitting that even bookings for next winter are down by 2% so the problems appear to be more ingrained than just a few weeks of summer sunshine. Dread the thought but could management perhaps be at fault if hot summer weather is followed by winter booking problems.

Ian Pollard – Taylor Wimpey Sees Surge In Profits

Taylor Wimpey TW With profit before tax surging by 46.8% during the six months to the first of July Taylor Wimpey saw demand for its homes remain strong in the first half despite some wider macroeconomic uncertainty.The interim ordinary dividend is to be increased from 2.3p per share to 2.44p. The number of homes completed fell slightly by 151 to 6,497 due mainly to bad weather during the first quarter and the average selling price rose at a more modest rate than in the recent past, from 287,000 to 295,000. Profit before tax rose from 205m. to 301m. A special dividend for 2019 of £350 million is re confirmed.

Rentokil plc RTO  claims continued positive momentum  during the first half to the 30th June and is increasing its interim dividend by 15%. Profit before tax fell by 81.5% and basic earnings per share by 85.2%, unless you prefer your statistics on an adjusted basis in which case the figures were a more acceptable 1.5 and 1.9% respectively. Full tear guidance remains unchanged.

Greggs plc GRG claims to have delivered a resilient performance despite challenging market conditions during the six months to the 30th June. The ordinary interim dividend is to be increased by 3.9%  but it is anticipated that underlying profits before exceptional costs for the full year will only be at a similar level to 2017.

Thomas Cook Group plc TCG produced strong revenue growth in the third quarter whilst for the year as a whole so far, growth in both new and retained customers has been strong, at 12% and 5% respectively. Bookings for this summer have risen by 11%. The company anticipates that growth in full year underlying operating profit will be at the lower end of market expectations as continued margin pressure in the UK and continued aggressive pricing in the Spanish Islands from the competition plus bed cost inflation from hoteliers, will impact results..

Just Eat plc JE. Has produced a strong first half performance, with revenue for the six months to the 30th June rising by 45 %, orders by 30% and adjusted basic earnings per share by 13%. Despite these figures, profit before tax fell by 3% because of the additional costs incurred in the acquisition of Hungry House.  Revenue guidance is raised for for the full year to between £740 – £770 million, up from £660 – £700 million.

Beachfront villas & houses for sale in Greece;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Ian Pollard: Countryside Properties, Robust & Excellent

Countryside Properties CSP The half year to the 31st March saw excellent progress and robust trading in all regions.  After strong growth the interim dividend is to be increased by 24% with reported revenue rising by 14%, operating profit by 19% and basic earnings per share by 23%.

National Grid plc NG produced a strong operational and financial performance for the year to the 31st March  On a  statutory basis profit before tax rose by 24% and earnings per share by 116%. On an underlying basis the figures were 4% and 3% respectively. Medium term growth is expected to beat  the top end of the 5-7% range.

Royal Mail plc  RMG With parcel volume the best in four years and a resilient letter performance, the year to the 25th May was another successful one for Royal Mail, despite a challenging environment.,  Revenue rose by 2% and profit before tax edged up from £559m. to £565m. whilst basic earnings per share rose from 41.1p to 45.5p. The dividend for the full year is to be increased by 4%.

Experian EXPN put in a strong finish to the year with fourth quarter total revenue growth of 12% or on a like for like basis, 8%. The strong performance came despite profit before tax falling by 7% which is deftly transformed to a rise of 7% at actual benchmark rates, enough to justify a 10% rise in the second interim dividend.

Thomas Cook Group TCG  The half year to the 31st March saw like for like revenue rise by 5% and following a strong airline performance coupled with a reduction in net finance charges the seasonal winter loss before tax was improved by 16m. Summer demand is strong with bookings up by 13%.

Churchill China CHH is making good progress in the current year, with trading since March ahead of last year. Further progress is being made in both export markets and in the UK.

Beachfront villas & houses for sale in Greece;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Ian Pollard – Countryside Properties -A Lesson in Clarity and Profitability

United Utilities UU must have decided to make its half year report as obscure and meaningless as possible. Thus it is full of PR19S, ODIs, RCV Gearing and the latest craze, System Thinking. What it wont do because presumably it would make the figures for the 6 months to the end of September too easy to understand, is tell you the percentages by which mundane things like revenue and profit in all its various guises have risen. That is a fairly easy task for even the most junior office boy in most head offices – but perhaps I should not run the risk of being regarded  as sexist when of course I should have said “junior person”. So you can have your profits four ways – underlying, reported, underlying after tax and  reported after tax   but what you are definately not allowed to see are the figures on a statutory basis. The figure all show reasonable increases and the interim dividend is going up from 12.95p to13.24p per share. What that rise means in percentage terms is however a closely gaurded secret, known only to that junior person at head office who is the only member of senior management with the System Thinking skills able to work it out.

Thomas Cook Group TCG has woken up to the fact that it is a “good thing” to claim to have a customer focused strategy. Not before time, some may say, after the traumas of recent years. How serious they are about it remain to be seen but having discovered that it can lead to profitable growth,  there may be a fair chance that they will give it a go.

Their table of figures is not all that easy to understand but I think I have got it after the third reading. Profit after tax for the year to the 30th Spetember has risen from 1 to 12 which is clearly shown as a difference of  11 which in the last colomn becomes a like for like rise of 7 on a constant currency basis. If you would like to know what the 7 means you are invited to proceed to page 12 – clearly this must be part of the new customer focused strategy. Underlying earnings per share is understandable with a rise from 8.1p to 9.3p and there is an explanation that like for like group revenue on a constant currency basis has risen by 9%. The recommended dividend is  0.6p per share but we are not enlightened as to whether that is a rise or a fall on last year. Perhaps I should go back to page 12 to find out. And before I forget, cutting complexity is one way in which they intend to produce further growth. Some chance.

Countryside Properties CSP shows how it should be done. Simple. On an adjusted basis earnings per share rose by 71% in the year to the end of September, revenue was up by 32%, completion by 28% and operating profit by 34%. It was an excellent and record year and perhaps one of the most significant statistics (which will be very unwelcome to the competition) is that they reduced the average selling price by 8% which most housebuilders would regard as a criminal offence.

Finsbury Foods FIF announces that the UK retail food market hass moved from a deflatioary to an inflationary environment and thus helped to take the load off managements shoulders which is now finding it easier to run a bakery profitably. UK sales have risen by 5% whilst European sales are down by 3% despite all those fancy baguettes, brioches and black unsliced.

Beachfront villas & houses for sale in Greece    http://www.hiddengreece.net

Corporate news review Tuesday 26th September 2017

AA Plc AA. Reports a robust H1 for Roadside and Insurance. Trading EBITDA rose 1% to £193m reflecting gains in insurance broking as well as reduced Head Office costs. Chairman John Leach said the Board “is very pleased that Simon Breakwell has agreed to take the role of CEO on a permanent basis”

Animalcare Group ANCR says pre-merger trading for 12 months ended 30th June 2017 was in line with the Board’s and market expectations. Total revenues were up 7.9% at £15.87m, underlying operating profits grew 11.8% to £3.57m. The enlarged group is confident in prospects for growth and expectations for earnings accretion in 2018 and beyond.

Barr (A.G.) BAG says interim revenues grew 8.8% to £136.6m, while PBT fell to £19.4m (2016 : £21.1m) including an exceptional credit of £1.9m. Free cash flow of £20m has resulted in a net cash position of £7.9m (2016 : net debt (£6.6m) and an 5% hike in the interim dividend has been declared. The Company remains on course to meet the FY expectations.

Ebiquity EBQ reports a 5.6% rise in total revenue to £44.6m, and underlying PBT down 21.8% to £6.2m, in line with market expectations and implementation of growth acceleration plan. Underlying operating cashflow conversion increased significantly to 89.2%, while net debt decreased as expected by £1.8m to £26.3m. EBQ remains on track to meet FY expectations.

Netcall NET reports a significant increase in mix of cloud services contracts, with an order book of contracted future minimum revenues up 13% to £17m. Annualised recurring core revenues increased by 8% to £11.8m, while adjusted EBITDA increased 1% to £4.49m. A final dividend of 1.16p is proposed, an increase of 5%.

Thomas Cook TCG publishes a pre-close trading update, and says summer 2017 is closing out as expected, with FY underlying EBIT outlook unchanged. Overall Group bookings remain in line with expectations, up 11% compared to this time last year, with average selling prices up 1%.

Transense Technology TRT reports FY revenues steady at £2m (2016: £2.08m), and pre tax losses from continuing operations of £2.16m (2016: Pre tax profit of £1.59m, adjusted pre tax loss of £1.17m). Executive Chairman David Ford, said: “The forward looking cash flow based on the anticipated level of activity indicates that the Group should have sufficient funds available for the short to medium term”

United Utilities UU. says FY revenue is expected to be just under 3% higher than the first half of last year, reflecting regulatory revenue changes, partly offset by the accounting impact of Water Plus business retail joint venture, which completed on 1 June 2016. Underlying H1 operating profit for 2017/18 is expected to be higher than the first half of 2016/17

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