Home » News and Views » Ian Pollard – Gloom & Despondency As UK plc Whinges About Its Own Incompetence

Ian Pollard – Gloom & Despondency As UK plc Whinges About Its Own Incompetence

Mulberry Group plc MUL Revenue in the year to 31st March rose by 1% and retail sales by 3%. On the international front sales were good with a rise of 20% but the UK was flat and has gone even flatter since the year end with a drop of 9% and leading to a 7% fall in like for like goup retail sales for the 10 weeks to the 2nd June. Mulberry tries to put a brave face on the dismal news but can a fall of 9% in UK like for like retail sales over10 weeks  be passed off as  significant progress. New subsidiaries have been opened in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan but that has not been able to offset the lame excuse of a fall in UK footfall. Mulberry has a problem ad it seems to be getting worse.

Redhall Group plc RHL Despite a strongly growing order book, a strong tender pipeline and major contract awards in nuclear new build Redhalls first half performance has been impacted by programe delays. An adjusted operating profit of £0.2m has been turned into an operating loss of £1.9m. and a net cash position of £0.1m has been turned into debt of £4.5m Never mind, it has a transformation strategy underway.

Dewhurst plc DWHT did not have  good first half. Sales and profits fell and group revenue declined by 5%. Profit before tax was down by 4% and operating profit collapsed by 19%. The strength of sterling had a 5% negative impact – presumably they must have found a part of the UK which had a different exchange rate to he rest of the country.. The interim dividend remains unchanged at 3.5p. per share. The business climate is seen as being reasonably positive, except of course for the UK., so presumably there my be a good chance of them getting a positive impact from the continuing fall of the pound.

Eckoh ECK at least brings some cheer into what is otherwise a gloomy day for UK plc. A strong performance in the US saw revenue there rise by 16% for the year to the 31st March and the UK order book grew strongly in the second half. Profit before tax increased by 61% and the final dividend is being increased from 0.48p to 0.55p, a rise of 15%. It is good to see that there some companies with management whose eye is on the ball and is not content to just sit back and whinge about the results of its own incompetence.

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