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Ian Pollard – Polypipe #POLY Breaks More Records

Polypipe Group plc PLP  delighted to report another record performance and claims significant strategic progress for 2018 together with a continued focus on organic growth ahead of the market. Revenue rose by 5.2%, profit before tax by 4.7% and underlying basic earnings per share by 4.4% The dividend is to be increased by 4.5% and the balance sheet is robust.

Learning Technologies Group plc LTG   Profit came in ahead of expectations for the year to the 31st December, with  EBIT up by 104% to £27.2m. Revenue rose by 83% with half of it coming from the US. and the full year dividend is to be increased by 67%. In the five years since the company was listed on the London Stock Exchange  a compound annual growth rate of 48% in adjusted diluted EPS has been achieved. A good start has been made to 2019.

EasyJet EZY has abandoned talks to join to join the consortium which would have bid for Alitalia although it said at the time that it was not certain that a bid for Alitalia would materialise. The Italian government has now given Delta Airlines and the Italian State Railway, the two remaining members of the consortium, until the end of this month to come up with a rescue plan for AlItalia.

Softcat plc SCT produced a very strong performance over the six months to the 31st January characterised by additional market share gains and a 36.4% rise for the shareholders, in the interim dividend. Revenue for the half year rose by 21%, diluted earnings per share by 40,8% and gross profit by 26.5% The company is debt free and has a cash balance of £52.8m. It is anticipated that the outcome for the full year will be marginally ahead of previous expectations.

Bonmarche Holdings BON the main aim of Bonmarche during the winter “sale” period covering January and February 2019, was to recover from the third quarter sales experience which was below expectations and in that it has succeeded. Autumn/winter season stock levels are now 40% lower than at this time last year but that has only been achieved at the cost of heavy discounting. And now things have got worse. Trading since the beginning of March has become significantly weaker, reversing sales gains which had been made in the previous months.It is now anticipating that the  the underlying  loss for the year will be far greater than the anticipated £4.0m. and current estimates are that it will rise to between £5.0m and £6.0m.

ASOS plc ASC for the 3 months to the end of February total retail sales rose by 11%, The UK outperformed  with growth of 14% and France and Germany both proved to be challenging. For 2019 unchanged sales growth of 15% is expected.

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Ian Pollard: ASOS Badly Impacted With Online Growth Weakest For Years

ASOS ASC experienced a significant deterioration in “the important trading month of November” and conditions remain challenging. As a result, it has had to reduce expectations for the current financial year. Total retail sales for the 3 months to the end of November rose by 12%, the UK leading the way with a 19% rise and Rest of the World bottom with a fall of 2%. November was seriously behind expectations and there is almost an air of desperation in some of the company’s comments.

Consumer confidence is seen as weakening and growth in online clothing sales is the weakest of recent years. Heavy discounting and promotions will see the weighting between first and second half profitability transformed from the 30/70% seen in recent years to an even more substantial weighting towards the second half. Trading conditions across its two largest European markets of Germany and France, which account for c.60% of EU sales, have become significantly more challenging, with growth at 15% for the year to date.In Rest of the World performance has been significantly behind expectations with an actual fall. Not many companies are so badly hit that they are  forced to recalibrate expectations for the full year, at the end of the first quarter

Hunting plc HTG updates before the December year end that current volatile market conditions will impact short term budgetary decision making by its customers with possible deferrals of work in 2019. Group results to the end of November 2018 remained in line with management’s expectations,  but some market softness has been observed despite progress in the US during 2018. 2019 is expected to start with a cautious outlook, but Hunting believes it is in a robust position to manage the challenges it faces.

Safestyle UK plc SFE is confident thatits recovery and performance in 2019 will be ahead of current market expectations after delivering an underlying loss before tax for 2018 of between £8.2m and £8.6m)

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Ian Pollard: Dart Group To Substantially Exceed Expectations In 2019

Dart Group plc DTG is proposing to increase its final dividend by 54 % after strong passenger growth for both Jet2.com and Jet2holidays saw revenue for the year to the 30th June increase by 38%. Profit before tax rose by 49% and basic earnings per share by 44%. Demand  has strengthened even more since the start of the new financial year and having regard to current forward bookings Group profit before foreign exchange revaluations and taxation for the year ending 31 March 2019, will substantially exceed current market expectations. 

ASOS plc ASC retail sales for the four months to the 30th June grew by 21% on a constant currency basis, slightly down on the ten month figure of 23%. In the UK market share continued to increase and full year profit for 2018 is expected to be in line with consensus.

Computacenter CCC Following a strong start to the year, momentum has continued into the second quarter and  The first half has shown considerable progress in adjusted profitability, and even further progress in adjusted earnings per share. Trading result for 2018 will now be comfortably in excess of previous expectations.

GYG plc GYG Trading has been significantly weaker than expected in the half year to the 30th June due to lower than expected project wins  and some additional delays in anticipated contracts. Full year revenue is now expected to be flat  and adjusted EBITDA to be materially below the Board’s expectations at approximately €5 million. There is however grounds for optimism for the the immediate future as the New Build Order Book stands at €13.4 million for 2019 and €5.6 million for 2020 compared to a meagre 1m only a year ago.

Portmeirion Group PMP updates that total group sales for the six months to the 30th June have increased by 11% or, on a constant currency basis, 15%.

Telford Homes TEF updates that the London Market has remained robust since the year end in May although, as a sign of the times, the average selling price of open market homes is expected to remain constant. The strategy of concentrating on build to rent homes is believed to be the correct one.

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Corporate news review Tuesday 17th October 2017

ASOS ASC says FY retail sales grew strongly at +34% on a reported basis and +27% on a constant currency basis. Customer engagement remains strong with active customers6 +24%, average basket value +2% and average order frequency +5%. CEO Nick Beighton said the new financial year “shows continuing momentum in the business” and the potential for the company “remains huge.”

Bellway BWY reports another record year with completions rising by 10.6% to a record 9,644 homes. Operating profit rose by 16.2% to £571.6m, with EPS up 12.7% to 370.6p and a 13% rise in the proposed total dividend per share to 122.0p.

Hornby HRN updates on trading and says to maximise the value of its brands over the long term, it will no longer offer for sale large quantities of stock at a discount. Hornby warns that current year revenues will be lower and, consequently, there will be a material impact on profitability in the current financial year. Interim Chairman David Adams has indicated his intention to step down to take up another appointment.

Merlin Entertainments MERL updates on trading and reports 12.4% revenue growth driven by continued strong New Business Development, including the successful opening of LEGOLAND Japan, five new Midway attractions, and 381 new accommodation rooms. Trading in recent weeks has remained mixed and Group like for like revenue growth for 2017 is therefore expected to be approximately flat on 2016. EBITDA is expected to be in the range of £470 – £480m.

Moneysupermarket.com MONY updates on trading and says it is on track for another record year.

Virgin Money Holdings VM. updates on trading and confirms profitability, earnings and underlying RoTE are in line with expectations.

Pearson PSON updates on trading and reports a good competitive performance year to date, while plans to complete the digital transformation and simplify the company are on track. Nine-month revenues are in line with expectations.

 

Brexit Fears Grow Over Freedom To Fly

Dart Group DTG is aware of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations and the effect which the outcome of these could have, especially on the extent of its “freedom to fly”. For the year to 31st March revenue rose by 23% and the proposed final dividend is to be increased by 26%. Profit before tax for the year fell by 14% after considerable investment to launch its new operating bases at Birmingham and London Stansted and a £10.9m charge for foreign exchange revaluation losses. Without the foreign exchange losses the fall in profit before tax was limited to 4%. Basic earnings per share fell by 14%.

Telford Homes TEF expects that the current financial year will produce profit before tax of £40m of which over 80% has already been secured and that in 2018-19 the figure will rise to £50m of which over 60% has already been secured.

ASOS ASC Total reported retail sales in the 4 months to the end of June rose by 32% or 26% on a constant currency basis as the company’s strong first half sales momentum continued. The only weak spot appeared to be in the US where reported sales growth fell from 51% over ten months to 38% in the 4 month period.

Babcock International BAB has made a good start to its new financial year with 82% of revenue now in place for for 2017-18 and 55% for 2018-19. A major contract  worth up to £500m. has been secured  to operate a fleet of specialist fixed wing aircraft for the Norwegian Health Service.

AdEPT Telecom ADT is increasing total dividends for the year to 31st March by 19.2% after the company’s 14th consecutive year of underlying EBITDA growth.This year saw a rise of 27.2% to £7.83m. and adjusted earnings per share were up by 20.3%

BTG plc BTG The strong performance experienced in 2016-17 has continued into the new financial year and double digit sales growth is expected over the full year.

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Koovs Continues To Rocket

Koovs plc KOOV continues to see sales rocket with a rise of 87% in the year to 31st March. Registered users were up by 80% and units shipped and repeat customers rose by 100%, as it pursues its main strategy of significant growth and outperforming e commerce sector growth in India by fivefold. India is now the fastest growing economy in the world.

Keywords Studios KWS enjoyed a year of strong growth in 2016, both organically and from acquisitions and is increasing its final dividend by 10%. Group revenue for the year to 31st December rose by 67%, adjusted basic earnings per share was up by 61% and adjusted profit before tax by 86%. Further good progress is expected in 2017.

ASOS ASC claims a strong set of results for the half year to 28th February but by comparison with Koovs it is positively pedestrian. It also illustrates the continuing decline in the importance of the UK market where sales grew by “only” 18% compared to international sales which rose by 54%. Group revenue rose by 37%, or 31% on a constant currency basis  and profit before tax was up by only 15%, Meanwhile the group pursues its ultimate goal of becoming the worlds no.1 for “fashion loving 20 somthings”.

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ the largest budget arline in Eastern and Central Europe saw passenger numbers rise by 19% in March whilst load factor rose by 4.1 PPTS to 90%.

The High Street – Still Alive And Kicking But Online Threat Grows

Marks & Spencer MKS gives a very brief summary of its trading for the 13 weeks to the 31st December. Group sales rose by 5.9% on a reported basis. Food did well with a rise of 5.6% or 0.6% on a like for like basis and  continuing to increase its market share. Sales in clothing and home did even better on a like for like basis with a rise of 2.3%. Total like for like sales were up by 1.3%. The high street may still be a battleground but at least Marks emerged unscathed from the most important trading period of the year.

Tesco TSCO claims its first increase in market share since 2011 following strong and sustained progress in its 3rd quarter, covering the 13 weeks to the 26th November, which also produced the 8th consecutive quarter of volume growth. Over the 6 weeks to the 7th January the rise in like for like sales continued with growth of 0.3%, the UK being particularly strong with a rise of 0.7%. Clothes and toys produced over all sales rises of 4.3% and 8.5% respectively. The one weak point was International which produced like for like falls in both the 3rd quarter and  over the 6 week Xmas period.

Mothercare MTC showed a return to growth in the UK for the 13 weeks to 7th January with a 1% rise in like for like sales but International sales still has problems with a total fall of 6% in constant currency terms, the day being saved by currency fluctuations which turned that into a rise of 13% in real terms. Online growth was particularly strong with a rise of 5.5% taking online’s percentage of total sales up to some 40% of total sales. Perhaps this is an indication of the future of retailing.

Debenhams DEB Is pleased with what it claims to be a resilient performance, with like for like sales over the 18 weeks to 7th January up by 3.5% or 0.5% on a constant currency basis. Online sales were strong with a rise of 13,9% taking online’s growth over 2 years to more than 25%. The 7 week Xmas period to 7th January produced like for like growth of 5% or 1.7% on a constant currency basis.

ASOS ASC provides more evidence of the growing power of online retailing with growth which dwarfs that of the high street retailers. Total group revenue rose by 30% on a constant currency basis for the 4 months to the end of December. The UK looked positively pedestrian against this with a rise of only 18%, which ASOS nonetheless claims is a strong performance in a more promotional market.

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Brand CEO Alan Green talks Feedback (FDBK), Burberry (BRBY) & ASOS (ASC) on TipTV

Brand CEO Alan Green discusses Feedback (FDBK), Burberry (BRBY) & ASOS (ASC) with Zak Mir on TipTV.

Brand CEO Alan Green discusses a range of topics MKS, ASOS & TYM with Zak Mir on TipTV

The opening segment of today’s London open show has Alan Green, CEO of Brand Communications and Tip TV’s Zak Mir discuss broad range of topics, from risk-on appetite in the markets to UK politics, Japanese stimulus talk and its implications on the financial markets. Green also discusses his stock picks – ASOS (ASC), Marks & Spencer (MKS) and Tertiary Minerals (TYM) – and presents technical and fundamental rationale for the same. The show concludes with a look at Broker forecasts.

Galliford Try – Are Housebuilders Running Out Of Steam

Galliford Try GFRD expects record results for the year to 30th June which as a housebuilder, is only what one would expect. Underlying demand, the availability of mortgage finance and of course the governments Help to Buy Scheme all give cause, says the company, for continued confidence. Completions for the year rose by 11% from 2769 to 3,078 units However as with other house builders there are some warning signs on the horizon. Firstly the average private sales price rose by only 2% which is miniscule compared to what the housebuiders have been getting away with over the past few years. Secondly, which is more worrying, revenue secured for the new financial year is down to 82% from last years 88%.

ASOS plc ASC has enjoyed strong retail sales growth during the four months to the 30th June. Even the UK has been strong with a rise of 28%. International retail sales slightly beat that with a rise of 30%, the US leading the way with a jump of 53%.

Dechra Pharmaceuticals DPH saw strong trading in the year to the end of June with like for like revenue growth of 11%. Overll growth including acquisitions, came out at 21%. Dechra is one of the few company’s to describe the collapse of sterling as a currency headwind but it claims this has impacted growth by 3%.  North America produced excellent results with growth of 37%.

Hotel Chocolat Group HOTC which launched on Aim in May, saw revenue for the year to 26th June  slightly ahead of market expectations with a rise of 12% whilst digital rvenues were up by 20%.

 

Rhythm One plc RTHM expects first quarter trading to the end of June to be materially ahead of management expectations.  A return to full year profitability is expected in 2017.

 

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