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Ian Pollard – Significantly Distressed London Companies Surge 17%

Begbies Traynor BEG has published its Red Flag Alert for the second quarter of 2018, showing that 472,183 businesses were experiencing ‘Significant’ financial distress: at the end of June 2018, up 9% compared to last year. However the rate of increase is declining and has fallen 1% compared to the first quarter. The south of England was the worst affected area, with London being the worst performing region with a rise of 17% compared to last year. Begbies believes that after a poor first quarter we may now be seeing tentative signs of stability returning to the UK economy.

United Carpets Group UCG is pleased with its performance for the year to the 31st March, with like for like sales increasing by 3.2% and revenue up by 2.5% It is proposing to increase the final dividend from 0.275p. per share to 0.285p after profit before tax remained almost flat at £1.52m compared to £1.53m. It should be noted that since the year end, like for like sales have fallen by 1.6%.

FDM Group FDM produced what it decribes as a solid performance in the first half of 2018. Despite revenue for the six months to the 30th June growing by only 1% the interim dividend is being increased by 21% after rises of 12% and 17% respectively in profit before tax and basic earnings per share. It is anticipated that results for the full year will be in line with expectations.

Ascential plc ASCL The half year to the 30th June produced good organic growth with like for like revenue rising by 14% or 7% on a constant currency basis. Reported like for like operating profit fell from £32.2m. to £28.7m. but the interim dividend is being increased by 6% from 1.8p per share to 1.9p. Current trading is  in line with expectations for the full year.

Judges Scientific plc JDG expects the interim results for the half year to 30th June will show strong progress in revenues, EBIT and earnings per share.  The solid order book from the beginning of 2018 has enabled momentum from 2017 to be maintained, with currency movements having a positive impact.

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