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Ian Pollard – Persimmon Homes #PSN strong performance to continue in H2

Persimmon Homes plc PSN proclaims that strong results for the half year to the 30th June reflect the continued successful delivery of the Group’s long term strategy. Profit before tax and basic earnings per share both rose by 13%, group revenue by 5% and new home sales by 4%. Forward sales are 6% ahead of last year and expectations are that results for the second half year will also be strong.

BHP Billiton plc BLT is paying a record final dividend of 63 cents per share, making a total payout for the year 118 cents, a rise of 42%, for the year to the 30th June, reflecting. a strong operating performance and well ahead of the minimum permitted payout.. Attributable profit and basic earnings per share both fell by 37% after taking into account exceptional items but on an underlying basis the figures showed rises of 33% each.

Wood Group (John) plc WG enjoyed strong organic growth during its first half to the end of June, with revenue rising by 13.4% and the operating profit rising from $72m to $125. However last years first half profit of $6m. was turned into a loss of $52m due to amortisation charges of $125m and exceptional costs of $101m. Basic earnings per share fell from 1.1c per share to a negative 7.9 cents per share.The interim dividend is to be increased by 2% to 11.3 cents per share. A stronger second half is expected due to project phasing and market recovery.

Angling Direct plc ANG trading in the six months to the 31st July was extremely positive and ahead of management expectations, with a rise of 56%. On a like for like basis sales rose by 4.2%

Tracsis TRCS Group trading for the year to the 31st July has been strong with revenues ahead of market expectations at c. £40m compared to last years £34.5. EBITDA and adjusted profit are also expected to be ahead of market expectations and also ahead of the previous year.

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Ian Pollard: Iofina #IOF Hit By Anti Dumping Duties

Iofina IOF expects to see a significant rise in production for 2018 with a target of 575 to 605 metric tonnes of crystalline iodine compared to 503 metric tonnes in 2017. As a bonus on top of that, iodine price have continued to strengthen. The cloud on the horizon however, is that Iofina and a number of other companies have been found guilty of dumping iodine into China, resulting in the imposition of anti dumping duties. A final decision on this is not expected until the autumn but the poor state of trade relationships between the US and China means that a favourable outcome is not a certainty

DS Smith plc SMDS produced a strong set of results in the year to 30th April as it saw a return to growth. Revenue and adjusted profit before tax both rose by 17% on a constant currency basis and basic earnings per share rose by 10%. Margins were strong and good momentum is being maintained in the current year.

 Volex plc VLX produced its best financial performance for five years  and claims that it is strongly positioned for future growth. The year to the first of April saw the company produce its first statutory profit after tax since 2012. Last years statutory loss of $8.5m was turned into a profit before tax of $7m.and revenues are expected to show organic growth in the current year.

Angling Direct ANG is continuing its strategy of consolidating the fishing tackle market with the acquisition of Ted Carter Fishing Tackle which has a 3,000 s.ft. store at Preston. Carter had a turnover of £1.2m. in the year to 31st March and the consideration for the takeover is £125,000 plus stock at valuation, payable in cash.

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Ian Pollard – Centrica Faces “High Level Competitive Intensity.”

Centrica CNA has issued a jargon riddled update, which believe it or not ends with the startling claim that the outcome for the year will be dependent on its operational and commercial performance. Well, well what a surprise. To cover itself all ways up it also adds to the list, the impact of an uncertain regulatory environment, weather patterns and commodity prices. Management skills are, it appears not included in the list as being likely to have any impact on the company, beneficial or otherwise. The year has however begun well, thanks to abnormally cold weather and despite unplanned outages in Morecambe Bay and production issues in Norway. Its core markets have been affected not just by intense competition but by “High level competitive intensity” which makes it sound really, really serious.

Diploma plc DPLM delivered robust growth in revenue and profits during the half year to the 31st March despite currency headwinds and is increasing its interim dividend by 10% to 7.7p per share.Adjusted earnings per share rose by 12% whilst revenue and profit before tax each rose by 8%. Currency movements caused revenue to fall by 4%. The Board believes that the company will continue with its excellent track record of value creation.

Eckoh plc ECK updates that the year to the 31st March ended with a robust balance sheet and a strong order pipeline. Good progress was made in the US where secure payment revenues more than doubled, although in the UK market conditions were more challenging. The company is looking forward to the introduction of European GDPR on the 25th May which could produce substantial opportunities in the UK and in the US where it appears  thare will be widespread adoption of the new European regulations.

Angling Direct ANG achieved record revenue and profits during the year to the 31st January, a year in which it not only joined AIM but also went on the acquisition trail in a big way. Group revenue rose by 44%, gross profit by 37% and online sales surged by 54% compared to a rise in store sales of 40%. Like for like sales however gave a much more modest and realistic growth figure of 9%. A good start has been made to the current year, despite adverse fishing weather.

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Centamin Production At Record Levels

Centamin CEY With all sections of its Sukari mine producing, gold production for the quarter ending on the 30th September rose to record levels with a 26% increase over the second quarter and a 5% increase over the third quarter of 2016. Production guidance of 540,000 ounces for 2017 is maintained.

YouGov plc YOU has for the third year in succession, delivered growth which is “significantly above the market both in revenue and profit”, resulting in a recommendation that the final dividend be increased to 2p, a rise of 43%. Revenue for the year to 31st July rose by 21% and statutory profit before tax and earnings per share by 43% and 35% respectively. Growth is expected to continue in the current year.

Angling Direct ANG Gross profit for the half year to the 31st July grew by 35.3% and EBITDA by 72.6% to 0.93m. Online sales surged by 67% whilst store sales showed an increase of 38%, both of which will be suitably augmented by the acquisition of Fosters of Birmingham, announced on the 2nd October and new store openings since admission to AIM which it describes as a “strong pipeline”.

Plant Impact PIM A rise of 17% in revenue for the year to 31st July was due mainly to the strength of the dollar, without which it would have been a much more modest 2%. Gross profit for the year saw a rise of 19% and the company claims that it has an excellent set of commercial and R&D prospects ahead which will help in its aim to establish itself as leader in what ir describes this new category of “agricultural inputs” sic.whatever one of those may be.

CAP-XX Limited CAP-XX claims it is pleased to announce a drop in sales for the year to 30th June from A$5 m. to A$4.1m. and a near doubling in the EBITDA loss from A$0.7m. to A$1.2m. As against that it should be and is more than pleased to see royalty revenue more than tripling from A$0.2m to A$0.7m and operating expenses falling by A$0.5m. The CEO says it has been an exciting year which saw “tangible traction” which is presumably a good thing to see.

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New Records For James Halstead

James Halstead plc JHD The year to the 30th June again produced record turnover and profits and saw the final dividend increased to record levels with a rise of 8.8%. Revenue rose by 6.5%, profit before tax by 2.5% and earnings per share by 3.5%, achieved despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit and tougher than normal trading conditions.

Stanley Gibbons SGI survived another difficult year with turnover falling by 28%. The adjusted loss before tax for the year to 31st March rose from £4.9m to £11.1m.and net asset value fell by a further 48%. Trading has continued to be difficult since the last update on the 9th May.

Ashley House ASH Preliminary results are so full of pipeline references that it sounds more like an oil and gas company, than a rather unsuccessful property company specialising in health and community care. The lack of success is of course the governments fault and apparantly nothing to do with the management or the Board. The best claim it can make for the year to the 30th April is that it remained profitable but only just. Revenue fell by 10% and adjusted profit before tax slumped from £1,160,000 to £53,000. On an unadjusted basis the figures were £67,000 compared to £241,000.

Angling Direct plc ANG confirms that the conversion of fishing from a hobby, to big business is proceeding apace  with the announcement that it has acquired the entire issued share capital of Fosters Fishing Limited for  £3.0 million payable in cash. Angling is the largest specialist fishing tackle and equipment retailer in the UK. Fosters on the other hand which trades from a 17,000 sq ft superstore some 3.5 miles from the centre of Birmingham,  is one of the largest fishing tackle retailers in Europe and has been in business for over 30 years. It appears that the Fosters who have built the business up are not really required any more by the new management, with Mark Foster remaining for only a few weeks to help the hand over and Richard Foster reduced to working part time in the business.

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