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Rank Group plc RNK describes trading in the first half of the year as tough and looking at the figures that seems to be an understatement, although an improved second quarter seems to have instilled some confidence as to the prospects for a better second half. As for the first half the minus signs overwhelmingly dominate. Profit before tax is down 30.5% or 27.6% on an adjusted basis and earnings per share fell by 23.8%. Apart from digital revenue and digital like for like revenue which rose 5.1% and 15.8% respectively, the only other figure not showing a minus sign is the interim dividend which remains unchanged at 2.15 p. per share.
Unilever plc ULVR 2018 showed continued profitable growth in volatile markets. Adverse currency movements impacted turnover by 6.7% but 4th quarter and full year sales still grew by 2.9% and earnings per share were up by 5.2%. Market conditions were challenging throughout the year, particularly in the second half. Accelerating growth will be the number one priority. for 2019 building on what the company describes as a solid 2018
BT Group Plc BT updates on its nine month and third quarter performances to the 31st December. Reported revenue fell by 1%. but Reported profit before tax rose by 20%. The outgoing Chief Executive was happy that they had continued to deliver consistently against their strategic objectives in a tough market.
Diageo DGE delivered a strong consistent performance during the six months to the 31st December Reported net sales rose by 5.8%, operating profit by 11%, driven by organic growth which grew ahead of net sales at 12.3%. and the interim dividend is to be increased by 5% to 26.1p per share. Basic earnings per share declined by 1.3 pence per share.
Dairy Crest Group DCG The four main brands, Cathedral City, Clover, Country Life and Frylight – all delivered strong volume and revenue growth for the third quarter ended 31 December 2018. On a combined basis revenue growth came in at around 10% for the third quarter and 6% for the nine months ended 31 December 2018. Spreads continue to gain market share. Frylight returned to double digit volume and revenue growth in the third quarter, although a challenging first half saw the nine month figures for the brand decline. The Chief Executive describes the performance of the key brands in the third quarter as having been exceptional. Brexit is creating significant uncertainty.
BT Group BT.A has reluctantly apologised for cheating on its Openreach customers over a number of years. After a whopping £42m fine which has now been imposed by Ofcom, it did not have much choice but it still has the audacity to try and get away with calling them “mistakes”. Ofcom takes a slighty different view and calls them “serious failings” and they were serious failings which BT doggedly refused to do anything about for three years.
Even after it had been caught out, BT refused for those three years from 2013, to pay any compensation to those of its customers who had suffered loss. In the end Ofcom has forced it to come to the table to agree a compensation figure which it is expected, will reach something in the region of £300m. BT laughingly blathers on about failing to adhere to its extremely high standards of customer service but makes no mention of action against any of its management who were responsible for what was in effect a major fraud.
Elecosoft plc ELCO saw a significant improvement in trading and financial performances in 2016 and the current year has started well. Like for like revenue on a constant currency basis for the year to the end of December rose by 8%. Profit before tax was up by 42%, EBITDA by 35% and basic earnings per share by 55%. The proposed final dividend is 0.25p, making a total of 0.4p for the year. Eleco also claims that it is well placed for trading post Brexit.
YouGov plc YOU enjoyed a strong period of organic revenue and profit growth in the half year to 31st January. Revenue grew by 24% or 8% on a constant currency basis. Earnings per share were up by 21% and profit before tax by 27% on an adjusted basis. trading in the second half has started positively.
Bioventix BVXP produced a strong first half performance and is inceasing its interim dividend by 21%. Turnover grew by 32% and profit before tax by 49% in the six months to 31st December.
Gama Aviaton GMAA claims an exceptionally busy year for 2016 and a robust financial performance, with aircraft under management up by 12.2% and total revenue at record levels with a rise of 12.6%. US air revenue for the year to the end of December rose by 30% and ground revenue by 15%, as Gamma became a powerful market leader in the US. Europe however told a different story with air revenue down by 5% and ground revenue by 15% as it extricated itself from contracts it may have been better without and entered a restructuring programme. On a reported basis, profit before tax nearly tripled to $19.3m and earnings per share nearly doubled to $42.9m. the dividend is increased by 4%.