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French Connection Strong in UK and Europe

French Connection FCCN Group revenue for the half year to 31st July declined to £69.2m from last years £75.8m as store closures continued but the loss before tax remained steady at £7.9m FCCN does its best in its half year report to point to the better statistics to justify its claim of a strong performance. Square footage fell by 15.8% but like for like sales were only down by 2.3% but the UK and Europes was strong with a like for like rise of 6.5% and the strong performance has continued during the first 6 weeks of the second half.

Kingfisher KGF claims it is starting to build solid foundations and has enjoyed a productive first half, driven by the UK and Poland. 52 of the 65 planned store closures have now been completed. On a statutory basis, pre tax profit grew by 10.6% for the six months to 31st July, on sales up by 4.7% whilst basic earnings per share rose by 3.7%.

Smart Metering SMS is raising its interim dividend by 25% to 1.37p per share for the 6 months to 30th June, after continued strong growth saw it pass the million mark for utility meter and data assets. The electricity meter portfolio rose by 28% but  combined gas and electricity metering saw a more modest rise of 10%. revenue for the half year was up by 25%, with underlying profit before tax and earnings per share rising by 15% and 23% respectively.

Pure Circle PURE Despite challenging market conditions, the market for Sevia grew strongly in the year to the end of June, with sales rising by 9%, gross margins by 41% and operating profit by 90%. Net profit after tax soared by 257% and earnings per share following suit with a rise of 242%. The company claims that prospects for the next 4-5 years are also strong.

Fastjet FJET admits to a very difficult and challenging first half  as its problems seemed to increase,  with the six months to the 30th June producing a loss after tax of $15m as against last years profit of $6.4m. Revenue did rise slightly but the operating loss also surged with a rise from $12.8m to $31m. Action taken by the new CEO will see the fleet of five A319s  reduced to three by the end of the year and the head office will be relocated from Gatwick to Johannesburg which is a fairly sensible move for an African airline with its main base in Africa.

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