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Corporate news review Friday 1st September 2017

Flybe Group FLYB announces the start of its alliance with Eastern Airways (UK) Ltd. The two have signed a joint revenue and risk sharing agreement, covering four Eastern aircraft, to fly existing Flybe branded routes from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester. These flights start today, and will significantly enhance connectivity in Scotland.

Ramsdens Holdings RFX updates on trading, and says the strong foreign exchange results, jewellery retail initiatives and strong gold price leads it to expect that interim and full year PBT will be significantly ahead of market expectations.

Rio Tinto RIO completes the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary Coal & Allied Industries Ltd to Yancoal Australia Ltd for a total consideration of $2.69bn. Under the terms of the sale, Rio may also receive an additional royalty linked to the coal price capped at $410m.

TechFinancials TECH reports a fall in interim group revenues of $6.97m (H1 2016: $9.86m), on gross profit down to $4.87m (H1 2016: $7.36m). Basic EPS decreased to a loss of $0.0109 from a profit of $0.0065 in H1 2016. CEO Asaf Lahav said the board anticipates that the remainder of this financial year “will continuing to be challenging within the binary options market until there is clarity surrounding the on-going regulatory consultations. “

Vertu Motors VTU provides a pre-close trading update and says since the 26 July AGM, it has continued to trade in line with the trends set out in that update and in line with market expectations.

boohoo Revenue Surges

boohoo.com BOO now expects full year growth to February 2018 will be about 60% and ahead of previous guidance for revenue growth by some 50%. Group revenue for the quarter to 31st May increased by 106%, or on a like for like basis by 78%

Auto Trader Group AUTO will have a happy band of shareholders today after news that it is increasing its final dividend to 3.5p per share making a total payout for the year of 5.2p compared to last years 1.5p. Profit before tax for the year to 31st March rose by 23% and basic earnings per share by 22%. and the company is confident after a number of years of strong growth that it will continue to meet its growth expectations for the current year. After a slump in July, the share price is virtually unchanged over the last 12 months.

Flybe Group FLYB expected  a small underlying loss before IT write downs for the year to 31st March. In fact after IT write downs the loss came in at £6.7m compared to 2016’s profit of £5.5m and more IT losses of around some £6m are still to come. However with a new CEO in place, FLYB claims that a platform for a sustainable future can now be built and a fleet reduction is planned for the coming winter. Group revenue for the year rose by 13.4% but load factor fell by 3% because of increased capacity for which there appears not to have been sufficient passengers. On a brighter note it is still the best UK airline for punctuality.

CMC Markets CMCX saw 5% client growth in the year to 31st March but the good news stops there as  clients traded less and spent less, producing an 11% fall in revenue per active client. The result is that profit before tax and earnings per share fell by 9% and net operating income by 6%. The number of trades declined by 6% and their value was 3% down. The dividend remains unchanged.

Best Of The Best BOTB is to pay a special dividend of 6.5p per share this month on top of the 1.4p per share ordinary dividend proposed for the year to 30th April. The company describes the results as solid with profit before tax rising by 42.7% and earnings per share by 41.6%. Revenue for the year was up by 7% and further growth is expected in the current year.

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Flybe Full of Grumbles

Flybe FLYB The airline industry is in for a rough time if Flybe’s grumbles are anything to go by. On the other hand reading todays update for the quarter to the end of March does read a bit like a management clutching at straws. It claims to have suffered from airline overcapacity, coupled with weak demand in an uncertain consumer environment and price competition from railways. to counter these problems it has reduced its year on year seat capacity growth to 10%.  Passenger revenue rose by 9.8% compared to 13.5% for quarter 3. The fleet will be reduced by the return of all 6 end of lease aircraft in the second half of the financial year. Summer trading is in line with expectations.

Alliance Pharma APH The integration of 27 products acquired in December 2015 from Sinclair Pharma has been completed without a hitch, effectively doubling the size of APH. Confirmation is provided by the results fore the year to 31st December which saw revenue and EBITDA both grow by 102%, with pre tax profit following suite at 103%. The final dividend is increased by 10% making the total rise for the year, also 10%. APH’s philosophy, with its “can do” approach, is to become the rising star of European specialty pharma. The directors intend to maintain a progressive dividend policy.

TUI Ag TUI expects at least 10% growth in underlying EBITA  for the current financial year. Winter revenue rose by 9% and customer numbers were up by 5%, with 97% of the winter programme sold. 48% of the summer programme has been sold so far, with revenue also up by 9% and customers by 4%

Johnston Press JPR saw sign of an improving trend emerge in quarter 4 which has continued into the new financial year, with a rise in the circulation figures of its key titles. for the year to the end of December adjusted revenue fell by 6% but with quarter 4 showing a rise of 1%, as the sector continued to suffer from revenue volatility and structural change. 2015’s statutory like for like profit before tax of £2.2m was turned into a loss of £300m for 2016 and basic earnings per share fell from 10p to a loss of 234p per share.

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Home Retail Still Clueless On Customer Overcharging

Home Retail Group HOME Having admitted that its Financial Services division had been overcharging customers on excess fees., has now discovered that the practice was far more widespread than had been initially discovered. There’s a sign of good strong management for you – it can’t even correct its mistakes properly. The result is that it may now have to make an additional provision of about £30m.

Despite this, in the 13 weeks to the 28th May Argos enjoyed its strongest sales growth for 2 years, despite poor weather and a deflationary price environment. Internet sales rose by 16%, the strongest quarterly growth for 3 years. Like for like sales rose by 0.1%

FlyBe Group FLYB After five years of losses FLYB has at last turned the corner and produced a reported profit after tax of £6.8m, compared to the previous years loss of £35.7m.  Passenger revenue in the year to 31st March increased by 8.2% and passenger numbers were up by 5.9%.  Seat capacity rose by 9.7% and 52 new routes were launched. Costs per seat fell by 4.2%.

Wincanton WIN Returns to the dividend lists with a payment of 5.5p per share for the year to the end of March which saw strong earnings growth and debt reduction. Underlying profit before tax and earnings per share rose by 12.4% and 13.3% respectively, whilst net debt was reduced by 31.4%. The CEO believes that the business is now on a strong footing.

Bellway BWY expects that full year housing completions will show a rise of at least 10% , leading to yet another record performance. Markets are robust, customer demand is positive and there is no sign of any effect from the pending referendum. The average weekly reservation rate is up by 8% and the forward sales position is strong.

Auto Trader AUTO  has celebrated the end of its first year as a public company with a dividend payment of 1p. per share making a total of 1.5p for the year. Revenue for the year to 31st March rose by 10%, reported operating profit by 27% whilst basic earnings per share were up from 0.85p to 12.67p. Net debt fell by some 40%

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