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Debenhams Invents The Sentence Without a Verb

Debenhams DEB The year to the 3rd September must have been one of the most boring on  record and the tone of the full year results does nothing to dispel that impression. Like for like sales sales rose 0.7%, EBITDA was down 2.2%, underlying earnings per share declined gently from 7.6p to 7.5p and the full year dividend is gently increased by 0.7%. It looks like it will be next Spring before anything really exciting happens, with the issue of an update about future plans which will continue Debenham’s exodus from clothing. Those who are not into  jargon may wince at “Growth in mobile supported strong multi-channel performance” which is part of the latest craze in management speak, the sentence without a verb. At least growth there was real growth with a rise of 9.3% in online sales.

Inchcape plc INCH expects that its full year performance will be resilient after a solid third quarter which produced growth across all five of its revenue streams. On a constant currency basis group revenue rose by 4.8% and like for like revenue by 1.8%. Trading results for 2017 are expected to be impacted by currency pressures and uncertainty over the timing of the recovery which it expects in some of its markets.

Barclays Bank BARC prefers to highlight what it describes as its strong core business performance which produced a 4% rise in third quarter core profit before tax, which still left a  10% decline in Group profit before tax or an even worse 17% drop in profits after tax over nine months.. Net operating income over the first nine months fell by 10% at the same time as operating expenses rose by 6%. Basic earnings per share fell by nearly 25% to 9.6p on a continuing basis. Dividends over the nine months are down by two thirds.

C&C Group CCR has been impacted by currency movements for the 6 months to the end of August to the extent that reported revenue and operating profit declined by 24.4m Euro and 2.8m Euro respectively, which translate into percentage falls of 8.1 % and 7.9%. Earnings per share fell by 6.1% after they had been both adjusted and diluted. despite gloom there were a number of strong points with export markets up by 10%, Magners volume up by11% and Bulmers by 6%. This appears to have encouraged the Board to believe that, despite the problems, it is right and proper to maintain its progressive dividend policy and the interim dividend is raise by 5%.

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