Rio Tinto RIO The first green shoots of a recovery in mining may have been seen in RIO’s first quarter with iron ore shipments up by 11% and global iron ore production up by 13% on a year ago. Bauxite production also rose by 6% and aluminium by 10%. Mined copper was down 2% on the first quarter of 2015 but up by 27% on quarter 4, whilst at Oyu Tolgoi production rose by 71% on a year ago.
Associated British Foods ABF produced a 115% rise in profit before tax in the 24 weeks to the 27th February, whilst basic earnings per share rose by 150%, despite only 3% growth in group revenue. And this time it was not all down to Primark. Progress was seen in all the groups businesses with an improved performance at Sugar, profits well ahead in Ingredients, improved profit margins at Grocery & Agriculture and Primark of course continuing its expansion. Even the challenges of currency movements appear to have been beaten off and the interim dividend is to be increased by 3%.
SAGA plc SAGA Robust growth for the year to the end of January has enabled Saga to increase its full year dividend by 75%. Profit before tax was up by 54% and basic earnings per share by 54.4%
Aveva Group AVV expects group revenue and adjusted profits before tax to be broadly in line for the year to 31st March but the results have been impacted by the weakness of the US$ in March.
Utilitywise UTW Is increasing its interim dividend by 29% after further strong growth saw revenue up by 36% in the half year to the end of January and adjusted pre tax profits by 17%. With new customers growing by 33%, the company claims it holds an unrivalled market position.