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Go-ahead Group Lagging

Go-Ahead Group GOG is lagging behind in too many areas although it is doing its best to cover the weak spots. The pre close trading statement for t he year to 1st July claims that expectations for the full year are unchanged and the balance sheet is robust. Regional buses showed mixed growth in passenger journeys with some ares being strong and some weak.Passenger numbers and revenue growth were slightly subdued. Full year like for like growth in revenue is expected to be 1% but mileage is expected to be down 1.5%

Full year like for like figures showed passenger revenue up 3% and 4.5% in South Eastern and London Midland  but down 4%  in GTR. Passenger journeys fell by 4% in both South Eastern and London Midland and up by a tiny 0.5% in South eastern. It does not need a mathematics wizard to work out that these appear to illustrate prices rising whilst passenger journeys fall, which is not the best way to run a railway.

Chemring Group CHG Has restored its interim dividend  for the half year to the  30th April, with a payment of 1p per share. Operational and financial performance continued to improve and revenue for the half year rose from £180m. to£ 249.6m. Last years underlying loss before tax of £4m was turned into a profit of £11.3m. On a statutory basis loss before tax fell from last year’s £16.8m to £6.8m and return on sales rose to 6.9% from 2.1%. However the order book at half time was down from £591m to £556.

Frontier Development FDEV expects to report a rise in operating  profit of over 500% to £7.2m for the year to the 3rd May. Revenue is also expected to be slightly ahead of previous guidance with a rise of 75%.

Latham (James) plc LTHM reports good trading results for tjhe year to 31st March and an increase in the final dividend to 10.85p, up from last years 10.3p. Pre-tax profit was £13.8m, up £0.9m from £12.9m last year. Since the year end, revenue in April and May has shown a like for like rise of 3%

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Royal Mail Drowns in Jargon

Royal Mail plc RMG How can any company be taken seriously when its CEO’s English appears to be so bad that she has to express herself in internal company jargon – thus ones breakfast reading of the goings on at Royal Mail includes – “movements in foreign exchange, ASM and GSO in GLS” Can the Board not send her for re training so that she can speak the same language as the rest of the country.

More jargon follows with the update for the 9 months to the end of December claiming 9% growth in GLS and a 2% decline in PIL. Is that good or bad, one must ask oneself. Parcel revenue rose by 3% whilst letter revenue was down by 5% as overall business uncertainty continued to affect letter volumes in the UK.

Chemring Group CHG appears to have rebounded from 2015’s problems and turned last years loss of £9.1m into a profit of £8m. for the year to 31st October. Earnings per share came in at 2.5p after last years loss of 2.4p. whilst total evenue for the year rose by 26.5% and operating profit soared from £5.5m to £ 26.2m.

Finsbury Food Group FIF suffered from flat sales in the in the 6 months to the 30th November, with the bakery division down by 2.9% as the UK retail market continued to suffer from price deflation. In contrast the European division which is 50% owned by FIF rose by 31.7%. Sterling induced commodity inflation and increases in the national living wage are expected to lead to cost inflation in the second half.

1 PM PLC OPM  continued to experience high levels of demand in each of its three subsidiaries for the half year 30th November. Revenue rose by 52%, profit before tax by 23% and basic earnings per share rose from 2.91% to 3.08%

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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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