Sainsbury (J) plc SBRY Like for like group retail sales at Sainsbury fell by 0.5% in the 9 weeks to the 11th March but very, very strangely it tries to get away with keeping its food sales secret. Argos did very well with a like for like rise of 4.3% and TU clothing did even better with a market beating rise of 5% but combined like for like sales rose by only 0.3%. So what kept the combined rise so small. Why do food sales not get a mention ? What else is left to account for the overall retail decline but food. Hands up please all those who can remember one of the countries leading supermarkets failing to provide in a trading update, figures for its food sales. It does not take an Einstein to work out that if clothing is up 5% and Argos is up by 4.3%, something must have kept that combined rise so low and also caused the decline at Sainsbury itself. Why has Sainsbury suddenly gone all shy about food sales.
It claims food sales were solid but it then goes on for paragraph after boring paragraph, explaining its customer philosophy in what is supposed to be a trading update. If food sales were all that solid, one would have expected the details to support the claim, other than news of the introduction of butternut squash waffles and sweet potato tagliatelle.
M&C Saatchi SAA had an outstanding year in 2016 producing both record revenue and earnings. Revenue rose by 19% or 9% on a like for like basis, earnings per share were up by 21.07% and profit before tax by 18%. The final dividend is to be increased by 15% and a good start has been made to 2017
Balfour Beatty BBY Claims that its return to profit after two years of losses, is proof that its transformation is well under way. The order book is up by 4% at constant exchange rates and a final dividend of 1.8p per share is to be paid, making a total of 2.7p for the full year. Due acknowledgement is given to the part played in the recovery, by the weakness of sterling.
FW Thorpe TFW had such an exceptionally buoyant first half that it resulted in the “imposition” of high levels of overtime and shift working at its largest subsidiary Thorlux Lighting, which in turn led to higher overheads. Revenue for the six months to the end of December rose by 23.8%, basic earnings per share by by 20.3% and profit before tax by 18%. The interim dividend is increased by 12.5% to 1.35p per share.