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Ian Pollard – Copper And Oil & Gas Recoveries Help Weatherly & Hardide

Weatherly International WTN saw a noticeable improvement in the copper price during the year to 30th June, since when they have improved even further and reached three year highs. Operating and environmental challenges during the year meant that production fell below target but the board is cautiously optimistic about prospects for the current year.

Hardide HDD. Sales for the year to 30th September soared by 51% and reached record levels as demand from the oil & gas market recovered. The recovery continued throughout the year with second half sales up by 14%. The annual loss fell to £0.74m. from the previous years £1.3m before exceptional items. There are further signs of  growth potential in the civil aerospace market and the company has gained full Aerobus Approved Supplier status for its UK site.

BAE Systems plc  BA has entered into a £5bn contract with the government of Quatar for the supply of 24 Typhoon aircraft, with delivery expected to start late in 2022. In service support and a training package are also included.

Marlowe  MRL Adjusted continuing  revenue rose by 104% in the half year to the 30th September and adjusted profit before tax was up by 90%. The company has a well developed pipeline of acquisition opportunities and is well positioned to continue to gain further market share.

Sosander plc SOS Trading from the 31st August to the end of November has exceeded management expectations. Following new funds raised in November the business now has significant momentum with the ability to acquire a wider and larger range of products and accelerate media and marketing activities.

Premaitha Health NIPT has further expanded its European customer base with the addition of four new laboratories which will be full installed early in 2018 with the expectations that they will perform over 9,000 NIPT tests per year across the whole of Europe, generating annual income for the company of over £1m.

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Vodafone Increases Dividend As Losses Rise

Vodafone VOD. My own personal experience is that Vodafone can not even operate its own internal phone systems properly so it is not much of a surprise to see that it has problems globally. Group revenue fell by 4.4% for the year to the end of March, the loss for the year rose by 18.7% and the basic loss per share rose by 11.2% all of which were celebrated with a 2% increase in the interim dividend despite a rise in the company’s debt.

The groups explanation is that foreign exchange movements were primarily responsible for the loss, it faces increased regulatory headwinds but as signs of hope for the future, adjusted like for like earnings per share grew by 17% and organic EBITDA by 5.8%.

Crest Nicholson CRST reports that the housing market continues to be robust with mortgages easily available and government support in the shape of the Help to Buy scheme showing no sign of ending. Unit sales growth of about 10% is expected for the year to the 31st October, although sales per outlet in the first half are expected to show a fall from 0.87 to 0.81. As a result of investment in higher quality land, average selling prices have increased (what a surprise). It was expected that unit completions in the first half would fall and they did – from 1206 units to 1,064. As at the end of April forward sales were 5% ahead of last year.

Hardide HDD  First half revenue rose by 57% over last years first half and by 27% on the second half, as demand began to return from the oil and gas sector, which is still challenging and volatile. Sales to the sector rose by 115%. The company is still loss making but the EBITDA loss is down from £0.72m. to £0.43m. and the like for like group operating loss for the first half has fallen from £1.02m to £0.72m.

DCC PLC (DCC) after a strong year DCC is raising its final dividend for the year to 31st March by 16.3%, making a total increase for the year of 15%. Continuing revenue rose by 9%, leading to  a rise of 21% in total operating profit and 18% in earnings per share. The current year is expected to show further profit growth and development.

Zytronic ZYT After what appears to be strong all round growth, Zytronic is increasing its interim dividend by 10% for the half year to the 31st October.Basic earnings per share rose by 44%, group revenue was up from £9.9m to £11.3m. and profit before tax enjoyed a healthy jump from £1.8m to £2.5m. The second half of the year has started well, says the company.

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MP Evans Dividends Surge As Palm Oil Back In Favour

M.P. Evans Group MPE enjoyed an excellent 2016 and like for like profit for the year to 31st December more than doubled, rising from  from $7.8m to $16m. Total dividends for 2016 will follow suit with a rise from 8.75p in 2015  to 20p  (including a special dividend of of 5p per share) and even more is promised for current  year when total payments of 25p per share are expected. The board is said to be excited about the addition of significant new plantations.

The share price after steadily declining for a number of years, has recognised the transformation in palm oil prospects, rising from  415p in mid October, to todays 750p.

Homeserve HSV updates that it has had a very good year and expects that results will be at the upper end of market expectations. Customer growth in the UK was at a fairly modest 1% but in the US, there was significant expansion. The CEO is delighted with the company’s performance and promises that there will be further strong growth in the current year.

Electrocomponents ECM Expects that after a strong fourth quarter, results for the year to the 31st March will be ahead of previous expectations and headline profit before tax will be ahead of current market consensus. Revenue growth in quarter 4 accelerated to 8%. strong recovery was seen in North American and Pacific growth and a continuation of robust growth in Europe.But, both revenue and profits have benefitted from significant foreign exchange movements and additional trading days in 2017.

Hardide HDD First half sales to the Oil & Gas sectors have more than doubled compared to 2016 and overall trading is comfortably ahead of both first and second half performances in 2016..

easyJet EZJ March passenger statistics showed a rise of 10.6% over March last year and load factor grew further to 92.7% up 1.4% on a year ago.

Murgitroyd Group MUR enjoyed a strong third quarter with a 6% rise in revenue over the previous year, leading to a much improved trading perfrmance, ahead of revised internal forecasts.

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Hardide Management Fights Off Challenges

Hardide HDD Depressed demand in the oil and gas sector adversely affected performance in the year to the end of September with a rise in operating losses from last year’s £0.22m to £1.47m. But Hardide fought back and in the second half sales began to improve with a 25% rise over the first half, amid signs of a slow recovery in oil and gas. Sales of precision engineering surged by 126% over the previous year and there was also an increase in aerospace sales. For the first time ever, sales in North America exceeded those in the UK. For 2017 there is the promise of further improvement.

Eco Animal Health EAH  is increasing its interim dividend by 32% after a strong first half which saw revenue rise by 25%. Pre tax profits rose by 97% to £5.3m, adjusted EBITDA  by 46% and earnings per share by 61%. The second half year has started well and another set of strong results is forecast for 2017

Hydrodec HYR October saw the first overall positive EBITDA since the rebuild of the Canton factory was completed last year. October also record sales of refined oil from Canton, at 2.8m litres, with daily production records being beaten twice during the month. Operations are expected to be profitable in 2017.

Cohort plc CHRT is increasing its interim dividend by 16.0% after a rise in adjusted operating profit of 11% for the six months to the end of October and a strong order book standing at £129m. With 80% of those orders deliverable in the second half, it is expected that second half sales will be strong.

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