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Ian Pollard – Fastjet #FJET fights to survive as losses fall

Fastjet FJET expects to become cash flow positive in the second half of 2018 which if it does will give the lie to the rabid and gleefull forecast of a speedy demise announced earlier in the week by one Tom Winnifrith who used to try and earn a living in the Isle of Man.The year to the 31st December saw the operating loss fall by 61%, load factor up by 17% and costs down by 48%. It restructured its operations, which it certainly needed to, in a relatively short space of time. It realigned its network, withdrew from loss making routes, reconfigured its fleet and significantly reduced its cost base. A major milestone was the purchase of the brand from easy Group. It is still Africa’s leading low cost airline.It also announces this morning a proposed capital raising of not less than US$10m

Serco Group SRP updates that profits are now beginning to grow as part of its five year strategy and first half underlying trading profit is expected to increase by about 20% at constant currency rates. The order book continues to be strong and 80% of orders will come from outside the UK. Full year revenue however, is expected to be down largely due to contracts ending in 2017.

Nighthawk Energy HAWK The demise of the company draws close with the approval of the US bankruptcy court to the sale of the company’s assets for US$18m. after which it will be wound up. Nothing is available for shareholders.

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Lloyds – The UK Economy Is Resilient

Lloyds Banking Group LLOY produced a strong financial performance in the nine months to the 30th September with profits improved on both an underlying and on a statutory basis. Underlying profit rose by 8% and total income by 6%. The improvement continued into the third quarter which saw income rising by 8%. Statutory profit before tax over the nine months rose by 38%, the overall performance no doubt being helped by what the bank describes as a resilient UK economy and Brexit not even getting a mention.

Metro Bank MTRO also reports a strong third quarter with record customer growth of 33% compared to the previous year and a 77% rise in underlying quarter on quarter profits. Revenue increased by 113%. The Banks presence is no longer limited to central London as it takes what it calls its revolution in banking out into the high streets of suburban England.

Nighthawk Energy HAWK has seen a steady but significant decline in both gross and net production during the first nine months of the year. Gross production fell from 373,146 barrels in the first nine months of 2016 down to 317,445 barrels this year. On a net basis the fall was from 305,153 barrels last year down to 236,864 in the first nine months of the current year. Work has been suspended on the preparation of a circular about share payment options for deferred interest and royalties which will now revert to being paid in cash whilst the company assesses its restructuring options.

Defenx plc DFX  Results for the year to 31st December are now expected to be materially below market forecasts to such an extent that a loss is expected, mainly due to weak management. Reasons for the turn round include previously anticipated orders are unlikely to be recognised in 2017, updates to address “certain performance issues” are taking longer than expected and the broadening of the product portfolio is also behind schedule. Steps are being taken to strengthen the executive management team.

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