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Ian Pollard – United Utilities #UU Ignores Dry Weather Costs

United Utilities Grp UU updates before its full years results are announced on the 23rd May that Group revenue is expected to be higher than last year, largely reflecting allowed regulatory revenue changes. and underlying operating profit for 2018/19 is also expected to be higher than 2017/18. Costs arising from the exceptional period of dry weather in the summer of 2018 are expected to have impacted reported operating profit but.It is intended to exclude these costs from the underlying profit measures. Amazing what accountants can get away with  these days. Never mind those costs Charles, just put them down to dry weather. In January Ofwat published the results of its annual company monitoring  which measures the quality and transparency of company reporting and the level of trust and confidence that customers and other stakeholders can place in it. United Utilities is delighted to claim that it has achieved the  highest category available.

Crest Nicholson Hldngs CRST announces for its AGM that as noted previously the business has faced challenges from lower customer demand in higher price areas, with ongoing political and macro-economic uncertainty. This is likely to continue as political uncertainty becomes more prevalent. Sales rates are however consistent with previous guidance and forward sales are  encouraging, with over 50% of our open market sales for the year, already secured.

A.G.Barr plc BAG is increasing its final dividend for the year to the 26th January by 7% having delivered what the Chief Executive regards  as another strong performance. Revenue has grown by 8% and 5.6% respectively over the past two years, markets are robust and the company continues to see continued growth opportunities.Basic earnings per share  fell by 2.3% and profit before tax rose by 2,5% A significant increase in volume share was obtained  within the total UK soft drinks market.

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Ian Pollard – Your Dominos #DOM Christmas – 12 Pizzas A Second

Dominos Pizza Grp DOM saw fourth quarter sales for the 13 weeks to the 30th December produce a strong performance in the UK but with some weakness internationally. Group organic system sales rose by 5.8% compared to 1.6% for international system sales. UK system sales rose by 6% and the company enjoyed its busiest week ever in the run-up to Christmas. For the statistically minded the Friday before Christmas broke all records with more than 535,000 pizzas sold, – equal to 12 every second. The UK delivered food market is described as vibrant is expected to grow at a compound rate of 8% a year to 2022.

Anglo American plc The value of rough diamond sales  for De Beers’ first sales cycle of 2019 fell from $672m in the first cycle of 2018 to $505 million, due to higher than normal sales in the previous cycle (cycle 10 2018).

Crest Nicolson Hdgs CRST has faced some challenges in London and with sales at higher price points due to political and economic uncertainty which has adversely impacted customer demand. The impact is likely to continue pending Brexit resolution. Well that’s good at least it shows there is nothing wrong with management. its all due to external causes beyond their control.There is just one little problem in that pre tax profits fell by 15% to £176.4m. From memory I can not remember quite how that compares to the other housebuilders but perhap[s they were not quite as exposed to political and economc uncertainty or the impact of Brexit. It has however revented them from hiking the dividend which is being maintained at 33%. Forward sales were however up by 11% as at mid January.

Royal Mail Group RMG in the 9 months to the 23rd December the parcels business continued to perform well, with volumes and revenue both up 6% and GLS delivered another good performance with revenue up 13%. Total letter revenue fell 6% but overall group revenue rose by 2%. The outlook and other guidance for 2018-19 remain unchanged

PZ Cussons plc PZC On a like for like basis the figures for the half year to the 30th November were not all that brilliant. Cconditions in Nigeria remained extremely challenging and continued to have a significant negative impact on the overall Group performance.On a statutory basis revenue was down 10.4% and profit before tax by 20%. The interim dividend remains at 2.67p per share.

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Ian Pollard – Reckitt Benckiser #RB – Egg on face & seeking wriggle room

Reckitt Benckiser RB is left wiping  egg off its face as it abandons its proposal to acquire part of Pfizers Consumer Health Care business. The CEO finds himself squirming with some embarrassment as he tries to wriggle his way out of a situation which he seems to admit they should not have got into in the first place.  He says that RB only believes in organic growth but fails to explain as to why on earth they then went and got themselves involved in a proposed acquisition, Then he goes on to admit that in the end the proposal to acquire part only of the business, became impossible and again offers no explanation as to why they went for the impossible without realising that it would be impossible.

Crest Nicholson CRST updates that the trading environment continues to be generally robust with demand for new houses  continuing to be strong. Deference is paid to the government for its role in supporting the housing market to such an extent that in great swathes of the country, homes have become so expensive as to be unaffordable except for the wealthy despite price inflation having moderated.

Ted Baker plc TED reports another year of continued progress and success as profit before tax for the year to the 27th January produced a rise of 12.3% in profit before tax. Revenue grew by 11.4% and basic earnings per share by 12.6%. It is proposed to increase the final dividend to 43.5p. per share bringing the total for the year to 60.1p., a rise of 12%

Sanne Group plc SNN Group revenue for the year to 31st December rose by 77% and profit before tax by 49%. The final dividend is recommended for an increase to 8.4p per share, bringing the total for the year to 12.6p compared to 9.6p for 2016

Safestyle UK plc SFE found its market becoming increasingly challenging as 2017 progressed. Its financial performance was impacted as raw material prices increased at the same time as finance subsidy costs and lead generation costs. Profit before tax for the year to the 31st December fell by 28.5% and basic earnings per share by 31.1%. The final dividend remains unchanged at 11.25p per share. Market share grew by over 10% during the year but perhaps this is a classic case of increasing market share irrespective of profitability. 2018 has not brought any improvement and the year has got off to a difficult start. Order intake is below management expectations as the company’s market continues to deteriorate, whilst competition increases and consumer confidence continues to fall.

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Ian Pollard – Staffline Still On Target For Bursting The Billion

Staffline STAF remains on target for its Burst The Billion plan. A strong set of results for for the year to 31st December produced a 27.5% rise in statutory profit before tax. The final dividend is to be increaed by 2.6%. Market share has increased more than ever and net debt has more than halved from from 36.7m to 16.5m.

Wetherspoon JD plc JDWY Strong growth in the second quarter matched that of the first quarter, with like for like sales to the 21st January and for the year to date, both rising by 6%.Underlying profit before tax was slightly ahead of expectations, helped by better than expected sales. Chairman,Tim Martin repeats his  accusations that the CBI, Whitbread, Sainsbury, the FT, The Times and The Gaurdian are trying to fool the public by issuing misleading information as to the costs of Brexit. Despite ample opportunity to rebuff Martins attack, every one of these august bodies has remained silent, apparently now accepting that Brexit will lead to a fall in food prices which the Customs Union keeps artificially high

Crest Nicholson Holdings CRST saw sales by volume grow by only 2% in the year to 31st October as against a 7% rise in value and a 33% rise in total dividends  for the year. Forward sales as at mid January were up by 8% in value but the volume figure is not disclosed.. Statutory revenue rose 5%, profit before tax by 6% and basic earnings per share by 7%. The new build housing market continues to be robust thanks to government policies and strong demand.

Sage Group SGE Group organic revenue for the first quarter to the 31st December grew by 6.3%.with North America putting in a strong performance and France under performing. The second quarter is is expected to be stronger and full year organic growth is expected to be in the region of 8%.

Plant Healthcare PHC made strong progress in the year to 31st December, in implementing its key strategic objectives.Revenue rose by 22%, helped by particularly strong sales growth of 100% in Europe Africa.

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Crest Nicholson Ups Divi And Prices As Sales Fall

Crest Nicholson CRST imposed swingeing increases of 12% in its open market average selling price for the half year to 30th April, giving it the courage to increase its interim dividend by 23%, despite rises in profits before and after tax and in earnings per share of only a modest 5% each.  Worse still those hefty price rises produced only a 3% revenue increase as completed unit sales for the half year fell from 1206 a year ago to 1064. Forward sales as at mid June were only 4% ahead of last year. Certainly not much evidence of a continuing boom in those figures except of course in the increased dividend.

Ashtead Group AHT reports another very successful year with rental revenue rising by 28% and the final dividend lifted to 22.75p per share making a rise of 22% for the full year to the  30th April. On a statutory basis, profit before tax and earnings per share both rose by 8% and revenue by 10%. In the fourth quarter revenue rose by 11% and profit before tax and earnings per share  by 5% and 4% respectively.  The current financial year has got off to a good start and is expected to produce strong cash flow.

Ted Baker plc TED produced a continuing good performance in the 19 weeks to the 10th June with total retail sales for the period up by 14.3% and e commerce sales by by 32.3% both on a constant currency basis. This was achieved despite an uncertain macro environment which sounds very impressive but in plain English means the economy as a whole was uncertain. Really??

Telecom Plus TEP chalked up its 20th consecutive year of organic growth and did so against a challenging market backdrop – hands up first to know the difference between challenging markets and a challenging market backdrop. Like for like profit before tax for the year to 31st March rose by 16.5% and earnings per share by 15%. The full year dividend is raised by 4.3% to 48p per share.

Halma HLMA produced a strong performance in the year to 1st April, its 14th consecutive year of record revenue and profits.Profit before tax rose by 16%,  earnings per share by 19% and revenue by 17%. The final dividend is to be increased by 7%.

Iomart Group IOM has a large and long runway for success which it seems to think is a good thing to have and as seems right and proper with such an asset, is proposing to increase its final dividend for the year to 31st March by 90%, following rises in both revenue and profits of 13%. Basic earnings per share were up by 9%.

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Vodafone Increases Dividend As Losses Rise

Vodafone VOD. My own personal experience is that Vodafone can not even operate its own internal phone systems properly so it is not much of a surprise to see that it has problems globally. Group revenue fell by 4.4% for the year to the end of March, the loss for the year rose by 18.7% and the basic loss per share rose by 11.2% all of which were celebrated with a 2% increase in the interim dividend despite a rise in the company’s debt.

The groups explanation is that foreign exchange movements were primarily responsible for the loss, it faces increased regulatory headwinds but as signs of hope for the future, adjusted like for like earnings per share grew by 17% and organic EBITDA by 5.8%.

Crest Nicholson CRST reports that the housing market continues to be robust with mortgages easily available and government support in the shape of the Help to Buy scheme showing no sign of ending. Unit sales growth of about 10% is expected for the year to the 31st October, although sales per outlet in the first half are expected to show a fall from 0.87 to 0.81. As a result of investment in higher quality land, average selling prices have increased (what a surprise). It was expected that unit completions in the first half would fall and they did – from 1206 units to 1,064. As at the end of April forward sales were 5% ahead of last year.

Hardide HDD  First half revenue rose by 57% over last years first half and by 27% on the second half, as demand began to return from the oil and gas sector, which is still challenging and volatile. Sales to the sector rose by 115%. The company is still loss making but the EBITDA loss is down from £0.72m. to £0.43m. and the like for like group operating loss for the first half has fallen from £1.02m to £0.72m.

DCC PLC (DCC) after a strong year DCC is raising its final dividend for the year to 31st March by 16.3%, making a total increase for the year of 15%. Continuing revenue rose by 9%, leading to  a rise of 21% in total operating profit and 18% in earnings per share. The current year is expected to show further profit growth and development.

Zytronic ZYT After what appears to be strong all round growth, Zytronic is increasing its interim dividend by 10% for the half year to the 31st October.Basic earnings per share rose by 44%, group revenue was up from £9.9m to £11.3m. and profit before tax enjoyed a healthy jump from £1.8m to £2.5m. The second half of the year has started well, says the company.

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Company news, including: Ashtead – Dividends Up By 48%

ashteadAshtead AHD continued to go from strength to strength during its fourth quarter ending on the 30th April. Revenue for the quarter rose by 18%, profit before tax by 38% and earnings per share by 44%. This compares very favourably with the full year figures showing rises of 19% in revenue, 24% in profit before tax and 27% in earnings per share. The big bonus for shareholders is the proposed final dividend of 18.5p which will mean a 48% rise for the full year.

Eckoh plcEckoh ECK is increasing its full year dividend by 20% after revenue to 31st March rose by 31% and in the US where it claims tremendous progress was made, revenue skyrocketed from £0.2m to £4m., giving Eckoh its third successive year of double digit revenue and margin growth. Adjusted operating profit  rose by 22% and EBITDA by 20%.

Ted BakerTed Baker TED Despite challenging external trading conditions, the strength of the brands saw retail sales for the 19 weeks from 31st January, rise by 12.7%, wholesale by 7.3% and e commerce sales by 32.3%.

CrestCrest Nicholson CRST The government fueled housing bonanza continues apace allowing Crest to increase its completions for the 6 months to to 30th April by 7%. Revenue rose by 22% and both profit before tax and basic earnings per share were up by 25%.  Forward sales at mid June were up by 19% on a year ago.

parkgroupPark Group PKG claims an impressive trading performance  for the year to 31st March with profit before tax up by 8.5%, earnings per share by 13.3% and a proposal to raise the final dividend by 18.8%.

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TipTV Soapbox, with Nick ‘Moose’ Batsford, Zak Mir & Alan Green

TipTV Soapbox, with Nick ‘Moose’ Batsford, Zak Mir & Alan Green. Stocks discussed include Vodafone (VOD), Kingfisher (KGF), TalkTalk (TALK), Dixons Carphone (DC.) & Crest Nicholson (CRST).

Big Boys Have a Good Christmas

Dixons Car Phone DC now expects pre tax profits to be slightly ahead of consensus after a strong Xmas and a record Black Friday.  For the 10 weeks to 9th January group like for like revenue rose 5% with southern Europe leading the way for once with a rise of 9% and market share being increased in all territories.

EasyJet EZJ claims to be benefiting from lower fares as the number of passengers carried in the first quarter rose by 8.1% after a capacity rise of 7.3%.  Load factor was up by 0.6% to 90.3%. Travel in November and December was affected by the tragedies in Paris and Egypt and  revenue per seat fell by 3.7% but costs per seat fell by the same amount, helped by falling oil prices, which were partly offset by currency movements.

Crest Nicholson CRST describes its results as “outstanding” as it continues to benefit from the housing boom. The final dividend is to be raised by 38% to 19.7p, after a 32% rise in pre tax profits. Sales revenue rose by 26% on volume up by a comparatively meagre 8%, as the company continued to impose inflation beating price rises. Earnings per share were up by 25%.

Carpetright CPR  enjoyed its 9th consecutive quarter of like for like sales growth with a rise of 2.4% over the 12 weeks to 23rd January. Sales in the last 4 weeks of the quarter were particularly strong with a like for like rise of 6% Total sales for the quarter however were down by 1.3%.

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