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Ian Pollard – Allied Bakeries, part of AB Foods #ABF Loses Out On Price “Discussions”

Assoc. British Foods ABF claims that its results for the 24 weeks to the 2nd March are robust, with statutory profit before tax  down by 15%, basic earnings per share by 19% and profit at AB Sugar down substantially. Say no more ! Grocery did produce  strong underlying growth, with good momentum, Primark reverted to its usual role of saving the day for the rest of the Group, with excellent profit growth of 25%. Group revenue was 1% ahead and adjusted operating profit was 1% lower. Allied Bakeries seem to have been having a rough time and has had its largest private label bread manufacturing contract terminated by a major retailer. Noticeably this happened after recent customer discussions on pricing only some of which were successful. The effect of the volume loss is expected to be seen in the next financial year. A non-cash impairment charge of £65m has been recognised as an exceptional item in the income statement. The interim dividend is to be increased by 3%.

Centamin plc CEY claims to have made a solid start to the year, with the quarter to the 31st March having delivered ahead of expectations. Despite being the weakest quarter forecasted for 2019 , Sukari produced 116,183 ounces of gold in the first quarter compared to the forecast of 105,000 – 115,000 ounces. A stronger second half is forecast, with delivery of approximately 55% of the expected annual production  during that half.

Biome Technologies plc BIOM updates that Group revenues achieved for the first three months of the year were 11% ahead of the previous quarter at £2.1m,

Boohoo Group plc BOO claims delivery of yet another excellent set of financial and operational results for the year to the 28th February, with strong growth and solid profitability. Revenue for the year rose by 48% across all geographies with the UK up by 37% and international by 64%. Trading in the first few weeks of the financial year has been encouraging and Group revenue growth for the full financial year is expected to be between 25% to 30%

 

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Ian Pollard: Countryside Properties – Average Selling Prices Broadly Flat

Countryside Props plc CSP Total completions in the first quarter from the 1st October to the 30th December rose by 28 % and the forward order book by 78%. The strong growth in completions was driven by a sharp increase in affordable homes, up 52%  and Private Rental Sector, up 66% . This was due to the acquisition of Westleigh. Broadly flat average selling prices  at £395,000  with a 1% to 2% underlying increase, is not the sort of news which the housebuilding industry, likes to hear.

Restaurant Group plc RTN opened a record number of new sites in 2018 but saw like for like sales fall by 2% and total sales rise by 1%. Since the World Cup however the Group has delivered like-for-like sales growth  and the Pubs business is continuing  consistently to trade ahead of the pub restaurant sector and the Concessions business has also traded strongly. The company describes the year as a pivotal one which is hardly matched by the sales figures..

Biome Technologies plc BIOM saw 2018 group revenues show a rise of 42% over 2017.. Over 2018, sales of the non-woven filter mesh for the US single serve coffee market increased, together with other revenues, by more than 50%, The company’s portfolio of bioplastics applications are expected to contribute substantially to sales, particularly in the latter part of 2019.particularly, something known as the rigid ring project. A much higher performing disposable cutlery is another new product expected to be successful in the US. Revenues in the RF Technologies division for the year ended 31 December 2018 provided a 75% increase on the previous year. 2019 is expected to see a gradual but substantial increase in Bioplastics revenues.

Shield Therapeutics plc STX has entered 2019 in good shape with revenues for the year to 31st December 2018 expected to to have soared to. £11.9 million from 2017’s £637,000 and including the 11m. upfront payment received from Norgine on the signing of the licence agreement. Royalty income from Norgine during 2019, is anticipated to grow steadily based on sales in the UK and Germany,

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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 5 November 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has secured long-term facilities of £50m, which expires in 2023, and a £35m private placement of loan notes with BAE Systems Pensions Fund which lasts for 20 years. These replace existing loans. A revaluation of pub assets has delivered a £24m gain on book value.

Mechanical and electrical services provider Field Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) has benefitted from strong spending in the water sector as Asset Management Plan 6 reaches its mid-point, as well as demand from the energy from waste sector. However, the energy from waste customer’s tough stance has held back group gross margin. In the year to May 2018, revenues improved from £17.2m to £25.9m, but pre-tax profit fell from £839,000 to £625,000. If the defined benefit scheme settlement gain is stripped out, then there is an improvement in profit from £463,000 to £558,000. There is £3.97m in the bank. The current order book is worth £12m.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is pushing ahead with Flowstone Capital Ltd, which is a private crypto fund and it has set up Flowstone Management Ltd to manage the fund. Coinsilium has also secured a strategic advisory partnership with LC LITE, which is planning a token generation event to finance the development of a digital letter of credit system for importers and exporters.

Startup Giants (SUG) still had £665,000 in the ban at the end of July 2018. Thee are plans to raise more cash via the event management services provider Exponential Events’ platform.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) is in talks with blockchain-based sports ticketing platform Footies Tech to establish a new subsidiary to develop a blockchain-based venue management system. The idea is that TechFinancials will own 75% of the company and it would provide finance of up to $500,000 to develop a proof of concept. TechFinancials will licence its technology to the new company for free.

Formerly AIM-quoted Metminco (MNC) has withdrawn from the proposed acquisition of Gunsynd (GUN) investee company Sunshine Minerals after it failed to complete due diligence. Gunsynd says that there are other interested buyers even though the nickel price has fallen since the original announcement about the proposed acquisition.

The chairman and chief executive of DXS International (DXSP) have bought further shares last week. Chairman Bob Sutcliffe bought 18,857 shares at 10.5p each, while chief executive Bob Immelman acquired 19,802 shares at 10p a share which took his stake to 10.4%.

Ananda Investments (ANA) executive director Melissa Sturgess has bought another 500,000 shares at 0.4501p each.

AIM    

Gordon Dadds (GOR) is acquiring Ince and Co International LLP and its associates, which will make it the largest quoted law firm. Annual revenues will be more than £110m. The estimated consideration will be £34m, depending on revenues generated in the three years after acquisition. The merged company will be called Ince Gordon Dadds. Share trading remains suspended until the full details of the deal are published.

Watkin Jones (WJG) says that its full year figures will be slightly better than expected. Good progress is being made with the build to rent operations, but the benefits will come in the future. The sale of a client portfolio of the student accommodation management division has led to a termination fee and a share in the profit of the disposal, which totals £4m.

Concepta (CPT) has obtained a CE Mark for its myLotus fertility testing technology. This enables women to test for their optimal level of fertility. The self-test platform has been launched at the Fertility Show in London. Initial sales will be via the company’s own website. It will take time to build up sales and it is likely to be next year when they become more significant. Concepta raised £2m in August so it is well-funded for its current requirements.

Goldplat (GDP) says that first quarter production fell to 6,100 ounces of gold because of problems sourcing raw materials in Ghana and South Africa, but there has been a recovery in the second quarter and it should be able to achieve full year production estimates of 39,5000 ounces of gold. The Kilpesa mine is being put on care and maintenance if a partner cannot be found and that could knock 3,700 ounces off the production figure.

Next Fifteen Communications (NFC) has raised £20m at 475p a share. The PR firm will use some of the cash to finance the acquisition of Activate Marketing Services for an initial $9m in cash. This technology-focused business is data-led and will continue to be operated separately. This is the latest example of Next Fifteen’s strategy of growing its digital marketing operations.

Gama Aviation (GMAA) says that growth has been slower than anticipated in the second half. The main culprits are the US air associate and slower than expected growth at the new Bournemouth ground services facility. This equates to a $3m cut in forecast operating profit for 2018 and the earnings per share forecast has been reduced by 19% to 21.3 cents.

The share price of floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) slumped on the back of a warning that margins were coming under pressure. Like-for-like revenue growth was more than 3% in the six months to September 2019, but less profit is being made. Victoria is attempting to refinance its two-year bank facility through the issue of a five-year €450m bond, which has been given a BB minus credit rating by Standard & Poors.

Safestay (SSTY) has acquired a 20-year lease on a site in Vienna. This is currently a hotel and it will be converted into a 234 bed hostel at a cost of less than €300,000. Safestay will have 13 hostels.

Pires Investments (PIRI) had a NAV of £950,000 at its year end. The £200,000 increase was mainly due to investments in SalvaRx and Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas.

Imaginatik (IMTK) has launched its six-for-nine open offer to shareholders. This could raise up to £253,000 at 1.1p a share. The closing date is 26 November.

Market research firm System1 Group (SYS1) has declared a maintained interim dividend of 1.1p a share, but the final dividend may be reduced. Interim revenues declined by 5% and pre-tax profit was lower without the £250,000 exceptional credit. That is due to investment in the Ad Ratings business. There was £3.55m in the bank at the end of September 2018.

Mporium (MPM) has signed a deal with BPC Land and Sales Marketing, a services provider to property developers. BPC will use Mporium’s IMPACT technology for digital advertising campaigns. This is a new sector for Mporium.

Biome Technologies (BIOM) has increased nine months revenues by 59% to £7m, which is more than for the whole of 2017. Biome is profitable and it had £2.5m in the bank at the end of September 2018. The main growth has come in the RF Technologies division. The bioplastics business increased its third quarter revenues, but nine months revenues are still lower.

Parity (PTY) has warned that there will be a significant shortfall in profit in 2018 because of the continuing delay of a major contract. WH Ireland has slashed its pre-tax profit forecast from £1.9m to £850,000, suggesting limited profit in the second half.

Meat and delicatessen products retailer Crawshaw (CRAW) is appointing an administrator because it was unable to raise the cash it required.

Elektron Technology (EKT) has increased its nine months revenues from £22.1m to £25.8m and the full year outcome is set to be ahead of expectations. Sight screening technology developer Elektron Eye Technology is expected to move into profit. Net cash was £8.5m at the end of October 2018.

Transportation software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) has received a renewal and extension of data hosting services and software with a rail client. The contract is worth more than £2m over two years.

More bad news from superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) as 2018 figures are set to be well below expectations that have already been revised downwards. There will be a full year loss on revenues of €44m. There will be no dividend. Refit projects have been delayed and one shipyard undergoing maintenance. New build contracts have been won for 2019. The order book is worth €31.3m, of which €18.2m relates to 2019.

BlueRock Diamonds (BRD) has raised £626,000 at 0.3p a share with every two new shares coming with a warrant to subscribe for a share at 0.4p. The directors have invested £170,000. The cash will be used to open two of the five kimberlite pipes at the Kareevlei diamond mine in South Africa.

Tern (TERN) has invested a further £1.1m in in virtual reality training and data analysis technology platform developer FRVS.

PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has appointed Menzies as administrator of its subsidiary PhotonStar LED Ltd. That business generated £1.15m of first half revenues of £1.33m. It also made most of the loss. More cash will be required for the remaining subsidiary.

TomCo Energy (TOM) has raised £100,000 at 8.5p and disposed of its stake in Red Leaf Resources for $133,333, which had no value in the balance sheet. This will take cash resources to £335,000. The field test on the Holliday block has been delayed due to a failure of couplings.

Ascent Resources (AST) is still finding it difficult to obtain the permits it is waiting for from the Slovenian authorities so that it can generate revenues from gas. Ascent is considering taking action in the European Court.

N4 Pharma (N4P) says clinical data suggests that its Nuvec technology is suitable for use with multiple antigens. It has delivered mRNA and pDNA in sufficient levels to generate the required immune response. The results of the next study should be available in the first half of 2019.

Wey Education (WEY) reported good results but WH Ireland has downgraded its forecasts for this year and next year. The broker is being more cautious about international growth prospects and cut the 2018-19 pre-tax profit forecast from £1.95m to £1.31m and the following year’s from £5.2m to £3.3m.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has made its second Portuguese investment. Des Solutio is developing greener versions of chemicals used to make beauty, pharma and personal care products. Frontier IP has taken a 25% stake.

Myanmar-focused social media platform operator MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) is raising £600,000 at 0.35p a share. Management is focusing on active users and in the first quarter of this financial year there were 412,338 active users of the mobile games offer and 426,750 media and mobile apps users. Last year’s revenues were $1.84m but they need to be much higher than that.

Property investor Safeland (SAF) has acquired North Downs golf club in Surrey for £1.07m and it will invest in the facilities.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) says that the US Bureau of Land Management has approved the application for a permit to drill the GV 22-1 well on the Paradox acreage in Utah.

MAIN MARKET 

Zotefoams (ZTF) has improved revenues by 16% in the nine months to September 2018. Full year profit is expected to be slightly better than anticipated. HPP sales have nearly doubled due to demand from the footwear and aviation sectors. Capacity is being increased.

Books publisher Quarto Group (QRT) has extended its facilities to the end of August 2020. The bank facility has been reduced. Large shareholders have agreed to provide unsecured and subordinated loans of $13m, repayable on 31 August 2020.

Stem cell services provider WideCells Group (WDC) is restructuring its Wideacademy educational subsidiary and closed its London office. Annualised savings are worth £400,000. Alan Greenberg has stepped down from the board.

Social media investment company Sealand Capital (SCGL) has published its full year figures and subsequent interim results. Trading in the shares has recommenced. The SecureCom business has been sold. Sealand has subscribed for a 55% interest in Guangzhou Ruiyou Information Technologies Co, which is a mobile game distributor. It is also party to a licenced operator agreement of the WeChat advertisement product in the UK and UAE. There was £758,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Gems explorer Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has raised £250,000 at 80p a share. The shares each come with one warrant exercisable at 100p a share.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has gained planning permission for a minor extension on its second property in north west England.

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard – #BT Riddled In Jargon But ARPU is up 1%

BT Group plc BT.A claims that positive momentum in the second quarter resulted in encouraging results for the half year to the 30th September.That may be so but you will have to take BTs word for it because the update is riddled in jargon that much of it is meaningless to anybody who has not spent a lifetime working for BT, where Engliish now appears to have become a foreign language. Thus you will be delighted to know (inter alia) that group NPS is up 3.6 points and Right First Time up 2.7%, whilst consumer fixed ARPU is up 1%.

Getting back to the real world,  reported revenue of £11,588m was down by 2% and adjusted revenue by 1%. Despite that reported profit before tax rose by 24% and basic earnings per share by 29%. The interim dividend  has been reduced by 5%

Just Eat plc JE. now anticipates full year revenues will be towards the top end of the £740 to £770 million range, after a strong third quarter which saw revenue rise by 41%. Over the nine months to date the rise was 44%. International order growth was particularly strong, with new restaurant partner sign-ups across major cities.

Croda International plc CRDA The sales momentum seen in the first half of the year has continued into quarter three. Constant currency sales grew by 3.4%, with the Core Business up by 4.5%  after a strong performance in the  consumer businesses. Growth in Core Business for the year to date has been 4.7%. Constant currency sales were 4.2% higher  and the quarter 3 sales reflected the strength of sales in Health Care.

Biome Technologies plc BIOM Group revenues for the nine months to 30 September 2018 showed a 56% increase over the same period last year. At the end of quarter 3,  year-to-date Group revenues already exceed those for the whole of 2017. The progress made  during the first half of the year has continued into quarter3 and the Board expects this momentum to continue for the remainder of the year.

Elektron Technology plc EKT produced an exceptional third quarter performance with with sales at record levels after rising by 17%. The Board now expects that the full year performance will be significantly ahead of market expectations.

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Ian Pollard – Footasylum #FOOT impacted

Finsbury Food Group FIF has acquired 100% of the share capital of Ultrapharm Limited a specialist Free From bakery manufacturer with site in the UK & Poland. Finsbury claims that the acquisition  supports the Group’s ongoing strategy to further diversify its product capability into high growth areas.

Tax Systems plc TAX enjoyed a strong first half with revenue growth of 14% for the six months to the 30th June.EBITDA for the half year grew by 9% and order intake by 22%.

Footasylum FOOT expects growth for the full year to be significantly lower than previous guidance with adjusted EBITDA down to less than half  that for full year 2018. Revenue for the six months  to the 25th August  is expected to show a rise of 18.5% with online revenue in particular up by 28.5%. Trading has however, been impacted by weak consumer sentiment and more challenging conditions in July and August. Delays in store openings and upgrades.have also exacerbated the situation.

Biome Technologies BIOM delivered an exceptional start to the year and an outstanding first half enabled it to deliver a small operating profit of £0.2m. in the six months to the 30th June compared to last years loss of £0.2m. Group revenue for the half increased by 47% to £4.4m.

Safestyle UK plc SFE announces a comprehensive settlement of its claims against NIAMAC Developments Ltd (trading as SafeGlaze UK) for alleged trade mark infringement, passing off, misuse of confidential information, malicious falsehood and various other matters. NIAMAC has agreed that the existing court injunctions against it will be replaced by formal undertakings to the court. Steps have also been agreed to prevent the possibility of any acts of intimidation or harassment of Safestyle UK representatives and in addition, SafeGlaze UK will also change its trading name. A fairly comprehensive victory, if ever there was one.

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450,000 British Companies Financially Distressed

Begbies Traynor BEG  announces doom and gloom for many British companies with 450,000 of them suffering from signs of financial distress, even before the effects are felt of any interest rate rise on Thursday. The number has risen by 27% from a year ago and 250,000 have become “zombie” companies with no net worth and who will not have the reserves available to survive increasing employment costs due to changes in the minimum wage and the Revenues crackdown on personal service companies.

Next plc NXT is unable to determine any underlying sales trend in the quarter to the 31st October,  the main impact appearing to have come from the weather which does not seem to say much for management’s marketing skills. Sales rose significantly in August and September coinciding with the arrival of warmer weather and temperatures which were higher than last year. The end result is that third quarter full price sales rose by 1.3% compared to last year but 1.2% of that growth came from new space. Total sales including markdowns rose by 0.8% but for the year to date they are down 1.2%. The future does not look any brighter and  a further decline of 0.3% is expected for quarter 4.

Paddy Power Betfair PPB found quarter 3 to the end of September to be encouraging and trading since the interim results has been good. The international businesses have performed well with Australia producing an exceptional revenue rise of 29% followed by the US with a rise of 18%. Group revenue for the quarter was up by 9% led by 11% in sports revenue but offset by a 3% drop in online revenue. Underlying EBITDA rose by 7% and it is anticipated that full year EBITDA will be between £450 and £465m.

Biome Technologies BIOM saw third quarter revenue jump from £0.9m. to £1.5m. making a rise of 46% for the year to date and the fourth consecutive quarter of EBITDA profitability. The progress and momentum seen so far are expected to continue for the remainder of the year.

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Johnson Services – “Exceptional First Half Performance.”

Johnson Service Group JSG produced an exceptional first half performance across all its brands with revenue for the 6 months to the 30th June rising by 19.3% and organic growth at 4.8%. Profit before tax was up by 30.3% and the interim dividend is to be increased by 12.5%. Full year results are expected to be slightly ahead of current expectations

Dechra Pharmaceuticals DPH claims another strong financial performance for the year to the end of June and is raising the final dividend by 16.1%. Acquisitions from the previous year have performed well. Repeated references to pipelines without apparently understanding what they are, spoils the presentation but the figures speak for themselves with revenue growth of 28.3%, underlying EBITDA and profit before tax up by 35.5% and 38.4% respectively but please, no more nonsense like ‘pipeline opportunities’.

Michelmersh Brick MBH Claims it is well positioned to produce a strong operational and financial performance in the second half, with forward orders at the half year end on the 30th June ahead of target at 55 million bricks.  Following the acquisition of Carlton Main Brickworks the company is going through a transformational period. First half profit before tax fell from £2.6 to £2.4m and earnings per share  excluding exceptional items were down from 2.57 to 2.3p per share. An interim dividend of 0.7p. per share is to be paid in January.

Randall & Quilter RQIH produced a very strong first half performance, which was significantly ahead of 2016, with pre tax profits more than quadrupling from £1.2m to £5.4m. and earnings per share rising from 1.5p to 7.9p, including a tax credit of 0.5m. Profit after tax rose from £928,000 to £5.9m. and the outlook beyond the current year is described as looking very promising.

Biome Technologies BIOM  saw revenue for the six months to 30th June rise by 38% and group profit up from £1.1m to£1.5m which it describes as an encouraging performance with the Stanelco division order book strong and lengthening.

 

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