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Lighthouse Group plc LGT claims an excellent set of results for 2018 despite softening market conditions in the second half of the year. With an Interim dividend of 0.20p. per share already paid, a final dividend of 0.50p. per share is now proposed compared to 30p per share in 2017, making a 67% increase for the full year. Further growth is expected for 2019 notwithstanding current market uncertainty.
Travis Perkins plc TPK saw like for like revenue growth of 4.9% in the year to the 31st December, after a strong second half. in which adjusted operating profit, excluding property profits, grew by 10.7%. helped by successful cost reductions. Despite that, adjusted operating profit for the year as a whole fell by 1.3% and the rise in the yearly dividend was limited to 2.2%. Uncertain market conditions are expected to continue in the near future and adjusted operating profit for 2019 is expected to be similar to 2018 at 375m.
Meggitt PLC MGGT Organic revenue growth of 9% reflected a strong performance in growing end-markets for 2018, with 7% growth in civil aerospace, 10% in defence and 19% in energy. On an organic order basis growth came in at 12%. Recommended final dividend of 11.35p gives a full year increase of 5%. The Chief Executive regards it as a landmark year and further good progress is expected for 2019.
Augean PLC AUG is currently experiencing strong initial trading for the start of 2019 after a pleasing 2018 in which adjusted profit before tax increased by 69% and basic earnings per share by 56%. Cost savings exceeded their target. Trading in the first months of 2019 is well ahead of last year. Further growth is targeted in the core key markets of Energy from Waste and North Sea Decommissioning.
Hotel Chocolat Group HOTC Enjoyed strong sales growth across retail, digital & wholesale channels in the six months to the end of December. Revenue rose by 13% and both reported profit before tax and profit after tax rose by 7%. The interim dividend remains unchanged at 6p per share.Christmas was again successful, with the launch of the new Velvetiser Hot Chocolate maker which exceeded initial expectations six-fold.
Supported housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has improved its net asset value by 4.4% to 94p a share in the six months to September 2017. Interim figures should be published within a fortnight.
African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has decided not to acquire investment company Onshore Energy Ltd and concentrate on its fertiliser business instead. Progress has been delayed but fertiliser trading has started in Zambia and a 21% stake was acquired in Advanced Agricultural Holdings, which is focused on South Africa. There were no revenues in the year to June 2017, although there was trading income of $9,000, and the loss was $2.27m. There was £11,000 in the bank at the end of June 2017. African Agronomix is earning a stake in the company’s potash interests. Trading will recommence in the shares on 23 October.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has €7m of debt, in the form of a mortgage, from UniCredit Bulbank. This will be used to complete the planned acquisition of the office building in Sofia. The loan lasts for three years from completion of the documentation.
Via Developments (VIA1) has completed the purchase of the development site in Latimer Road, Luton.
Belvoir Lettings (BLV) has approached The Property Franchising Group (TPFG) about a merger between the letting agents but the reaction has been negative. Belvoir believes that the market is consolidating and it makes sense for two of the major players to come together. The indicative offer is 0.715 of a Belvoir share and 52.2p a share in cash for each TPFG, although the amount of cash could be varied. This values each TPFG share at 130.5p.
eServGlobal Ltd (ESG) is raising £24m at 9p a share with existing retail investors given the chance to clawback £3.4m of the shares. Cash is required to be injected into the HomeSend joint venture so that the 35% stake can be maintained. There will also be costs to rationalising the core business in order to help move it into profit.
Overseas growth dominated the Tristel (TSTL) where full year revenues were one-fifth higher, or 7% excluding the acquisition of the Australian distributor. Tristel has already warned that regulatory approval has been delayed in the US but it can still continue to grow its infection control sales. Animal health and contamination control revenues fell but margins improved. House broker finnCap forecasts an improvement in profit from £4m to £4.4m this year.
Secure payments and contact centre technology provider Eckoh (ECK) continues to add contracts in the US while UK revenues are steady. Seven US contracts worth $5.1m have been won. Eckoh has moved into a net cash position of £1.7m. Interim figures will be reported on 22 November.
Telecoms software supplier Artilium (ARTA) has formed an alliance with NYSE-listed Pareteum Corporation, which involves the sharing of distribution, products and technology. The focus will be Latin America and Asia. A share exchange will mean that Pareteum will own 8.8% of Artilium, which will own 19.9% of Pareteum. Artilium is opening a new office in Germany.
Cloud-based communications software provider Cloudcall Group (CALL) is raising £5.7m at 143.5p a share and the cash will help to finance further growth. Cloudcall wants to take advantage of its partnerships with Microsoft Dynamics and Bullhorn and attract new partners.
Proteome Sciences (PRM) says that its deal pipeline is improving but the adoption of its proteomic services has been slower than hoped. This year the loss will be reduced but it will be higher than previously expected. Proteome has gained Good Clinical Laboratory Practice accreditation which will enable it to take on larger clinical projects.
Sula Iron and Gold (SULA) is evaluating the best way to develop the Ferensola gold asset as well as seeking to bring other assets into the group. There could be a joint venture or farm out at Ferensola and Sula intends to solicit interests from potential partners.
Hornby (HRN) is ending the discounting of its stock but it will still hit the figures for this financial year. New chief executive Lyndon Davies continues to review the business strategy and more will be revealed with the interim figures. The interim chairman is leaving the board.
BP Marsh (BPM) has increased its NAV from 273p a share to 304p a share in the six months to July 2017. Disposals brought in significant amounts of cash and this is being reinvested. One of the main focuses of the investment is the North American market.
Infinity Energy S.A. (INFT) is in talks to acquire Transgas Ltd from its own chief executive and its family. Transgas owns petroleum exploration licences in south west England. Infinity will issue shares for the purchase if it is agreed and it intends to change domicile from Luxembourg to Guernsey.
Molecular diagnostics firm Genedrive (GDR) has signed a distribution agreement with Sysmex Europe for the supply of the Genedrive hepatitis C (HCV) ID kit, which is designed to be used in a decentralised environment and produce results within 90 minutes. This is the first commercial partner and Sysmex will be responsible for marketing and distribution in the EMEA region. The initial focus will be African companies.
RNA therapeutics technology developer Silence Therapeutics (SLN) is claiming money in the High Court for income it believes it is owed on products sold by Alnylam. The High Court has to determine whether Silence is entitled to supplementary protection certificates, which can give up to five years of exclusivity after a patent expires
Seeing Machines (SEE) believes that it could treble its revenues this year to between A$38m to $A43m and revenues could double again next year. However, cash is in short supply so investment has been curtailed. New investment is being sought. Interest is building in the automotive sector for the FOVIO driver monitoring technology.
Jim Meredith has become executive chairman of Augean (AUG), following the resignation of Stewart Davies as chief executive, and Christopher Mills and Roger McDowell, who stepped down in June 2015, have joined the board as non-executives. Augean continues to have problems with the HMRC regarding its landfill tax assessment and profit will be lower this year and in 2018. A further £1.7m is being cut from annual overheads.
Futura Medical (FUM) has received positive market research from fellow AIM company Cello (CLL) for its MED2002 gel for erectile dysfunction. More than three-fifths of physicians canvassed in the US thought that MED2002 was better than existing treatments. The equivalent figures in Germany and France were 60% and 54% respectively.
Concepta (CPT) has signed up two distributors in China for its MyLotus fertility product. This takes the number of distributors to three and more will be signed up in the coming months. The product is being evaluated for use after a woman has got pregnant.
Sunrise Resources (SRES) has discovered a new deposit at the CS Pozzolan-Perlite project in Nevada. There have also been positive drilling results in the existing deposit areas.
Omega Diagnostics Group (ODX) has signed a three year agreement to supply food intolerance product FoodPrint to a US laboratory testing services provider.
Thor Mining (THR) is moving to a phase of progressing the commercialisation of its exploration interests. There has been a resource upgraded at Pilot Mountain and there will soon be a resource estimate at Kapunda. The options for progressing with the development of the Pilot Mountain and Molyhil projects are being considered. A placing will raise £565,000 at 0.8p a share. There is a warrant with each share which enables the holder to subscribe for a new share at 1.2p.
Strategic Minerals (SML) has entered into a binding term sheet to acquire the owner of the Leigh Creek copper mine project, which is the northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia. It will cost A$1.8m to restart production at the mine. Strategic has to inject A$1m into the holding company, pay A$250,000 in cash and A$750,000 in shares to the current owner and agree a royalty agreement with them which will be capped at A$3.65m. The Cobre magnetite ore operation in New Mexico had a record quarter to September 2017. Revenues were $2.04m, which was more than the first six months of 2017 and for 2016 as a whole. Annual sales should exceed $5m and this provides cash flow for other projects. Strategic had $1.63m in the bank at the end of September 2017. Shareholders have agreed to a new option programme for management.
Sportech (SPO) has put itself up for sale, although the strategic review continues. There have already been four preliminary proposals but no detailed discussions have commenced.
InnovaDerma (IDP) has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for some of its online advertising for Skinny Tan. Trading is in line with expectations.
Pure Circle PURE Final results for the year to the 30th June were severely affected by it being denied access to the US market where it had been producing a third of its revenue, after it was made subject to a Withold Release Order by US Customs & Border Protection. Extensive investigations resulted in it being removed from that list but not until the 30th January and although sales to the US have now resumed, it will take time for it to rebuild the previous momentum which it had acquired in the US market. Operating profit fell by nearly half to US$17.6m. and earnings per share were also halved from 8.49 to 4.16 cents per share. The company claims it has a unique market position with 72 patents granted and a further 200 pending.
OCADO Group OCDO Revenue in the 13 weeks to 27th August continued to grow strongly with an increase of 13.1%, significantly ahead of the industry average. Orders per week increased by 16% but the average order size fell by 1.2%.
Judges Scientific JDG has made a robust recovery from a year ago with interim results to the 30th June showing new records being set for revenue, profit before tax, earnings per share and dividends. Revenue rose by 20%, (14% on a like for like basis), adjusted pre tax profit by 48%. and basic earnings per share by 65.1%. The interim dividend is being increased by 11% to 10p per share.
Swallowfield plc SWL reports another very strong performance and excellent progress in the year to the 24th June with the final dividend being increased by over 50% to 3.5p per share making a total increase for the year of 68%. Helped by the weakness of sterling and acquisitions revenue grew by 36% or 8% excluding acquisitions. On a constant currency basis the figures were 31% and 2% respectively.
Augean AUG Despite a 14.4% rise in revenue for the six months to the 30th June, adjusted profit before tax fell by 7.2% and adjusted earnings per share by 7.4%, following losses in its Industry and Infrastructure businesses which it describes as legacy issues from Colt. To add to its mixed fortunes waste disposed of by its Energy and Construction business declined by 23.7%.
Keyword Studios KWS delivered another strong set of results for the half year to the 30th June and the interim dividend is being raised by 10%. Like for like revenue rose by 17% and adjusted profit before tax and earnings per share by 60% and 55% respectively.
Daily Actions is a daily summary analysis of changes in short term actions from our Daily Recs – AIM and Daily Recs Main markets reports. This report is typically distributed before the open of trading in London.
|ST Rec. changed|
|Amur Minerals Corporation||Neutral||Buy|
|Asa Resource Group||Buy||Neutral|
|Pan African Resources||Neutral||Sell|
|Eco Animal Health Group||Neutral||Sell|
|Industrial Good & Services|
|21st Century Technology||Neutral||Sell|
|Oil & Gas – Explorers|
|Ascent Resources||Strong Buy||Buy|
|Oil & Gas – Producers|
|Gulf Keystone Petroleum||Neutral||Buy|
|K3 Business Technology Group||Neutral||Sell|
|Travel & Leisure|
|Best of the Best||Neutral||Sell|
|PPHE Hotel Group||Neutral||Sell|
|ST Rec. changed|
|Engineering & Machinery|
|Leisure & Hotels|
|Media & Entertainment|
|Personal Care & Household Products|
|Real Estate – REIT|
|Town Centre Securities||Neutral||Sell|
|Real Estate – REIS|
|St. Modwen Properties||Neutral||Buy|
|Speciality & Other Finance|
|Aberdeen Asset Management||Neutral||Buy|
|Michael Page International||Buy||Neutral|
|James Fisher & Sons||Neutral||Buy|
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