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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: Smith & Nephew Impacted By Weak First Quarter

 Smith & Nephew SN has produced a mixed performance for the quarter to the 31st March with revenue rising by 5% including currency benefits of 5%. Softer markets and a slowdown in Bioactives were offset by stronger growth in emerging markets which showed a rise of 15% on a reported basis. The trend is expected to improve over the remainder of the year but full year guidance has been impacted by the effects of the weak first quarter and underlying revenue growth is expected to be in the range of 2-3%

Centamin CEY A rise of 23% in first quarter revenue led to a surge of 122% in profit before tax for the quarter compared to a year ago although compared to the previous quarter there was a fall of 17%. Gold sales rose 14% year on year and the results were also helped by a 9% rise in the average price of gold over the year.

James Fisher & Sons plc FSJ Trading for the year so far has been in line with management expectations and offshore oil has been showing signs of recovery. All four divisions appear well set and the outlook for the year is positive.

Johnson Service Group JSG expects full year results will be slightly ahead of current market expectations. Following the substantial growth seen in 2017, trading in the year to date has continued to be strong.

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ April passenger numbers rose by19% and the load factor for April rose to 90.9%. Six new routes were opened and operations were commenced at 2 additional airports. Three brand new Airbus A 320s were added to the fleet bringing it to a total of 96 aircraft. Wizz has also been named European Airline of the year.


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Ian Pollard – Dairy Crest Well Ahead

Dairy Crest Group DCG Total revenue for the nine months to he 31st December is well ahead of the previous year as key brands produced a strong performance with revenue growth of 7%. Spreads continued to gain market share.

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ Revenue for the quarter to the 31st December rose by 24% and passenger numbers were up by 24.3% to 7.1m.  Profit rose 3.6% to record levels but profit before tax was down by 56%. The fleet increased to 88 aircraft during the quarter. The airline is now the leading low cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe and opened its 145th destination at Athens.

3i Infrastructure 3IN The Board is delighted with the performance over the 3 months  to the 31st December as exceptional value was generated for shareholders. Net Asset Value is expected to have increased by 15% to 199p per share, helped by the sale of of investments in two companies which brought in gross proceeds of over £1 billion. In addition the portfolio is delivering strong income and the target dividend of 7.85p per share for the full year is expected to be fully covered.

Centamin CEY saw profit before tax decline by 16% for the year to the end of December whilst earning per share fell by 49% and EBITDA by 13%. A fall in gold sales, a drop of 2% in revenue, increased costs and the impact of the first full year of profit share all contributed to the problems but a finl divi of 10 US cents per share is to be proposed.



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Centamin Production At Record Levels

Centamin CEY With all sections of its Sukari mine producing, gold production for the quarter ending on the 30th September rose to record levels with a 26% increase over the second quarter and a 5% increase over the third quarter of 2016. Production guidance of 540,000 ounces for 2017 is maintained.

YouGov plc YOU has for the third year in succession, delivered growth which is “significantly above the market both in revenue and profit”, resulting in a recommendation that the final dividend be increased to 2p, a rise of 43%. Revenue for the year to 31st July rose by 21% and statutory profit before tax and earnings per share by 43% and 35% respectively. Growth is expected to continue in the current year.

Angling Direct ANG Gross profit for the half year to the 31st July grew by 35.3% and EBITDA by 72.6% to 0.93m. Online sales surged by 67% whilst store sales showed an increase of 38%, both of which will be suitably augmented by the acquisition of Fosters of Birmingham, announced on the 2nd October and new store openings since admission to AIM which it describes as a “strong pipeline”.

Plant Impact PIM A rise of 17% in revenue for the year to 31st July was due mainly to the strength of the dollar, without which it would have been a much more modest 2%. Gross profit for the year saw a rise of 19% and the company claims that it has an excellent set of commercial and R&D prospects ahead which will help in its aim to establish itself as leader in what ir describes this new category of “agricultural inputs” sic.whatever one of those may be.

CAP-XX Limited CAP-XX claims it is pleased to announce a drop in sales for the year to 30th June from A$5 m. to A$4.1m. and a near doubling in the EBITDA loss from A$0.7m. to A$1.2m. As against that it should be and is more than pleased to see royalty revenue more than tripling from A$0.2m to A$0.7m and operating expenses falling by A$0.5m. The CEO says it has been an exciting year which saw “tangible traction” which is presumably a good thing to see.

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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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Amerisur Moves Towards Profitable Production

Amerisur Resources AMER Produced a slightly increased loss after tax at $28.5m in the year to the end of December, following lower oil prices, planned reduction in production and a one off impairment charge of $15.3m. from its investment in Paraguy. Since the year end global oil prices have increased, transport costs have fallen and there has been a significant increase in production from the Platanillo field which is now producing over 4,000 barrels of oil per day and continuing to rise towards its 2017 target of 6 to 7,000 bopd. The company sees a strong outlook for 2017, with production becoming increasingly profitable.

The shares have lost over two thirds of their value since August 2014, falling from 66p to a low of 20p. There has recently been something of a recovery with the price now at 22.17. Whether that will hold on the basis of future promises, rather than on 2016’s past performance remains to be seen.

CEY Centamin First quarter gold production fell, as forecast, at 109,187 ounces, down 20% on the previous quarter and 13% on 2016 Q1. The full year target for 2017 of 540,000 oz. is still expected to be


Plant Health Care PHC US Sales disappointed in the year to the end of December, due to distributors having excess year end inventories. Outside the US sales rose by 15% on a constant currency basis, showing strong progress its key strategic objectives.

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Buy Centamin (CEY) – VectorVest sees a compelling fundamental and technical investment proposition

Centamin plc (CEY.L) is a mineral exploration, development and mining company, and operates in Australia, Jersey, Egypt, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire. Its principal asset, the Sukari Gold Mine (SGM), is located in the Eastern Desert, approximately 900 kilometers from Cairo and 25 kilometers from the Red Sea. SGM is jointly owned by Pharaoh Gold Mines NL (PGM) and Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority (EMRA). It has a license holding over an area of approximately 100-kilometer trend of gold mineralization in Burkina Faso. CEY holds a tenement package over an approximately 2,200 square kilometer area in southern Burkina Faso, adjacent to the border with Cote d’Ivoire. It has seven permits in Cote d’Ivoire covering an area of over 2,330 square kilometers. Six of these are part of the Doropo Project across the border from Batie West in Burkina Faso and the other is in the west of the country.

On Feb 1st 2017, CEY published results for year ending Dec 31st 2016. Gold production of 551,036 ounces marked a 26% increase on 2015 and was above the revised guidance range, while the cash cost of production of $513 per ounce was down from $713 per ounce in 2015 and below the revised guidance range. EBITDA grew by 145% to $373m, due to higher gold prices, increased production and lower costs. As a result, basic earnings per share grew by 313% to 18.61 US cents. Chairman Josef El-Raghy said that the seventh successive year of production growth and reductions “has allowed Centamin to maintain its strategic focus on generating shareholder returns and value-accretive growth.” “A significant milestone was achieved during the year, as the capital investment in the Sukari operation by Centamin’s wholly-owned subsidiary Pharaoh Gold Mines was recovered from cash flows to the extent that profit share commenced with the Egyptian Government during Q3. Centamin ended the year with $428m in cash, bullion on hand, gold sales receivables and available-for-sale financial assets, an increase of $197m during the year. “ He added; “I am pleased to announce that a final dividend for 2016 of 13.5 US cents per share has been proposed, representing a full year pay-out of $178m, equivalent to approximately 70% of our net free cash flow in 2016.”

While CEY has long been a favourite stock among gold investors, the latent potential among the company projects, and the flagship Sukari gold mine have resulted in the stock consistently flagging up value across VectorVest financial metrics. The stock scores highly on GRT (Earnings Growth Rate), RT (Relative Timing) and RV (Relative Value), and shows a fair rating on RS (Relative Safety) and DS (Dividend Safety). The key metrics of VST, the master indicator for ranking every stock in the VectorVest database, sees CEY score 1.37, which is very good on a scale of 0.00 to 2.00. And in terms of value, CEY scores 267.23p, meaning at the current 173p, the stock is undervalued.

The chart of CEY.L is shown below using the normal VectorVest notation. The price is in candlestick format while the VectorVest valuation is shown by the green line study. Earnings per share (EPS) is shown in the window below the price by the blue line study. EPS has more than doubled over the last year.


While the gold price has been falling over the past few days CEY has risen. The share has broken and kissed a down sloping trendline and is in the process of breaking out of an inverted head and shoulders reversal. The head and shoulders break out will be confirmed by a close above 180p.

The technical target from such a move would be a repeat of the upmove that occurred from January to September 2016. This would compute a technical target of around 250 which is similar to the present VectorVest valuation.

There is risk in mining stocks and the opportunity is for those who can size positions correctly and manage risk aggressively.

Summary: Current global uncertainties should ensure that gold remains a popular safe haven asset for the foreseeable future, and this will no doubt be reflected in investor demand for shares of cornerstone producers such as Centamin. The high score CEY delivers across key VectorVest metrics, coupled with a promising charting configuration add up to a compelling investment case for this long established gold miner. Buy.

March 15th 2017

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Centamin Sees Strong Growth

Centamin CEY Profit before tax for the year to the end of December  grew strongly from $58,407,000 to $266,829,000, as 2016 became the 7th consecutive year of production growth. Profit sharing with the Egyptian government started in quarter 3 and a final dividend of 13.6 US cents is proposed. Production rose by 26% whilst production costs fell sharply from $713 per oz. to $513 per oz. EBITDA rose by 145% and basic earnings per share by 313%. Centamin is debt free and ends the year with $428 of free assets.

TalkTalkTelecom TALK The new fixed low price plans introduced in October have proved a success and have delivered lower churn and positive net adds, which have continued so far, into quarter 4. Early life churn rates have fallen to less than half historic rates. There has however been a short term impact on group revenue, corporate and off net and on net adds all of which fell. Excuse the jargon. it is theirs not mine. Mobile, fibre and ethernet all rose and there was strong growth in third quarter EBITDA.

A.G. Barr BAG 2016 was a challenging year for the UK soft drinks market and 2017 and no improvement is expected for 2017 which is expected to be another year of uncertain economic conditions. Like for like revenue for the year to 28th January is expected to have risen by 1.5%. The successful introduction of new products and tight cost control helped to stave off the years challenges and it is anticipated that profit expectations for the year will be met.

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Strong Growth At Plant Impact

Plant Impact PIM enjoyed strong growth during the year to 31st July, with revenue up by 60% and gross profit by 59%. The company believes it is well positioned to continue to develop successfully. The share price on the other hand has not been strong. during the past 12 months it has fallen from 62p to to 46p at which level it formed a double bottom in March and July and now stands at 49.5p.

WPP plc WPP Third quarter reported revenue jumped by 23.4% in sterling terms but the weakness of the pound led to that becoming a much more modest 7.6% at constant currency levels and over the first nine months, 8.5%. Nonetheless WPP is still on target for yet another record year. Like for like growth in the first three quarters of 2015 averaged 5.5% but 2016 has been well down on that with an average of 3.5%. WPP claims that many of its clients have a challenging problem which is the short term attitude of institutional investors and analysts with the result that the CEO’s of major companies can now expect to remain in office for no more than 6-7 years whilst the life expectancy of Chief Financial Officers is even less. Activist investors seem to regarded with some disdain.

Centamin CEY Third quarter gold production rose by 41% over quarter three 2015, whilst full year 2016 production is now expected to be towards the upper end of guidance, whilst costs will be at the lower end. Underground drilling at Sukari has produced positive results and an updated reserve and resource estimate is expected during quarter 4.

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Centamin Interim Dividend Up over 100% As Recovery Continues

CENTAMIN CEY After the trauma of Egypts political upheavals following the fall of Mubarak, the return of democracy and then another military takeover, Centamin was unloved by anyone. Its economic future, even its survival was in question but the restoration of stability (if not of democracy)  enabled it to start on what has turned out to be a fairly rapid road to recovery.

Gold production continues to rise with an increase of 30% for the quarter to the 30th June, compared to 2015 and 12% compared to quarter 1 2016. Annual production guidance has been increased from 470,000 oz. to between 520,000 and 540,000 oz. and all in costs have fallen from $900 per oz to between $720 and $750.

Second quarter EBITDA rose by 51%, basic earnings per share by 78% and profit before tax more than quadrupled to $73,379,000 The company is very much debt free and in recognition of the great turn round, the interim dividend is to be more than doubled with a rise from 2015’s 0.97 cents to 2 cents.

A year ago, there appeared to be little immediate hope for Centamin and the share price languished at 53.75p. By the 1st June it had risen to stand at 100p, since when it has rocketed by 70% as recognition of its transformed status, gained ground.

But this is still Egypt and whilst Its present government seems to have a firm hold, it is in a region where terrorism, bombings and internal strife hold sway. Egypt has always managed to remain an oasis of calm, compared to its neighbours but the risks can not be ignored. Subject to that,  could the ride continue to be heady ?

Gem Diamonds GEMD Production in Lesotho has been hit by severe weather including excessive snowfall and severe winds which have affected power supplies, forcing the company to rely on stand by generators.

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