United Utilities UU complains that its customers and the area in which they live suffer from high levels of income deprivation ie “a damaging lack of basic material benefits.” I wonder what its customers think to that slur. Shareholders need not fear however, as the company has “innovative facilities for enhanced engagement with its customers” – i.e bad debts are being kept under control.
Gross revenue this year will be slightly lower than last year but it still expects record operating profits. These however will be impacted by reforms and restructuring costs. Now a well managed company can not allow problems like that, amounting to some £16m, to affect its results, so it has decided to ignore them and exclude them from its underlying profit calculations at the end of the year. Those of us who are not accountants, may view that with a certain incredulity
Thomas Cook TCG is closing its winter booking season at similar levels to last year but with average selling prices down 1%. Summer bookings are so far up 10% on last year, led by Greece with a huge surge of 40% and signs of a return taking place to Turkey and Egypt. In the airline sector competition to the Spanish islands is putting downward pressure on prices.
Churchill China CHH is increasing its final dividend by 16% after a strong 2016 performance. Revenue for the year to 31st January rose by 9%, leading to rises of 29% and 30% in basic earnings per share and profit before tax.
Moss Bros MOSB had a successful 2016 with profit before tax for the year to 31st January rising by 20.3% and basic earnings per share by 17%. The final dividend is being increased to 3.98p per share making a total rise of 6.1% for the year. Retail like for like sales in the first seven weeks of the new year are up by 4.3% but like for like hire has collapsed by 14.3% due to an in store offer.
Card Factory CARD boasts of another record year with operating profit down by 3.7% and basic earnings per share and profit before tax both down by 1.1%. The final dividend for the year to 31st January is to be increased by 5% making a total increase for the year of 7.1%.