More and more Boards and CEOs seem to be waking up to the fact that if they claim to be operating in “challenging conditions” it makes their performance and governance, good or bad, look even better than it really is. What they forget is that some of us, perhaps even some shareholders, would like to know what these challenges actually were but generally they remain a well kept secret. If they were so serious that they affected the company’s performance and results, surely shareholder have a right to have details as to exactly what the challenges were which their company management was too clueless to overcome.
Wood Group WG. still expects that full year 2016 EBITA will be about 20% down on 2015 but it still expects to increase dividends per share by 10% or more. It has found that the North Sea operating environment has been very challenging for both volume and pricing but the International business performance has been robust.
Stobart Group STOB intends to increase the level and frequency of dividend payments as from October when a quarterly dividend will be paid. Stobart exp[ects that this will be at the rate of 3p per share on top of which share buybacks and special dividends will occur as circumstances permit.
Harvey Nash HVN has increased gross profit by 8% in the first four months of the current financial year despite challenging conditions. Significantly the UK was the worst performer with zero growth while mainland Europe from which we have just decided to divorce, came up with 11%, the USA with 24% and Asia Pacific with 5%. Uncertain times lay ahead says the company. With the irresponsible and fairly clueless political leaders who claim to govern both the UK and the EU, that should come as no surprise.
Vianet VNET Despite economic uncertainty which the company finds unhelpful, trading in the first 2 months of the current financial year is noticeably ahead of last year.
AA plc AA has agreed to sell its Irish business for £156.6m