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Royal Mail plc RMG finds plenty to highlight in its interim results for the half year to the 23rd September. A rise of 1% in revenue is one of the best. Apart from that, underlying adjusted profit before tax was down 27 per cent and· adjusted basic earnings per share fell by about a third from 20.1% to 13.6 pence. As if that was not bad enough the reasons for this dismal performance, were even worse. Poor productivity performance, lower cost avoidance in the UK and higher than expected cost pressures in GLS, where admittedly there was a ray of sunshine with a 9% rise in revenue. The most amazing thing about this report apart from the surpising rise of 4% in the interim dividend, is that not a single member of senior management or the board had the courage to come out and make a single comment about the results. From the CEO to the Chairman and all the other senior executives, they all appear to have been simultaneously struck dumb.
Bovis Homes Group BVS on the other hand displays no such reticence as the CEO proclaims that the transformation of its customer service and build quality has resulted in a significant improvement in its financial performance since the 1st July. Bovis is fully sold for this year and expects full year profits will be at record levels. As with all housebuilders it has to make obeyance to the government for its generosity to the industry in agreeing to extend its completely unjustifiable Help to Buy Scheme for yet another two years until March 2023.
Young & Cos Brewery YNGA produced another strong performance for the half year to the 1st October, with profit before tax up by 19.5% and basic earnings by share by 19.4%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 6% making it the 22nd consecutive year-on-year interim dividend increase. Summer results were exceptional – average like-for-like sales growth of 5.6% over the past seven years, with this half year producing a revenue rise of 8.8%, helped by the hottest summer on record. Drink sales enjoyed a particularly strong summer with double digit growth of just over 7.4% on a like-for-like basis. Accommodation sales rose by over 18% and EBITDA by 4.7% to record levels. The strong trading has continued in the first six weeks of the second half.
Dart Group DTG Group operating profit for the half year to the 30th September surged by 68% after a 36% revenue rise. Basic earnings per share rose by 56% and the interim dividend is to be increased by 87%. Bouyant demand led to a particularly strong season for the Leisure Travel business although increased losses are to be expected in the second half of the year as further investment is made in additional aircraft and marketing.
Dart Group plc DTG is proposing to increase its final dividend by 54 % after strong passenger growth for both Jet2.com and Jet2holidays saw revenue for the year to the 30th June increase by 38%. Profit before tax rose by 49% and basic earnings per share by 44%. Demand has strengthened even more since the start of the new financial year and having regard to current forward bookings Group profit before foreign exchange revaluations and taxation for the year ending 31 March 2019, will substantially exceed current market expectations.
ASOS plc ASC retail sales for the four months to the 30th June grew by 21% on a constant currency basis, slightly down on the ten month figure of 23%. In the UK market share continued to increase and full year profit for 2018 is expected to be in line with consensus.
Computacenter CCC Following a strong start to the year, momentum has continued into the second quarter and The first half has shown considerable progress in adjusted profitability, and even further progress in adjusted earnings per share. Trading result for 2018 will now be comfortably in excess of previous expectations.
GYG plc GYG Trading has been significantly weaker than expected in the half year to the 30th June due to lower than expected project wins and some additional delays in anticipated contracts. Full year revenue is now expected to be flat and adjusted EBITDA to be materially below the Board’s expectations at approximately €5 million. There is however grounds for optimism for the the immediate future as the New Build Order Book stands at €13.4 million for 2019 and €5.6 million for 2020 compared to a meagre 1m only a year ago.
Portmeirion Group PMP updates that total group sales for the six months to the 30th June have increased by 11% or, on a constant currency basis, 15%.
Telford Homes TEF updates that the London Market has remained robust since the year end in May although, as a sign of the times, the average selling price of open market homes is expected to remain constant. The strategy of concentrating on build to rent homes is believed to be the correct one.
Reckitt Benckiser RB delivered what it claims was a solid end to the year with like for like fourth quarter net revenue up by 2% on a constant currency basis, accompanied by volume led growth also of 2%. For the year as a whole like for like net revenue at constant exchange rates was flat thus justifying the claim that the fourth quarter saw a return to growth. Reported net income for the year rose by 88% at constant exchange rates but on an adjusted basis this fell back to 4%, whilst adjusted earnings per share were up by 10%. The final dividend is to be 97.7p per share making a total increase for the year of 7%. For 2018 the target is total like for like revenue growth of 2-3% as RB continues on its journey to becoming a global leader in consumer health care.
Spectris SXS made good strategic progress in broadening its customer offer in 2017 with like for like sales rising by 6% and adjusted operating profit and earnings per share by 8% and 14% respectively. The final dividend is to be increased by 9%.
Fidessa Group FDSA reports a solid performance in transforming markets in the year the 31st December, with adjusted profit before tax rising by 5% on a constant currency basis. The final dividend is to be increased by 5% on top of which there will be a repeat of the previous years special dividend of 50p per share. For 2018 similar levels of constant currency growth are forecast.
Dart Group DTG expects that underlying profit before tax will be materially ahead of current market expectations for the year to the end of March, due to the end of the heavy discounting of the past year, the return of a more normal pricing environment and the continued success of its growing leisure travel business With satisfactory forward bookings, trading for 2019 is expected to be in line with the current year.
BATM Advanced Communications BVC expects that 2017 revenue will be significantly ahead of market expectations at $106m, which represents a year on year rise of 17%. This follows the company’s success in obtaining new customers, new contracts and new territories.
Dart Group DTG is aware of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations and the effect which the outcome of these could have, especially on the extent of its “freedom to fly”. For the year to 31st March revenue rose by 23% and the proposed final dividend is to be increased by 26%. Profit before tax for the year fell by 14% after considerable investment to launch its new operating bases at Birmingham and London Stansted and a £10.9m charge for foreign exchange revaluation losses. Without the foreign exchange losses the fall in profit before tax was limited to 4%. Basic earnings per share fell by 14%.
Telford Homes TEF expects that the current financial year will produce profit before tax of £40m of which over 80% has already been secured and that in 2018-19 the figure will rise to £50m of which over 60% has already been secured.
ASOS ASC Total reported retail sales in the 4 months to the end of June rose by 32% or 26% on a constant currency basis as the company’s strong first half sales momentum continued. The only weak spot appeared to be in the US where reported sales growth fell from 51% over ten months to 38% in the 4 month period.
Babcock International BAB has made a good start to its new financial year with 82% of revenue now in place for for 2017-18 and 55% for 2018-19. A major contract worth up to £500m. has been secured to operate a fleet of specialist fixed wing aircraft for the Norwegian Health Service.
AdEPT Telecom ADT is increasing total dividends for the year to 31st March by 19.2% after the company’s 14th consecutive year of underlying EBITDA growth.This year saw a rise of 27.2% to £7.83m. and adjusted earnings per share were up by 20.3%
BTG plc BTG The strong performance experienced in 2016-17 has continued into the new financial year and double digit sales growth is expected over the full year.
Mothercare MTC Senior management seems not to understand one of the basic facts of life about the UK, namely that it does not have a climate, it has weather and for much of the year its weather is unseasonable, thoughtlessly providing mini heat waves in February, snow in May and year round excuses for management’s failures.
So MTC goes unthinkingly into the excuses drawer and plucks out unseasonable weather as having impacted it during the quarter to 9th July, when UK sales fell by 2.1% although on a like for like basis they rose by 1.2% after allowing for closures. International sales in actual currencies rose by 5.1% and worldwide sales by 2.7%, after an increase of 2.3% in space. As for the future, MTC says that its vision is clear, except of course when it is foggy in summer.
Supergroup SGP is paying a a final special dividend of 20p per share, on top of the full ordinary dividend of 23.2p after a year of significant progress in which revenue rose by 21%, underlying profit before tax by 16.3% and basic earnings per share by 21.8%. The company exudes with confidence for the future.
Dart DTG is increasing its final dividend from 2.25p. per share to 3.10p making an increase for the full year of 33%. Profiut before tax soared by 159%, basic earnings per share by 169% and group operating profit by 216%