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Countryside Properties CSP The half year to the 31st March saw excellent progress and robust trading in all regions. After strong growth the interim dividend is to be increased by 24% with reported revenue rising by 14%, operating profit by 19% and basic earnings per share by 23%.
National Grid plc NG produced a strong operational and financial performance for the year to the 31st March On a statutory basis profit before tax rose by 24% and earnings per share by 116%. On an underlying basis the figures were 4% and 3% respectively. Medium term growth is expected to beat the top end of the 5-7% range.
Royal Mail plc RMG With parcel volume the best in four years and a resilient letter performance, the year to the 25th May was another successful one for Royal Mail, despite a challenging environment., Revenue rose by 2% and profit before tax edged up from £559m. to £565m. whilst basic earnings per share rose from 41.1p to 45.5p. The dividend for the full year is to be increased by 4%.
Experian EXPN put in a strong finish to the year with fourth quarter total revenue growth of 12% or on a like for like basis, 8%. The strong performance came despite profit before tax falling by 7% which is deftly transformed to a rise of 7% at actual benchmark rates, enough to justify a 10% rise in the second interim dividend.
Thomas Cook Group TCG The half year to the 31st March saw like for like revenue rise by 5% and following a strong airline performance coupled with a reduction in net finance charges the seasonal winter loss before tax was improved by 16m. Summer demand is strong with bookings up by 13%.
Churchill China CHH is making good progress in the current year, with trading since March ahead of last year. Further progress is being made in both export markets and in the UK.
Card Factory CARD produced sales growth of 6.7% in the 9 months to the 31st October fuelled by the opening of 38 net new stores, bringing the UK total to 903 and with more to come during the final quarter. The strong first half sales performance has continued into quarter 3 but profits will be impacted for the rest of the year by foreign exchange pressures and by having to pay a living wage to its employees! Not many companies are so brazen or clueless as to admit that paying a living wage is a problem. Presumably back to Victorian times and the problem may be solved – but how many could then afford to buy cards and how many card shops were there festooning the high streets. If the country saw widespread wage reductions to help companies cope with so called pressures, the Card Factory could be closing shops, not opening new ones.
Barratt Developments BDEV Updates in advance of today’s AGM that it has made a strong start to the new financial year with forward sales up 8.4% between the 1st July and the 12th November, helped by good market conditions and the wide availability of attractive mortgage finance. 2018 is expected to produce a good operational performance.
Experian EXPN is on course to deliver stronger organic revenue growth as the year progresses and after a first half produced revenue and EBIT growth of 5%. On a statutory basis profit before tax for the six months to the 30th September fell by 7% and basic earnings per share by 15%. The first interim dividend is to be increased by 4%.
Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ announces that it has ordered 146 Airbus A320neo aircraft worth $17.2bn at current list prices. Deliver is to start in 2022 and will enable Wizzair to extend its market reach beyond Europe and to make further reductions in operating costs.
TalkTalk Telecom TALK is slashing its interim dividend by over 50% after managing to turn last years first half profit of £30m into a statutory loss before tax of £75m this year meaning that it will only be able to pay shareholders 2.5p per share instead of last years 5.29p. Statutory revenue fell from £902. to £856m but the company has now produced its third consecutive quarter of growth, so things may be on the mend.
Experian EXPN produced revenue growth of 6% in the quarter to the 30th June. On an organic basis the growth was 4% and for business to business on an organic basis it was a sturdy 7%. But Experian is yet another company producing appalling figures for the UK which suffers more and more from the devastation wreaked on the country by politicians who regard a weak currency as the greatest benefit they can give to the nation and deliberately pursue policies aimed at destroying the value of the pound. Revenue in the UK & Ireland fell by 13% during t he quarter and even at constant exchange rates there was a decline of 3%.
Royal Mail RMG CEO Moya Green believes that a 1% revenue rise in the three months to the 25th June can fairly be described as “another strong performance” in GLS. Total letter revenue fell by 4% but she remains silent as to whether that is weak or strong. Parcels did better with revenue up by 3% on volume up by 5%. Star performer was Royal Mail Tracked Services with growth of 39%. Despite miserable figures in some areas, she claims that the overall trading performance for the quarter was good.
Dairy Crest DCG Volume sales for Dairy Crests four key brands in the quarter to 30th June are 7% ahead of last year, Cathedral City leading the way with a rise of 15%. There is a cloud on the horizon in the form of increased input costs, which have increased substantially for the butter business and led to a reduction in the promotion of Country Life in order to try and save money. Overall however trading for the quarter has been in line with expectations.
Ideagen plc IDEA is increasing its final dividend to 0.142p per share making a total increase for the year of 15%. Revenue for the year to 30th June rose by 24%, profit before tax by 22% and underlying organic growth by 10%. Trading since the year end has been robust with strong demand from new customers.
Alliance Pharma plc APH Sales in the six months to the end of June grew by 8% with help from a weak pound adding £2.6m part of which was offset by higher import costs. The cp,[any’s international growth brands have been successful with sales growth of 50% or more.