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Pearson Selling The Family Silver

Pearson plc PSON  The best that can be said about Pearsons 2017 results is that they came out at the top end of guidance and that the restructuring programme is on track. Nonetheless underlying revenues fell by 2% due to a 4% decline in North America where US higher education coursework fell by 3% despite a rise of 9% in digital coursework. For 2018 further falls are possible and adjusted operating profit is expected to be between £520m and £560m after disposals compared to 2017’s £ 570 to £575m. Disposals which were completed in 2017 included a 22% stake in Penguin Random House. Perhaps it is time that management woke up to the fact that there is only a limited supply of family silverware and in the end it runs out.

Burberry Group BRBY not surprisingly saw retail revenue down by 2% in the quarter to the 30th December which management should perhaps be reminded, included Christmas, although to be fair, on a comparative store basis, they did manage an increase of 2%. Here is another former stalwart of British retail  whose management is trying to transform it and to do so with strings of meaningless verbiage. The aim is to establish it firmly in luxury – it does not actually say ” luxury what” but no doubt they will get round to deciding that later.They seem to have completely forgotten that the company was for decades firmly esconsed in the luxury goods market and apparently no longer is..This great transformation is going to be underpinned by “people strategies”, We will also see a “global engagement campaign” for employees and best and most important of all “the piloting of  new enhanced digital sales associate tools.”At least management is not lost for words, it is just sales it is a bit short of.

Beazley plc BEZ expects to report that pre tax profits for the year to the end of December will be ahead of current market expectations, helped partly by a reduction in US Corporation tax rates from 35% to 21%.

Cineworld CINE achieved growth of  11.6% in the year to 30th December after admissions increased compared to 2016. Another year of progress is expected for 2018 after refurbishments and selective site closures duing 2017.

Vodafone – Sees Robust Momentum As Revenue Drops 3.3%

Vodafone VOD is yet another company which  seems to think it can describe a fall in revenue as “good” and a sign of “robust momentum” It even goes to the extent of producing better looking statistics which it calls ” alternative performance measures”,  regularly reviewed by management to give readers additional information. Presumably management does not like having to review the real highlights, which include a 3.3% fall in group revenue for the quarter to the 30th June, led by Europe with a reported fall of 4.8% Real momentum there but most people would regard it as going in the wrong direction.

Learning Technologies Group LTG expects revenue in the half year to 30th June to show a 62% rise in revenue to a record £20.8m. After making excellent progress as market leader in the high growth e learning sector, the  order book stood at record levels at the end of the half year and the integration of Net Dimensions which was acquired in March, has been completed on time. The benefits from this will start to be seen at the beginning of 1918, as planned.

Beazley BEZ Profit before tax for the half year to the 30th June rose by 6% and earnings per share by 17% after a strong performance in the US. The interim dividend is also being increased by 6% to 3.7p per share.

Homeserve plc HSV has seen the continuation of strong growth in the period from the 1st April to the 20th July, with particularly strong momentum coming from North America where it has signed up 24 new partners providing it with access to 53m homes.

Empresaria Group EMR has delivered a record first half performance with strong growth leading to a 26% rise in net fee income. The company”s investment strategy has proved to be a success and the acquisition of Rishworth Aviation  is expected to provide further growth in terms of pilot recruitment, in the coming years.

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