ITV plc ITV made good progress in delivering its stategy in the quarter to the 31st March. Online viewing rose by 16% and Family Share of viewing by 4%. Total external revenue was down 4%. ITV Broadcast & Online revenue fared even worse with a fall of 7% at £489m compared to £526m in 2018 and ITV total advertising also fell by 7%. Advertising in the first half of the year will be impacted by continuing economic and political uncertainty with ITV total advertising expected to be down 6% over the first half. Over the full year delivery of double digit growth in online revenue is expected together with good organic revenue growth in ITV Studios.
Imperial Brands plc IMB claims a pleasing underlying tobacco performance in the six months to the 31st March with volume down 6.9%. Focus is being maintained on longstanding brands which are delivering high margin sales growth. In both Europe and the Americas revenue grew by 4%. Operating profit rose by 38.1%, basic earnings per share by 37.7% and the interim dividend is to be increased by 10%.
Travis Perkins plc TPK made a positive start to 2019 with strong first quarter sales growth. Like for like sales rose by 7.3% and total sales by 5.4%. Travis Perkins itself generated like-for-like sales growth of 8%, continuing the improving trend seen from the end of 2018.Wickes delivered encouraging sales growth in both DIY and showroom categories, with a strong turnaround in Kitchen and Bathroom performance. Sales in Plumbing & Heating were impacted by the milder winter.
Wetherspoon JD plc JDW saw third quarter like for like sales rise by 7.6% and total sales by 8.4%. Since the start of the financial year, the Company has opened three new pubs, closed seven and intends to open two further pubs in the current financial year. The trading outcome for the current financial year is expected to be in line.
Vertu Motors Plc VTU produced profit and cash generation ahead of expectations for the year to the end of February. The full year dividend is to be increased by 6.7% to 1.6p per share. Adjusted profit before tax of £23.7m was ahead of market expectations but down from £28.6m in 2018. Like-for-like revenue growth came in at 5.1% but in used vehicles revenue growth was particularly strong at 11.6%
Purplebricks Group plc PURP is pulling out of the Australian market and the Group’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer is falling on his sword and stepping down from the business with immediate effect. The Board admits that the company’s performance has been disappointing over the last 12 months and offers its sincere apologies to shareholders for that. The UK property market remains challenging but the Company continues to out-perform the market and the Board remains confident about the future of the business, which is presumably why it does not appear to be sharpening any more swords.
Domino’s Pizza Group DOM International sales for the 13 weeks to the 31 March were disappointing and below last years first quarter, The reported fall of 2% means that a break even out turn is no longer expected for the current year, with persistently weak sales in all international markets, although they only account for 10% of the business.. The year has started well across the UK and Republic of Ireland with first quarter like for like sales showing growth of 4.8%. Online sales continued to be very strong with growth of 8.5% and accounting for 90.5% of delivery sales. Only four new stores opened in the UK during the quarter, compared to nine in the first quarter of 2018.The company admits that this years openings continue to be impacted by ongoing franchisee discussions, which does not sound as if relationships are as happy as they should be.
KOOVS plc KOOV updates that gross order value increased by 67% in the first three months of the current year, compared to the first quarter of 2018. The company went through challenging times over the last couple of years but is now confident that with external factors such as the new of Goods and Services Tax, which so disrupted the business, now firmly behind. it can achieve strong growth during the current financial year.
G4S plc GFS confirms that during the offer period, which commenced on 10 April 2019, it received no proposals from Garda World Security Corporation, nor any requests for information. Garda World has also confirmed it does not intend to make an offer for G4S
Vivo Energy VVO updates for its AGM that it has delivered a strong start in in the first quarter, which is traditionally the slowest quarter of the year. It now operates in a diverse portfolio of 23 high growth markets across Africa and claims it is uniquely positioned to continue to deliver growth across the business.
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.
NEXT plc NXT first quarter trading to the 27th April was saved only by online sales which rose by 11% and are forecast to continue to grow at the same rate for the remainder of the year. Full price retail sales for the quarter fell by 3.6%. The picture for the remainder of the year is even bleaker with the forecast decline more than doubling to 8.6%. Group profit before tax for the year to January 2020 is expected to show a fall of 1.1%
Persimmon plc PSN Claims that since the start of the year the new build housing market has proved resilient with high levels of employment, and low interest rates, freely available and attractive mortgages, continuing to support consumer confidence. The Group’s current forward sales position is described as being strong with total forward sales revenue, taken to date in 2019, of £2,698 million down from £2,798 million in 2018. Most companies take the view that a rise in sales is a better test of performance.
Rank Group plc RNK experienced flat like-for-like revenue for the quarter ended 31 March 2019, with total revenue up 1%. The poor start to the year with declines of 6% at Grosvenor and Mecca, improving to 0% and !% respectively and leaving group revenue for quarter 3 level, up from a 5% fall in the first quarter.
IWG plc IWG Growth remained strong during the quarter to the 31st March with Group revenue increasing by 10.6% at constant currency rates. The improvement was driven by double digit revenue growth in the Americas, Asia Pacific and EMEA. France, Germany and Spain, also contributed very strongly.
Redhall Group plc RHL the Board anticipates that the full year trading performance for the Group will be materially below its previous expectations. . These were based on the group winning a number of new contracts, which would deliver a strong trading performance in the second half of the year but delays in the award of a number of these projects and a reduction, in the value of Jordan Manufacturing’s contract for a major nuclear infrastructure programme have impacted those expectations. The groups pipeline of opportunities remains strong and the Board anticipates that it will be able to deliver steady growth into 2020.
Sainsbury J. plc SBRY announces underlying profits up 7.8 per cent, ahead of target and final dividend up 11.3% making a total increase for the year of 7.8 per cent.
J Sainsbury plc and Asda. The proposed merger between Sainsbury”s and Asda has been prohibited by The Competition and Markets Authority in its final report published today. As a result, Sainsbury’s, Walmart and Asda have mutually agreed to terminate the transaction.The reasoning behind the prohibition is that the proposed merger would result in increased prices for the consumer. Sainsbury is still unconvincngly trying to argue that it would mean lower prices. I know who I believe. Well done the CMA
Meggitt plc MGGT Revenue during the first quarter was strong with organic growth of 9% excluding the effects of foreign exchange and disposals. Strong revenue growth is expected to continue for the remainder of the year which is expected to be more challenging as air traffic growth is expected to moderate. The demand for defence products is also uneven despite organic revenue growth of 18%
Image Scan Holdings IGE produced a performance which was slightly behind expectations during the six months to the 31st March but expects to meet market expectations for the year to 30 September 2019. Revenue declined by some 30% and the half year profit of £39,000 was turned into a loss before tax of £178,000.The Chairman says that the recent decline in the share price is disappointing for shareholders but what else can he expect with results like that.
Ixico plc IXI updates that it is on track to deliver robust revenue growth for the first half of the year to the 31st March. Reported revenues are expected to show growth of 22% and the company is confident that full year revenue growth will match that. The momentum in building the order book during the first half of the year has continued from 2018. The order book is now robust and is expected to enable the company deliver on the +20% revenue growth targets which the business has set for itself.
Synnovia plc SYN expects results for the year to the 31st March will show strong growth in both sales and profits.Although profits will show a significant rise they are still expected to be marginally below current market expectations. The Industrial Division has performed extremely well as new business came on stream after the unexpected delays encountered in the previous year. Profitability in the Films Division was adversely affected by project delays in the current year.The Group also has to report that it has recently discovered an overstatement of revenue amounting to £1.619 million for the financial year ended 31 March 2018. This it claims, is non material but with repeated delays in its its two main divisions over this year and last, the picture painted by management could have been a happier one.
Assoc. British Foods ABF claims that its results for the 24 weeks to the 2nd March are robust, with statutory profit before tax down by 15%, basic earnings per share by 19% and profit at AB Sugar down substantially. Say no more ! Grocery did produce strong underlying growth, with good momentum, Primark reverted to its usual role of saving the day for the rest of the Group, with excellent profit growth of 25%. Group revenue was 1% ahead and adjusted operating profit was 1% lower. Allied Bakeries seem to have been having a rough time and has had its largest private label bread manufacturing contract terminated by a major retailer. Noticeably this happened after recent customer discussions on pricing only some of which were successful. The effect of the volume loss is expected to be seen in the next financial year. A non-cash impairment charge of £65m has been recognised as an exceptional item in the income statement. The interim dividend is to be increased by 3%.
Centamin plc CEY claims to have made a solid start to the year, with the quarter to the 31st March having delivered ahead of expectations. Despite being the weakest quarter forecasted for 2019 , Sukari produced 116,183 ounces of gold in the first quarter compared to the forecast of 105,000 – 115,000 ounces. A stronger second half is forecast, with delivery of approximately 55% of the expected annual production during that half.
Biome Technologies plc BIOM updates that Group revenues achieved for the first three months of the year were 11% ahead of the previous quarter at £2.1m,
Boohoo Group plc BOO claims delivery of yet another excellent set of financial and operational results for the year to the 28th February, with strong growth and solid profitability. Revenue for the year rose by 48% across all geographies with the UK up by 37% and international by 64%. Trading in the first few weeks of the financial year has been encouraging and Group revenue growth for the full financial year is expected to be between 25% to 30%
Telecom Plus TEP delivered record revenue, profits and dividends in the year to the 31st March, with growth and momentum becoming significantly faster. The impact of a warm winter and the Ofgem price cap have led to expectations that pre-tax profits will be towards the lower end of previous guidance at around £56m. For 2020 however it is expected that accelerating growth will lead to adjusted profit before tax of between £60m and £65m and a 10% increase in the total dividend to 57p per share, compared to this years 4% rise to 52p per share,
Countryside Properties plc CSP reports solid trading in the 6 months to the 31st March, with completions up by 43%, the private average selling price down by 4% and a strong forward order book up 49%. After a slow start to the year, the spring selling season is described as having been robust. Completions are expected to be weighted towards the second half.
Bunzl plc BNZL Group revenue in the first quarter from the 31st December increased by 4% at actual exchange rates whilst at constant exchange rates the rise was 2.5%. The rate of underlying revenue growth however slowed during the quarter due to mixed macroeconomic and market conditions across the countries in which the Group operates, especially in North America.
ZOO Digital Group ZOO reports that the financial outturn for 2019 is frustrating and has been impacted by market shifts and client disruption, The company has already disclosed that planned investment has impacted on profitability to such an extent that adjusted EBITDA in the second half will be around break-even at around $0.5m.
SEGRO plc SEGRO has continued to grow well during the quarter commencing on the 1st January. Increasing occupancy, uplifts from rent reviews and renewals and development activity, all contributed to securing £21 million of new headline rent. 44 projects are currently under construction, 72% of which are already leased, and expected to generate £57 million of annualised rent. The vacancy rate has reduced to 4.4 per cent with decrease since December reflecting strong lettings of both existing and recently completed speculative space.
Dialight plc DIA continues to work on its recovery and global end markets continue to be robust.The Board expects further progress to be made in 2019 and the Group’s results to be heavily weighted towards the second half.
Card Factory plc CARD claims a robust performance in a challenging consumer environment for the year to the 31st December. Unfortunately looking at the actual figures, robust must mean different things to different people.. True, revenue rose by 3% although on a like-for-like basis sales were flat. However profit before tax fell by 8.3%, EBITDA by 8.7% and basic earnings per share by 12%. Cover for the ordinary dividend fell from 2.03x to 1.89x
Galliford Try plc GFRD is undertaking a strategic review which will reduce the size of the Construction business. It is anticipated that as a result profitability will be reduced by £30m-£40m below current consensus analysts’ forecasts. The damage reflects a reassessment of some legacy and current contracts, the effect of some recent adverse settlements and the costs of the restructure. The single largest element relates to the Queensferry Crossing venture where costs have increased.These are in addition to the claim in respect of the completed Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, and the previously disclosed £38m work in progress balance in respect of three contracts for a single client, Significantly management appears to have avoided laying any blame at its own door.
JD Sports Fashion JD reports record results for the 52 weeks to the 2nd February with revenue up by 49,2% and EBITDA by 26.8%. Profit before tax rose by 15.4% and the total dividend is increased from 1.63p per share to 1.71. No need to worry about the meaning of robust, there, with total like for like sales growth in global Sports Fashion fascias of more than 6%.
G4S plc GFS updates for the three months to the end of March 2019 that Group revenue was 4.8% higher than the first quarter of last year, with growth in all regions and divisions.. Good progress is being made with the separation review which has the aim of turning the group into two strong, independent businesses that are able to take advantage of their market leading positions. The Board believes that this has the potential to unlock substantial shareholder value.
Sanderson Group plc SND Half year trading results to the end of March, are ahead of management’s expectations with revenue growing to approximately £17.0 million from last years £14.6 million and operating profit increasing by over 30% to £2.8 million from last years £2.1 million. Digital Retail has continued to perform strongly during the six months and achieved further double-digit revenue and operating profit growth.in The Manufacturing business sales orders grew by over 10%. The Board is confident that it will be able to maintain its progressive dividend policy.
System 1 Group plc Sys1 updates that its Consultancy business stabilised after a difficult 2017/18. Gross profit was down 1% for the year as a whole at £22m but Being 4% ahead in the second half, allowed it to generate underlying pre-tax profits for the year as a whole.
Serabi Gold plc SRB Reports another excellent quarter with a strong start made to 2019 and over 10,000 ounces of gold produced in the first quarter, keeping up the momentum from the end of 2018 and the second successive quarter with production above 10,000 ounces for the first time. Guidance for 2019 is maintained at production in the range of 40,000-44,000 ounces representing a significant improvement on 2018’s production of 37,108 ounces.
Filta Group Holdings plc FLTA continued to experience strong organic growth for the year to the end of December whilst, at the same time completing two strategically significant acquisitions, moved Filta into a market-leading position. Like for like revenue grew by 23% and like for like EBITDA by 25%. The proposed final dividend has been increased to 0.92p. per share on top of the interim dividend of 0.72p making a total increase for the year of 26%.
IG Design Group plc IGR The strong trading performance continued in the final quarter both delivering revenue and profit growth across all regions in the year to the 31st March.. The Board now anticipates that the financial performance of the Group will be be up significantly up year on year. The progressive dividend policy is expected to be continued earnings pay-out ratio is also expected to be increasesd at the full year.