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Ian Pollard – Aviva #AV CEO Departs – Search For Successor Starts Today

Aviva plc AV announces that Mark Wilson the CEO is stepping down as from today. The Aviva board seems to believe that there is no point in keeping him because he was appointed to do a job and he has done it. The job was fairly important in that it was mainly to save the heads of the Board by delivering the turnaround of Aviva. That has now been successfully delivered opines the Board. It appears that this is the accepted way of rewarding senior executives at Aviva who have proved themselves a success. For the real truth however, read between the lines. The search for a successor has not even started. In fact the Board admits that the search will only start today.  What a way to manage a company. What an exercise  in man mismanagement. The Board is quite happy to leave the company leaderless, perhaps for months. With a Board like that, Aviva may well soon  need to find somebody to turn the company round.once again. One can only be left wondering why it could not just tell the truth about what really happened. It must have been fairly dramatic.

Greggs plc GRG claims to have traded well in quarter 3 with total sales up by 7.3 per cent (2017: 8.6 per cent) and like-for-like sales in company-managed shops up by 3.2 per cent compared to last years 5%. Total sales have risen by 5.9 per cent in the year-to-date and expectations for the full year remain unchanged.

YouGov plc YOU is increasing its final dividend by 50% for the year to 31st July after rises of 42% in adjusted profit before tax and 52% in adjusted earnings per share. Group revenue for the year rose by 9%. The US remains the largest profit generator with adjusted operating profit increasing by 78%. Trading in the current year has started well.

Ceres Power Holdings plc CWR sees 2018 as having been a landmark year with revenue and other income up by 71% in the 12 months to the 30th June..The order book as at todays date had surged from 3m to 30m.

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NEXT- Another Special Dividend As Decline Continues

NEXT plc NXT does not expect any recovery during the remainder of the current financial year despite second quarter full price sales having risen by 0.7% compared to the first quarter when they were down 3%. Retail sales for the half year to 29th July were down by 7.4% whereas Directory sales rose by 11.4% but shareholders are being kept happy with another 45p per share special dividend to be paid on the 1st November. . The forecast for the full year to January 2018 is that the decline in profit before tax will remain unchanged from previous guidance at between -13.9% to -6.4%. The problem seems to be half year and end of year sales which act as a drag on the total sales performance.

Aviva plc AV is increasing its interim dividend by 13% after the fourth consecutive year of growth in half year operating profit, this time by 11%. Sales have increased across the group with strong growth in Europe and the UK.

Centamin CEY Gold production in the second quarter rose by 14% over the first half but is still down on last year and whilst profit before tax rose from the first quarters level, for the half year as a whole it is only just over half of last years figure, at $38m. Production costs at US$609 per oz were also well up on last years figure of US$461. Nonetheless the interim dividend is increased by 25% to 2.5 US cents per share and the second half is expected to be strong with full year production guidance of 540 oz. being maintained.

Portmeirion Group PMP produced an 18% rise in profit before tax for the half year to the 30th June and gives itself a very restrained pat on the back, describing its performance as “positive”. Revenue rose by 16%, EBITDA by27% and earnings per share by 21%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 5.7%.

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