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Ian Pollard – Blame The Headwinds, Not The Management

ConvaTec Geoup CTE admits to a disappointing performance in 2017 due to unspecified headwinds and significant challenges, the nature of which are not disclosed..Supply constraints from which it suffered during the year will continue to have an impact in 2018, especially in the first half due to back order fulfillment and lost orders. Revenue for the full year rose by 4.5% and reported operating profit by 60.9%

RELX PLC REL is increasing its fully year dividend for 2017 by 10% after reporting another year of underlying growth in revenue, operating profit and earnings. Adjusted operating profit grew by 6%, underlying revenue by 4%, and adjusted earnings per share on a constant currency basis, by 7%. Further growth is forecast for 2018.

Earthport plc EPO updates that revenue rose by 8% for the 6 months to the 31st December but adjusted gross margins fell by 9% and administrative expenses rose by 7%. The adjusted EBITDA loss more or less doubled to £3.2m. Core services remain strong despite first half challenges and the new business pipeline is also strong but cash flow break even point is not expected to be reached until 2019.

Venn Life Sciences VENN Using the headwind from project deferrals in the first half of 2017as an excuse the board believes that the small fall in revenue from £18.2m to £17.8m, an improved EBITDA performance and a closing cash position down by nearly two thirds, reflects solid progress

Sanderson Group plc SND will report at todays AGM that following the acquisition of Anisa Group in November, total group revenues for the four months to the end of January are approximately one third ahead of the same period last year. On a like for like basis and excluding Anisa, Sanderson revenues are 5% ahead and operating profit some 10% ahead.

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Ian Pollard – Earthport Forced To Dive Deep Into The Jargon Drawer

Earthport EPO like so many companies faced with unexpected problems, management feels forced to dive deep into the jargon drawer in the false belief that if it can express itself in phraseology which only they and a few other of the initiated can understand, readers will be convinced that it must be doing a good job. The problem is fairly serious in that even as early in its financial year as now, it anticipates that revenue for the year to the 30th June 2018 will be 10%-15% below current expectations. That of course is nonsense in itself because those expectations are no longer the current ones, they are the previous ones which the company now no longer expects to be able to meet. The reasons for the rather dramatic changes in fortunes include delays in some expected contracts and a recent change at one client which on its own, will result in a loss of about 5% of projected 2018 revenue.

But  help is at hand especially from various unspecified pipelines which get star billing in today’s update, in particular the new business pipeline which is stronger than at any time in the company’s history. Incremental transactions are also going to be ramped up and help will be forthcoming from international corridors, on boarding regulated business, receptivity at conferences, existing infrastructure will be leveraged and deep pocketed strategic partners will it seems, be prepared to dig deeply into those pockets. Fine sounding words indeed but what do they mean?. .Well basically it looks like they mean that cash flow beak even point will not be reached until 2019

Hunting plc HTG expects a modest profit for the full year with results strongly weighted towards the second half and following a strong second half performance from Hunting Titan. Restrictions on dividends have been lifted and payments will be resumed at an “appropriate time”

Redde plc REDD The positive start to the year announced in September and October has continued into December with sales continuing to show an increase over last year and trading profit also ahead. Interim results for the half year to the 31st December are expected to be announced on the 1st March.

Audioboom BOOM enjoyed a transformational year in 2017 but despite a surge in business and tight control of overheads the company was still loss making at about the samerateas in 2016. i.e. about 4.5m. Unique file requests rose by over 60%, monthly unique users by over 50% and available advertising impressions surged by 740%. Revenues for the year to 30th November are expected to show a rise of more than 250%. Its Originals Network is expected to grow strongly in 2018, with 15 new podcasts due to be launched.

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WPP Uppish And Downish And Flat

WPP plc WPP has seen a steady decline since the beginning of the year and the third quarter saw results which managed to be up and down at the same depending on which currency they are in. The year started with first quarter rises in sales and revenue of 4.8% and 3.6% respectively and ending in the third quarter with sales up by 0.9% and revenue down 1.1% on a like for like basis. For the nine months as a whole they were still up and down with revenue on a constant currency basis down 0.9% and constant currency sales up 1.7% or down 0.7% on a like for like basis.  Not surprisingly the forecast for the year is that it will be neither up nor down but flat.

Croda International CRDA constant currency sales grew by 4.4% for the third quarter to the end of September and by 4% for the year to date. Strong sales in personal care  rose by 5.7%  and helped to build on the first half recovery whilst geographically Latin America remained challenging but North America, Europe and Asia grew by 8%, 7% and 6% respectively.

Weir Group WEIR expects to see strong growth in constant currency revenues and profits for the full year. Strong order growth continued into the third quarter with a rise of 21% headed by oil and gas which leapt by 59% Operating profit however will be slightly lower than previously indicated.

Plus 500 PLUS believes that full year results will be ahead of market expectations after a record third quarter which saw revenue up by 50% and new customers by 69%. Over the nine months to date the revenue rise was 29%

Earthport EPO The Chairman claims that 2017 was a good year with the loss after tax rising by 58% but adjusted gross profit up by 30% and adjusted EBITDA loss down by 58% thus establishing a solid platform for growth.

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Corporate news review Monday 24 July 2017

Cranswick CWK – reports a positive start to the current financial year, with 3-month revenues to June 30 up 27%, while net debt of £18m is down £4m on this time last year. The board is confident in both outlook and continued long-term success and development of the business.

Earthport EPO – FY revenues are up c33% to £30.3m, with a adjusted EBITDA losses reduced by c65% to £2.4m Group cash balances at June 30 stood at £11.9m vs. £14.4m this time last year.

Mortice MORT – reports a 36.7% hike in FY revenues to $181.01m, with EBITDA up 114 % to $10.3 m. Following the pacing last December, Mortice reports net debt of $13.5m and balance sheet flexibility to pursue growth opportunities.

Ryanair RYA – Q1 results: CEO Michael O’Leary said the 55% increase in PAT of €397m was distorted by the absence of Easter in the prior year Q1. Highlights include: Traffic up 12% to 35m, load factor +2% to 96%, Av fare up 1% to €40.30, unit costs down 6%, €200m+ returned to shareholders via share buybacks and 397 B737’s in fleet at end of Q1.

Petra Diamonds PDL – issues a FY 2017 trading update and reports an 8% increase in FY production to 4.0 Mcts, with revenue up 11% to $477m. PDL reports year end cash of $205m, vs. $46.1m this time last year, and with Capex now in decline, debt levels will start to fall, expects to become free cashflow positive during FY 2018.

SThree STHR – reports encouraging H1 with accelerated momentum in Q2. Operating profits grew 26% year on year to £19.m, and the group reports a strong financial position with net cash of £5.2m, vs/ £4.4m debt this time last year. Says the macro-economic environment remains uncertain.

Reckitt Benckiser RB. – reports half-year net revenue of £5,017m, down -1%. The results include half a month of trading from Mead Johnson Nutrition, acquired on 15 June. RB CEO says the FY net revenue target of +2% LFL growth is a challenging target amid tough market conditions, and there is work to do on addressing the full implications of the recent cyber-attack.

W.H. Ireland WHI – reports a 24% increase in H1 revenue to £14.9m, with pre-exceptional operating profits of £0.4m. WHI remains optimistic about the outlook for the second half of 2017 and the foundations for future growth into 2018.

Severn Trent Lost For Words

Image result for severn trent logoSevern Trent SVT  Expects net Customer Outcome Delivery Incentive Rewards ODI will be ahead of previous guidance for 2016 -17 and will meet or exceed last years level.  This must be a good thing because it follows a strong operational performance in the three months to 31st December. All fine and good but what does it mean. Presumably  another highly paid executive will have to waste his time issuing an explanatory RNS so that the rest of the world can understand todays.

Image result for ocado logoOcado Group OCDO enjoyed robust trading in its core business during the year to 27th October and was voted best online supermarket for the second consecutive year. A double digit rise in revenue with growth of 14.7% compared favourably to the limited growth shown by the grocery market generally. Profit before tax rose by 21.8% but profit after tax was up by only a smidgeon at 1.7%. Net debt grew by 30% during the year and external net debt rose eight fold to £56m.

Image result for sse logoSSE plc SSE is on target to meets its first financial objective of an increase the full year dividend at least in line with RPI. It experienced volatile market conditions in the third quarter to 31st December and in the first nine months of the year renewable energy output fell 20% below a normal year because of still and dry weather conditions.

Image result for earthport logoEarthport EPO expects revenue to have increased by 35% for the six months to 31st December, following a rise of 80% in transaction numbers and 96% in payment volumes.

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