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Ian Pollard – Halford #HFD management challenged by Retail environment

Halfords Group plc HFD found itself facing a challenging retail environment in the year to 30th. March which is Boardspeak for “we lost the plot a bit”. Like for like revenue rose by 2% and total revenue by 3.7%. but profit before tax fell by 5% and basic earnings per share wee down by 2.3% which was not sufficient to prevent a 3% rise in the full year ordinary dividend. As for the current year, the motoring market is expected to remain robust and there are good growth prospects for cycllng.

Cranswick plc CWK delivered a strong financial performance across each of its four product categories in the year to 31st March and the full year dividend is to be increased by 21.8% to 53.7p. Like for like revenue rose by 12.7% and export sales surged by 30.2%. Statutory profit before tax increased by 13.5% and like for like earnings per share  by 11%.

Pets at home Grp PETS claims to be back on a better footing after a drop of 16.6% in statutory profit before tax for the year to 29th March. . Group like for like revenue grew by 5,5% as against 1.5% for 2017. The total dividend is maintined at 7.5% and the new Chief Executive is both proud and excited to be taking over and sees a bright future ahead.

Entertainment One Ltd eOne reports another year of double digit growth in profits and earnings..Despite a 4% drop in revenue for the year to 31st March, adjusted profit before tax was up by 11%  (or 116% on a reported basis) and  the full year dividend is being increased from 1.3p per share to 1.4p. eOne claims that its market has now changed and customers, with the exception of sports vents, want to watch what they want, where they want and when they want. It believes that its three pronged strategy of connect, create and deliver, will drive rvenue and ABITDA growth.

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Ian Pollard – Entertainment One Sees Revenue Jump By 50%

Entertainment One ETO reports that reported revenues for the year to 31st March are expected to be 50% higher than in the previous year, following a robust performance which saw the the strong first half continue into the second half of the year, with Film getting a special mention for its strength in he second half.The closure of Toys RUs in the US and the UK is expected to have some impact on its brands but it is not expected to be significant.

Next Fifteen Communications NFC is to increase its dividend for the year to 31st January by 20% after another good year saw revenue and earnings at record levels. Revenue rose by 15% and adjusted profit before tax by 21%. The year benefited from strong organic growth and well executed acquisitions, although there was some negative impact from the relative strength of sterling.. Another good year is expected for 2018.

Collagen Solutions plc COS Revenues for the yer to the end of March have been materially impacted by delays in contract discussions with  new customer and will not now meet expectations. The problem has been exacerbated by the first half product delays for other customers. The outcome is that revenue for the year is expected to fall from 3.9m. to 3.5m.and the loss for the year will be greater than expected because of the lower revenue, plus the costs of the proposed restructuring of the New Zealand operations. The overstocking situation with a Korean customer means that the current year will be challenging but despite this the company aims to be cash flow positive in the final quarter.

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Ian Pollard – The Poles Are Doing Well Back Home

Kingfisher KGF Third quarter sales illustrate the problems facing many European high streets. The UK & Ireland did reasonably well with a rise of 1.5% on a like for like and constant currency basis although this was only possible because of a 10.2% rise at Screwfix. France, Russia and Spain performed badly and the only bright spot was Poland with a gain of 6% but that was perhaps to be expected now that all those Polish plumbers and plasterers have left the UK and gone back home  for a better life. Overall the total result was a decline in sales of 0.5%. Let us hope that this is not a harbinger of things to come as the internet takes over.

CRH plc CRH the 9 months to the end of September saw the continuation of underlying growth in the Americas, although this was impacted by adverse weather. Positive momentum in Europe continued with a 2% rise in sales but Asia was bad news with the first halfs decline in sales rising by 50% in quarter 3 to 12%. Like for like EBITDA in Asia slumped by 45% whilst the rest of the world only managed a tiny rise of 2%. Once again the Poles came up trumps with cement volumes well ahead of 2016.

Entertainment One ETO claims strong and robust first half results with last years loss of 2.5m being wiped out and replaced with a reported profit before tax of 0.8m. Revenue was stable and on an adjusted basis, profit before tax rose by 53%.

Halma HLMA produced record revenue, profits and dividends in the six months to the 30th September, with both statutory profit before tax and earnings per share rising by 18%. Revenue was up by 15% with growth in all major regions and sectors. The interim dividend is to be increased by 7%

Homeserve HSV is increasing its interim dividend by 15% for the half year to the 30th September after good rises of 17% in EBITDA and 13% in adjusted operating profit. Strong momentum continued in North America and there was further growth in France & Spain

Big Yellow Group BYG is increasing its interim dividend by 13%  in line with adjusted profit before tax, after a good first half performance and a rise in like for like revenue of 6%


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Corporate news review Wednesday 27th September 2017

boohoo.com BOO reports adjusted interim EBITDA up 68% at £27.8m on revenues up 106%. BOO has a strong balance sheet with net cash of £119.2m and raises FY guidance.

Defenx DFX reports increased H1 operating losses of €1.31m (1H16: €296,000) on revenues up 35% to €3.13m. DFX says there may be an adverse effect on revenues and profits in the short term, but remains confident that it has the right strategy to maximise revenues and profits in the medium and long term.

Entertainment One ETO anticipates FY financial performance will be in line with management expectations with a similar H1/H2 weighting to FY17. EBITDA is anticipated to be around 1.2x at the end of the FY18 financial year, in line with guidance given when the Group reported its FY17 full year results.

Hotel Chocolat Group HOTC reports FY revenues up 12% at £105.2m, with underlying EBITDA up 32% to £16.3m. PBT rose 100% to £11.2m driven by strong sales growth across retail, digital & corporate channels. Given the encouraging performance of retail and internet channels, along with the pipeline of opportunities ahead, the group are confident of further growth.

Halma HLMA says it has made good progress in line with expectations. Cash generation was good and the Group’s financial position remains strong.

PZ Cussons PZC says despite tough trading conditions in Q1 it remains on track to deliver full year growth in operating profits with performance underpinned by a robust and innovative product pipeline and tight control of costs.

Aveva Hikes Dividend As Profits Collapse

AVEVA AVV  The final dividend for the year to 31st March is being hiked by 20% after a 46% collapse in profit before tax. This fairly logical step follows revenue for the year to 31st March declining by 3% and basic earnings per share falling by 51%. Aveva would have us believe that this superb performance is due to strong customer relations, the strength of its business model and its disciplined approach to efficiency. Those of us who are still on planet earth, may have their doubts.

Entertainment One ETO is increasing its final dividend for the year to the end of March by 9%, in line with the rise in reported profit before tax. EBITA was up by 20% but diluted earnings per share fell by 23%. TV & Family enjoyed strong organic growthFilms was weak with revenue down 7% and underlying EBITDA down 28%. The Film division is to be punished with a wide ranging restructuring programme. Despite Films problems, the company is still on track to double the size of the business by 2020.

De La Rue DLAR Seems to have benefited from the disposal of its loss making bits and pieces which has helped to make the figures from the remaining bits and pieces look better. Like for like figures for the year to 26th March show revenue up by 7% and underlying profit up by 2% or 35% if you prefer your profits on a reported basis. It expects to be able to mitigate the ending of a material contract and one positive sign is that the 12 month order book is up by 62%. It has not quite got its head round the fact that “a10% net headcount reduction” means a10% reduction in the number of headcounts and not in the number  of heads but we know what they are trying to say even if they have not quite got the English to say it correctly.

Topps Tiles TPT continues its recovery with profit before tax up by 11% and earnings per share by 12.2% for the half year to the 2nd April. Like for like revenue grew by 4.7% and the second half has started even more strongly with like for like sales up by 8.4% in the first seven weeks.

The interim dividend is to be increased by 33.3%.

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