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Diageo DGE produced a strong performance in the 6 months to the 31st December. All regions contributed to organic net sales growth of 4.2% although organic volume growth was considerably lower at 1.8%.This was all due to constant and rigorous execution of strategy by management – nothing like self praise when things are claimed to be going well, although a fall of 2% in reported growth is hardly consistent and is not thought worthy of particular mention. Basic earnings per share rose by 36.3% and the interim dividend is to be increased by 5% to 24.9p. As for 2018, that is expected to bring in mid single digit top line growth.
SKY plc SKY The half year to the 31st December produced a strong set of results. Indeed the blurb for the half year outcome is almost such a parrot like repetition of that for Diageo that it takes some convincing that they were not both written by the same script writer. In the case of Diageo the excellent performance was down to “consistent execution of strategy” by management. Now where did I read that before. Like for like revenue rose by 5% and earnings per share by 11%. On a statutory basis operating profit was up by 24% and earnings per share by 39%. 365,000 new customers were signed up and pay as you go buys rose by 8%. .All this was achieved despite a challenging consumer environment. The interim dividend is to be increased by 4% to 13.06 p per share, on top of the previously announced special dividend of 10p per share.Plans for 2018 and beyond are said to be ambitious.
Paypoint PAY claims to have “driven” profitable growth in the UK and in Romania where net revenue rose by 42% most of which was accounted for by the acquisition of Payzone. Where exactly it drove this profitable growth to, is difficult to understand as it included a fall of 4.3% in Group retail Networks, a volume fall of 10.5% in UK bill and generals and a net revenue fall of 6.3% in UK retail services.Nonetheless it did have a good day on the 22nd December, its best trading day of the year where processed transactions rose by 67% on the previous year.
Countryside Props CSP made a strong start to its year with first quarter completions up by 47% helped by a record year end order book and believe it or not, a fall of 11% in its private average selling price. Perhaps somewhere there is a link between those two sets of figures, which no doubt will be studiously avoided by the rest of the British housebuilding industry
Dr David Paul of VectorVest discusses VectorVest market timing indicator, CWD, MGNS, COA, III and HSTG on Core Finance TV
Dr David Paul, Managing Director VectorVest arrived with the news that since July 19th the VectorVest Market timing indicator has turned positive. This was after just two weeks in bear mode. Stocks discussed include Countryside Properties (CWD), Morgan Sindall (MGNS), Coats Group (COA), 3i Group (III) and Hastings Group (HSTG).
Countrywide CWD Suffered badly in quarter four with figures showing the beginning of a slump in the housing market which is going to get worse in 2017. Countrywide is the largest agent in the business with national coverage and local reach, so these figures do not relate just to inner London or the Home Counties. They present a picture of what could be the end of the grossly overheated housing market all over the country. Results for the full year to 31st December are expected to show a 6% drop in transactions. Fourth quarter income declined to £179m. from 2015’s £196m It is expected that sales in 2017 will decline further, impacted by a continuation of lower volumes than in 2016.
Barratt Development BDEV does claims a healthy housing market with strong demand for new houses during its second half to the 31st December and that is all very true, provided you ignore London which is hardly realistic for a national housebuilder. Yesterdays update from Barratt’s showed that sales in London had plunged by over in 50% in the 6 months to 30th December, down from 842 to 367.As against that completions outside London were at their highest level for 9 years but the fall in London was so severe that total completions for the half year fell from 7,626 to 7,180.
The average selling price rose by 3.9% but for the poor private buyer the increase averaged 5.3%. Barrat claims that one of the main reasons for the strength of the market is continued government support, which does raise the oft asked question as to why the government should continue spending taxpayers money to fuel an already overheated market. Cynics may say that it is just the Tories looking after their own and ignoring basic economics.
Total forward sales are up by 15% and profit before tax for the six months is expected to rise by 7%, with a further 7% expected in the first half of 2017
Mitchells & Butler MAB enjoyed strong Xmas trading with what the CEO describes as an encouraging performance. Like for like sales over the 7 weeks to the 7th January rose by 2.9%, compared to a tiny 0.5% for the 8 weeks to the 19th November. Margins however are expected to be lower than in 2015 because of cost pressures
COUNTRYWIDE CWD blames the EU referendum in June for a fall in what it calls transactional activity in the quarter to the end of September. Not a fall in activity you will note, not a fall in transactions but a fall in transactional activity, whatever that is supposed to mean when you translate it into basic English. Transactions for the quarter were significantly below 2015 and for the full year a fall of some 12% is expected with a further decline to come in 2017, in what the company describes as a fst changing market
HORNBY HRN is pleased with progress in the half year to the end of September and does not seem at all bothered by the fact that the second half will produce a significant decline in revenue
SEVERN TRENT SVT claims to be the most trusted water company and to have the largest reduction in complaints of all water and sewage companies. In addition it claims to be winners in a world of incentivisation. Perhaps it should stick to sewage. Interim turnover to the 30th September rose by 3.9% and reported profit before interest and tax by 0.8%, whilst reported earnings per share surged by 39.7%
PETS AT HOME GROUP PETS is increasing its interim dividend by 25% after what ir describes as robust like for like growth of 2.5%. Perhaps some peoples idea of robustivity is more robust than others. Group revenue for the 28 weeks to 14th October rose by 9.1%. but recent trading has been softer than in the first half.
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