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Metro Bank – Providing A Service, Does Pay

Metro Bank MTRO Cheeky little Metro Bank is giving the big bad banks a lesson in growth and has now moved into profit for each quarter of the second half. Profit before tax in quarter 3 was a tiny £0.6m, increasing to £1.5m in quarter 4. Losses for the full year shrank from £46.4m in 2015 to  £11.7m. Asset growth came in at 64%, lending and deposit growth were both at record levels with rises  56% and 66% respectively, whilst revenue was up by 62%. Somebody must love its policy of actually trying to provide a service to its customers.

Barratt Developments BDEV Despite a fall of 5.8% in completions and revenue down by 3.2% in the six months to 31st December, Barratt claims it was a strong half year with profit before tax up by 8.8% and shareholders rewarded with a rise of 21.7% in the interim dividend. Total forward sales orders now stand at record levels after a rise of 17%. The one statistic which is omitted for some strange reason, is the increase in the average selling price. I wonder why.

Lloyds Banking Group LLOY is increasing its final ordinary dividend by 13% and maintaining last year’s special dividend of 0.5p meaning an overall rise for the year of 11%. Statutory 2016 profit before tax rose by 158% to £4.2b and earnings per share by 263%, whilst operating costs were reduced by 3%.

Gooch & Housego GHH good trading conditions during the first four months of the current financial year enabled GHH to see its order book up by 64.9% as at 31st January compared to last year, although on a like for like basis, excluding foreign exchange movements and acquisitions, the figure comes in at a more modest 19.4%. So far trading for the full year is expected to be in line but there does seem to be a hint of optimism in today’s trading update as a result of continuing good market conditions.

Hotel Chocolat HOTC produced strong growth in both sales and profitability in the 6 months to 25th December. Profit before tax rose by 28% on reported revenue up by 14% and the net cash position was transformed with a positive balance of £16.1m compared to debt of £1m at the end of the previous year.

Blue Prism Group PRSM now expects full year revenue will be materially ahead of current market expectations following the positive trading momentum evidenced at the end of last year, continuing into the current year.

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