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Punch Plays Cards Close To Its Chest

Punch Taverns PUB Todays trading statement for the year to 20th August omits virtually any mention of  its trading statistics  It says it has produced a solid set of results following completion of its strategic disposal programme but fails to back that up with any meaningful figures, save to say that average profit per pub has risen by 4% and like for like net income from the core estate is up by 1% and the retail divisions 97 pubs are operating ahead of expectations. No doubt all will be revealed in the fullness of time.

Churchill China CHH produced yet another strong performance with profit before tax up by 29% for the half year to 30th June. Group revenue rose by 12% and basic earnings per share by 30%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 12%.

Fisher (James) FSJ is definitely ex growth for the time being , although that has not stopped it raising the interim dividend by 10% and it does expect to see growth resume in the second half, with new contracts and good demand for ship to ship services. Group revenue for the half year to the 30th June was down by some 2% and statutory profit before tax declined slightly from £17.9 to £17.4m. Strong growth was experienced in Marine Support, Tankships and Specialist Technical but this was offset, perhaps not surprisingly, by poor results from Offshore Oil.

HSS Hire Group HSS produced revenue growth of 13.5% in the half year to 2nd July and adjusted EBITDA rose by 11.1% which all helped to bring down the loss before tax from £14.1m to £9.8m and most of that, says the company, was due to what it euphemistically calls “strategy execution”. The interim dividend remains unchanged and the third quarter has started off ahead of last year.

Chemring Group plc CHG Revenue in the three months to the 31st July  rose by 20% and the order book was up by 12.6% but £50m of this was due to the collapse of sterling which defintely did not help the company’s US dollar debt.

Surgical Innovations SUN Revenue for the six months to 30th June was robust rising by 16%, led by exports and a particularly strong performance in the US. Increased productivity helped margins rise by 26.6% and the company returned to profitability at the operating level. By the end of the half year net bank borrowings had been eliminated.

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