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Ian Pollard – Wizz Air #WIZZ Beats The Budgets

Wizz Air Holdings plc WIZZ which was named The Best Low-Cost Airline of the Year in the CEE region in 2018 and also received the Best Cabin Crew award, continued growing in March.15 New routes were opened and a number of new aircraft were brought into service.Seat capacity rose by 6.9%, passengers by 9.9% and load factor rose by 2.6ppts to 94.1%. At least it is good to see the former budget favourites being given not only a run for their money but lessons in customer service as well as the real meaning of “budget” .

Wizz Air also provides a trading update for the year to the 31st March 2019. Demand across the Company’s markets remains robust. It experienced an excellent operational performance in March with only one cancelled flight compared to 68 in March 2018.  On time-performance also improved by 10ppts to 85%. The new financial year has started well with Revenue per Available Seat per Kilometre  forecast to grow 4% year-on-year in the first quarter. Net profit for the year is expected to be in the upper half of its guidance range of between €270m and €300m.

Gear4music plc G4M updates that for the 13 months from 1 March 2018 to 31 March 2019 sales increased by 36% with continuing strong growth in the UK and Europe. Active Customer numbers increased by 53% to 727,400. Decisive management action has been taken during the period to solve the problems of lower gross margins and with a strong emphasis on margin growth, the Group is expected to return to a more profitable growth trajectory during the new financial year. The momentum in sales growth has continued both in the UK and Europe. In only six years revenues have grown from £12m to £110m.

Hydrogen Group plc HYDG is delighted to report a strong performance in 2018, with underlying profit before tax up by 264,% and basic earnings per share  moving from a loss of 4.4p per share to a positive 7p. Shareholders get  their rewards with a final dividend of 1p per share taking the total for the year to 1.5p, a rise of 88%. Continued growth is confidently expected for this current year.

Intercede Group plc IGP announces that it received a large US Federal Government order totaling $4.3m on the 29 March 2019. Revenues for the year ended 31 March 2019 are expected to be in excess of £10.0m, which is ahead of market expectations and approximately 10% higher than the previous financial year. A return to profitability is now expected at both operating profit level after 2018″s: £4.5m operating loss) and after interest and tax.

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Ian Pollard – Winter Of Discontent Impacts Begbies’ Business.

Begbies Traynor BEG claims that a winter of discontent has impacted business with 481,000 now in significant financial distress.  Those  in ‘critical’ financial distress increased by 25% year on year as the year came to a slow end and stand at  2,183. Real estate was the hardest hit sector in quarter 4 with a 9% increase. The retail industry should, it forecasts, be braced for a tough start to 2019 after poor Christmas trading from M&S and Debenhams. Link here to a detailed article by Begbies Traynor Regional Partner Julie Palmer 

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ describes its third quarter performance to the 31st December as solid, with profits for the quarter collapsing by 87.6%. Fear not however as full year profit guidance is maintained. Passenger growth during the quarter was 15% and revenue 21%. A new carry on bag policy saw revenue per passenger rise by 7% and means that passengers now get the injured backs instead of the baggage handlers. Like all low cost airlines it is having to face the challenging industry-wide operating environment

Solid State plc SOLI updates that trading results for the year ending 31 March 2019 will now comfortably exceed current market consensus guidance. Revenues are expected to be above current guidance and adjusted profits significantly ahead. The strong demand seen in the first half has continued into the second half and the Value Added Distribution division has is now expected to deliver results well ahead of management’s previous expectations.

Ingenta ING  is now leaner and focussed on delivering first class services to all its customers claims the CEO, meaning it is significantly better placed to propel the business through the next stage of its growth. The Board confirms its intention to pay a dividend of 1.5 pence per ordinary share for the 2018 financial year.

Staffline Group STAF announces that publication of the results for the year ended 31 December 2018 has been delayed and a further update will be provided as soon as possible.

Rhythm One plc RTHM confirms that it is in advanced discussions with Taptica International Limited (“Taptica”) regarding a potential all-share offer for RhythmOne by Taptica.

Inspired Energy INSE expects to announce another strong set of results, delivering good growth in revenue, profits and cash for the year to the end of December. Group revenues are expected to be approximately 21 per cent ahead of 2017 with revenue growth expected to be approximately 29% ahead

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Ian Pollard – Ferguson #FERG finds UK markets challenging

Ferguson plc FERG is proposing to increase its final dividend by 21% for the year to the 31st July after making what it describes as significant progress in a good year.  Revenue rose by 7.6% and ongoing trading profit by 14.7%, despite a weak performance in the UK where trading profit declined in challenging markets.  90% of group trading profit is now generated in the USA.

DX (Group) plc (DX) is now on the road to recovery after a new Board took charge in October 2017. Revenue for the year to the 30th June was slightly ahead of market expectations, whilst the EBITDA loss was lower.The loss before tax was down from £82.3m to £19.9m and the loss after tax showed a similar decline. The group remains well positioned to make further progress  and trading since the start of the new financial year has been encouraging.Net debt of £1.1m as at 30 June showed a marked improvement, ahead of market expectations, compared to last years £19.1m.

On The Market plc OTMP has doubled the number of branches since its admission to AIM in February and has now signed listing agreements with UK estate and letting agents with more than 11,000 offices. Traffic to the portal reached a record high of 17.4 million visits during September, more than three times the number of visits compared to February 2018.

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ increased passenger numbers by 17.5% in September, whilst load factor increased by 1.22pp to 94.1%. Seat capacity rose by 16%

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Ian Pollard – European Air Traffic Control Hits Wizz Air #WIZZ

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ Profit for the first quarter to the 30th June  fell 14% from 58.1m. to €50.0 million,   compared to 2017 reflecting the timing of Easter and the effect of higher than expected disruption costs. Passengers carried rose by 19.7% and revenue by17.9% but profit margins were down by 3.3ppts from 12.4 to 9. Disruptions caused mainly by European air traffic control,were at an unprecedented levels and led to a 426% increase in cancellations. Passenger delay and compensation costs incurred by the Company, as a result, increased by 203% to €9.1m

Vodafone Group VOD Revenue fo the first quarter to the 3oth June fell by 4.9% due to foreign exchange headwings and the the adoption of IFRS 15.India was the groups worst performer with a fall of 22.3% due to intense competition. On the commercial front momentum was maintained as mobile data traffic grew by 57%. Italy and Spain also suffered from increased competition but the UK saw some recovery and there were gains in broadband. Operating costs were reduced for the third year running.

Croda International CRDA delivered a strong performance in the six months to the 30th June with record profit before tax and basic earnings per share. The interim dividend to be raised by 8.6% from 35 to 38p. per share.. All 3 business did well with excellent sales growth of 9.3% at  constant currency in Personal Care. In Life Sciences the performance was resilient with sales up 2.3%. Profit growth in Performance Technologies is described as impressive with operating profit up 15.2% on sales up 1.7%, at constant currency rates. On an adjusted basis, basic earnings per share rose by 12% and profit before tax by 7.7%. Sales increased by 3.6% after the impact of stronger sterling.

Informa INF continued to deliver a good trading performance with strong growth continuing during the half year to the 30th June. The interim dividend is to be increased  by 6%.with the company claiming to be firmly on track for another year of growth in revenue, adjusted operating profit, adjusted earnings, cashflow and dividend.

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Ian Pollard – Wizz Air #WIZZ increases capacity by 20% and fills it!

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ opened six new routes in June and took delivery of 4 brand new A320 family aircraft, taking the flee to 102. Seat capacity increased by 20.5% over June. 2017 whilst  passenger numbers rose by 21.8% and load factor was up by 1pp to 93.3%

RM plc RM The first six months to the 31st May has seen good progress in each of the three divisions with revenue rising by 33.1% and statutory operating profit up by 78.4%. The interim dividend is to be increased by15% and the Board is confident of at least meeting full year expectations.

Andalas Energy ADL The appointment of a New CEO and a new Chairman resulted in the imposition of greater financial discipline during the year to the 30th April The operating loss was reduced by 73% to $1,161,000 from 2017’s $4,317,000. The company has reviewed its operations and restructured its business.and claims it is now in a good position to reap the benefits of its new strategy.

Solid State plc SOLI delivered a combination of strong organic revenue growth and strategic re-organisation in the year to the 30th April. Revenue rose by 16% but adjusted operating profit fell by 4%. During the first two months of the financial year the order book was strong and  as at the 31 May  stood at a record level of £23.0m, up 11% on the previous year. The dividend remains unchanged at 12p. per share.

Big Sofa Tech Group BST  has continued to build on the positive momentum achieved in 2017 and In the first half of 2018, the order book reached nearly £1 million, a 91% increase over the first half of 2017

 

Cohort plc CHRT improved its performance during the year to the 30th April and adjusted operating profit rose by 8% to record levels, despite a large fall in the order book from £108.6m. to £76.6m. which the company says was due to delays . Adjusted earnings per share rose by 7% and the dividend is to be increased by 15%

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Ian Pollard: Smith & Nephew Impacted By Weak First Quarter

 Smith & Nephew SN has produced a mixed performance for the quarter to the 31st March with revenue rising by 5% including currency benefits of 5%. Softer markets and a slowdown in Bioactives were offset by stronger growth in emerging markets which showed a rise of 15% on a reported basis. The trend is expected to improve over the remainder of the year but full year guidance has been impacted by the effects of the weak first quarter and underlying revenue growth is expected to be in the range of 2-3%

Centamin CEY A rise of 23% in first quarter revenue led to a surge of 122% in profit before tax for the quarter compared to a year ago although compared to the previous quarter there was a fall of 17%. Gold sales rose 14% year on year and the results were also helped by a 9% rise in the average price of gold over the year.

James Fisher & Sons plc FSJ Trading for the year so far has been in line with management expectations and offshore oil has been showing signs of recovery. All four divisions appear well set and the outlook for the year is positive.

Johnson Service Group JSG expects full year results will be slightly ahead of current market expectations. Following the substantial growth seen in 2017, trading in the year to date has continued to be strong.

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ April passenger numbers rose by19% and the load factor for April rose to 90.9%. Six new routes were opened and operations were commenced at 2 additional airports. Three brand new Airbus A 320s were added to the fleet bringing it to a total of 96 aircraft. Wizz has also been named European Airline of the year.

 

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Ian Pollard – Ultra Electronics Keeps Shareholders On Side

Ultra Electronics ULE found 2017 to be a challenging year and only modest progress can be expected for 2018. 2017 ended with a strong  order intake and a sound balance sheet but basic earnings per share fell by 20%.  revenue by 1.3% and both underlying operating profit and  underlying profit before tax both fell by 8.4%. So it will despite the poor year,raise its final dividend by 4.8% as any self respecting company will do when things are not good and and it needs to keep the shareholders in line. Mind you it did the same at half time when it had become apparent that things had started to go seriously wrong with its UK military business. Then it increased the interim dividend by 2.8p. per share even though storm clouds were gathering on the horizon.

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ February passenger numbers rose by 23.5%, slightly less than the increase in capacity and the load factor also fell slightly to 91.2%. The network expanded with 4 new routes.

BATM Advanced Communications plc BVC 2017 became a milestone year as the company capitalised on previous investment and achieved its first year on year growth since since 2011. Revenue for the year rose by 18.5% and earnings per share moved from a loss of 0.27c oer share in 2016, to a positive 0.06c. Adjusted operating profit jumped from $0.9m to $5.6m. The bio medical division continued to show particular strength and growth momentum across both divisions, is expected to be maintained for 2018.

Zoo Digital ZOO updates that growth has continued into the second half and full year EBITDA is now expected to be above market expectations whilst full year revenue to the end of March should have risen from $16.5m to $28m.

Fusion Antibodies FAB updates that revenue for the year to the end of March is expected to show a rise of 40%, a substantial drop on the first half’s 70% growth but only because of the significant amount of management time and focus which had to be spend on the pre Xmas IPO. Growth rates are expected to resume their earlier trend now that management is free to concentrate on running the business.

My Sale Group plc MYSL produced a record first half performance for the half year to 31st December with underlying profit before tax rising by 266% on revenue up by 11%. Underlying basic earnings per share showed a rise of 82% and the active customer base rose by 12% to 1 million

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Ian Pollard – Tesco Forecasts £1.57 Billion Profits and 2p Final Dividend

Tesco TSCO is to publish its prospectus and other documents later today for its proposed merger with Booker. These will include a profit forecast of £1,57 billion for the year to 24th February 2018 and an intention to pay a final dividend of 2p per share.

Electrocomponents ECM  The quarter to the 31st January produced a strong underlying revenue performance with growth of 14%. Each of the 5 regions produced double digit underlying growth. The Performance Improvement Plan stage 1 has now been completed and the company is  excited by the opportunity for further growth and improvement.

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ Passenger numbers grew by 24.4% in January, slightly less than seat capacity which was up by 24.8%. Load factor fell by 0.3%

 

Murgitroyd Group MUR is to increase its interim dividend by 30% to 6.5p per share for the half year to the 30th November. Profit before tax rose by 14% and basic earnings per share by 14%. The board is confident of further long term growth.

Croma Security Solutions CSSG trading for the 6 months to the 31st December has been exceptionally strong and EBITDA is expected to have grown from  £0.44m to £1.1m. Record profits are expected for the full year.

Eckoh ECK has secured six sizeable new orders since the interim results were announced on the 17th November. These were in a variety of sectors including, healthcare,  insurance and mobile telecoms where the client was one of the UK’s largest mobile telephone operators. Benefits are expected to start accruing  in the second half.

Smart Metering Systems SMS saw total annualised revenue rise by 38% in the year to the 31st December. In the Electricity division, meter recurring revenue nearly tripled to £11.2m. Results for the year are expected to be inline with current market expectations

 

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Ian Pollard – Dairy Crest Well Ahead

Dairy Crest Group DCG Total revenue for the nine months to he 31st December is well ahead of the previous year as key brands produced a strong performance with revenue growth of 7%. Spreads continued to gain market share.

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ Revenue for the quarter to the 31st December rose by 24% and passenger numbers were up by 24.3% to 7.1m.  Profit rose 3.6% to record levels but profit before tax was down by 56%. The fleet increased to 88 aircraft during the quarter. The airline is now the leading low cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe and opened its 145th destination at Athens.

3i Infrastructure 3IN The Board is delighted with the performance over the 3 months  to the 31st December as exceptional value was generated for shareholders. Net Asset Value is expected to have increased by 15% to 199p per share, helped by the sale of of investments in two companies which brought in gross proceeds of over £1 billion. In addition the portfolio is delivering strong income and the target dividend of 7.85p per share for the full year is expected to be fully covered.

Centamin CEY saw profit before tax decline by 16% for the year to the end of December whilst earning per share fell by 49% and EBITDA by 13%. A fall in gold sales, a drop of 2% in revenue, increased costs and the impact of the first full year of profit share all contributed to the problems but a finl divi of 10 US cents per share is to be proposed.

 

 

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Ian Pollard – Next #NXT succumbs to High St woes

NEXT NXT colder weather and a big rise in online sales helped Next to beat expectations for full price sales in the 54 days between 1st November and the 24th December, with a rise of 1.5% as against an expected fall of -0.3%. Within that figure however, retail sales were a disaster with a fall of 6.1% compared to a rise of 13.6% in online sales. Trading for the year as a whole, the 52 weeks to January 2018,was nothing less than disastrous with group profit before tax down by 8.3% slightly better than the expected 9.3%. For 2018  the decline is expected to continue albeit at a reduced rate as subdued consumer demand and a continued decline in real incomes continue to wreak havoc on the high street.

Plus 500 PLUS expects revenue and profits for the year to the 31st December will be ahead of expectations after record revenues were achieved in the fourth quarter, as well as 246,000 new customers.

Oncimmune ONC  listed on AIM in May 2016 with its main aim being to enter the Chinese market with its early cancer detection test. The Chinese are heavy smokers and lung cancer deaths alone, now exceed 700,000 each year, due in part to late detection. Oncimmune’s test can detect cancer up to 4 years earlier than conventional methods and the company announced over Christmas that it has reached a distributorship deal with Genostics, a  Hong Kong company which has acquired over 6 million shares in Oncimmune at a price of £1.56. Oncimmunes shares jumped to £1.29 yesterday, a rise of 23%

December traffic statistics saw Wizz Air increase capacity by 19.4% and passengers by 19.8%, with load factor up slightly at 87.5%. Ryanair December traffic rose by 3% whilst load factor was up by 1% to 95%

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