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Next pc NXT Full price sales in the second quarter were up 2.8% on last year and ahead of the 1% expected at the time of the May update. Next believes believe that this over-achievement was due to the prolonged period of exceptionally warm weather, which greatly assisted sales of summer weight products.Expectations for the remainder of the current year to January 2019 are that full price sales will rise by 2.2%, earnings per share will grow by 3.7% and group profit before tax will be down by 1.3%. Full price sales for the 26 weeks to the 28th July were up by 4.5% compared to last year but therein lies the pending nightmare facing most of the major retail clothing retailers. Sales in retail stores declined by 5.3% whereas online sales rose by 15.5%, providing further proof,if proof were needed, that the high street is dying on its feet.
BAE Systems plc BA. claims to have made good progress in the half year to the 30th June and laid a strong foundation to deliver future growth. The interim dividend is being inceased by 2%. Despite the optimism, on a constant currency basis, sales fell 3% to 8.8bn. as a result of reduced Typhoon production, underlying EBITA was down 6% but underlying earnings per share rose by 2%. As defined in IFRS and on a constant currency basis revenue fell by 5%, operating profit was down by 11% and basic earnings per share by 17%
Direct Line Ins Group DLG with half year falls of 15.75% in operating profit and 13.9% in profit before tax, has decided that attack is the best form of defence and is increasing its interim dividend by 2.9%. It is also brave enough to put on its rose tinted glasses and describe these as a good set of results. Perhaps it is purely coincidence that the CEO has chosen this as a good time to depart after 10 years in office.
Hargreaves Services plc HSP After seeing like for like basic earnings per share fall from 17.8p to 3.8p and last years operating profit of 1.4m. tuned into a loss of 1.4m for the current year, the group describes its preliminary results as being “satisfactory”. With profit before tax falling from 4.7m to this years 500,000 it even tries to get its shareholders to accept that it is delivering against its strategic objectives. Hands up those who have doubts.
Centrica CNA Produced weak second half results, after poor performances in Business Energy and in particular in North America created material uncertainty around the company and resulted in what it admits was a very poor shareholder experience.. A combination of political and regulatory interventions gets part of the blame but Centrica makes no comment as to whether these were justified or not. Despite a 3% rise in revenue, adjusted operating profit fell by 17%, EBITDA by 9% and basic earnings per share by 25%. Statutory operating profit collapsed by 80% and the dividend not surprisingly remains unchanged at 12p per share.
British Am Tobacco BATS is increasing its dividends by 15.2% after a record year in 2017 which delivered another set of strong financial result. Revenue rose by 37.6% and adjusted diluted earnings per share by 14.9% after completion of the acquisition of Reynolds American in July which it describes as a transfomational deal. On an organic basis cigarette volume fell by 2.6% but that outperformed the market which fell by 3.5%
BAE Sytems BA Delivered a good performance in 2017 and sees an improved outlook for 2018 for defence budgets in a number of markets. Underlying earnings per share rose by 8%, EBITA by 4% and the increase in the final dividend to 13p per share makes a total increase of 2% for the full year.
Moneysupermarket MONY continued to deliver robust results in its core business for the year to 31st December and is increasing final dividend by 6%. Adjusted EBITDA rose by 5%, profit after tax by 6% and basic earnings per share by 7%.
Go Ahead Group plc GOG produced a good performance in the half year to the 30th December and expectations for the full year have have increased due to one off rail benefits. Results for the rail division are ahead of expectations. Profit before tax rose by 19% and basic earnings per share by 7.3%. The interim dividend remains unchanged.
Serco Group SRP delivered a solid performance in 2017, producing profits at the top end of expectations, in a difficult market. The year ended with a strong order book. Despite a 2% drop in revenue for 2017 underlying profit rose by 10% over 2016 and are expected to contiue to grow in both the current year and in 2019.
Weatherly International WTN saw a noticeable improvement in the copper price during the year to 30th June, since when they have improved even further and reached three year highs. Operating and environmental challenges during the year meant that production fell below target but the board is cautiously optimistic about prospects for the current year.
Hardide HDD. Sales for the year to 30th September soared by 51% and reached record levels as demand from the oil & gas market recovered. The recovery continued throughout the year with second half sales up by 14%. The annual loss fell to £0.74m. from the previous years £1.3m before exceptional items. There are further signs of growth potential in the civil aerospace market and the company has gained full Aerobus Approved Supplier status for its UK site.
BAE Systems plc BA has entered into a £5bn contract with the government of Quatar for the supply of 24 Typhoon aircraft, with delivery expected to start late in 2022. In service support and a training package are also included.
Marlowe MRL Adjusted continuing revenue rose by 104% in the half year to the 30th September and adjusted profit before tax was up by 90%. The company has a well developed pipeline of acquisition opportunities and is well positioned to continue to gain further market share.
Sosander plc SOS Trading from the 31st August to the end of November has exceeded management expectations. Following new funds raised in November the business now has significant momentum with the ability to acquire a wider and larger range of products and accelerate media and marketing activities.
Premaitha Health NIPT has further expanded its European customer base with the addition of four new laboratories which will be full installed early in 2018 with the expectations that they will perform over 9,000 NIPT tests per year across the whole of Europe, generating annual income for the company of over £1m.
RSA Insurance Group RSA is delighted with its strong first half results which are littered with repeated references to outperformances as if they had just invented the word. Shareholders get to share in the jollity with a 32% rise in the interim dividend to 6.6p per share, up from last years 5p. Restructuring has now been completed and underwriting results were not only a record, they were “noisy” as well, which is a good thing apparantly.
Smurfit Kappa Group SKG claims a good set of results with strong demand in most marketsfor the six months to the 30th June but set against a background of unprecedented and continued price inflation which cost the company £75m. Revenue rose by 5% but profit before tax for the laf year fell by 21%, rising to 26% in the second quarter. Basic earnings per share fell by 18% and EBITDA was down 4%. It is expected that the second half should start to see the recovery of price inflation costs, through higher prices.
BAE Systems BA is further evidence that British industry is still alive and kicking although BA is far more modest in its claims, stating only that its performance in the six months to the 3th June was as expected and consistent with guidelines. On a constant currency basis sales rose by 3%, underlying earnings per share by 36% and underlying operating profit by by 11%. The interim dividend gets a small lift from 8.6p. to 8.8p per share. Order intake during the half year increased substantially by £3.6bn to £10.7bn
William Hill WMH Headlines saw profit before tax for the half year to the 27th June, fall by 7% and basic earnings per share down by 2%, despite wagering growth across each of its four divisions and a rise in net revenue of 3%. It headlines the results as showing continuous momentum without bothering to stress that the momentum seems to be in the wrong direction, save for the fact the interim dividend does get an upward lift of 4%
StatPro Group SOG Despite a 23% rise in revenue for the half year to the 30th June and a 64% rise in adjusted earnings per share,, the loss before tax virtually tripled from £0.96m to £2.29m. The interim dividend is being maintained at 0.85p per share.
Be Heard Group BHRD which is still in the early stages of its development, saw net revenue for the half year to the 30th June, surge by 155%, helped by contributions from acqisitions, as well as from recent new business wins.