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TruSpine Technologies (TSP) has delayed the application for FDA approval of its Cervi-LOK spinal device for up to three months. This is due to a lack of testing time because of Covid-19. Computer modelling has enabled the company to make minor modifications, which widens the market for the device. A £250,000 cash injection is expected by 5 January.
Daniel Thwaites (THW) reopened its pubs in early July and up until the end of September sales were running at three-quarters of the previous year. Due to the lockdown in the first three months of the period, the interim revenues were 59% lower at £21.8m and the business moved into loss. Net debt was £66.6m at the end of September 2020. There are total borrowing facilities of £90m.
KR1 (KR1) has made two more investments. There is a $200,000 investment in Tidal Finance in return for 222,222,222.22 Tidal tokens. A further $200,000 is invested in HydraDX and the number of tokens has not been determined as yet.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has more than £1m of cryptocurrency and tokens with a further $127,000 of RIF tokens due to vest over 23 months.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has drilled 11 holes at the Specimen Hill prospect in Queensland. Gold/ copper/silver mineralisation was intersected in the first three holes. The other eight holes have similar characteristics.
Belvedere Leisure (BELV) has entered into an exclusivity agreement to purchase the 160 acre site known as Barnsoul Park in Dumfries and Galloway for £1.4m. The deal is subject to due diligence and 12 weeks after completion there are plans to install at least 28 lodges as part of an upgrade of the park. Bookings will be taken for June 2021 onwards if the deal goes ahead. In two years, there should be more than 150 lodges.
Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) has non-binding heads of agreement for the purchase of a 10% stake in Sweden-based Ridercam, which supplies mobile camera systems for theme park rides.
Gunsynd (GUN) says that Angold Resources has completed the acquisition of Federal Gold Corp and trading in Angold shares will begin on the TSX Venture Exchange on 31 December. Gunsynd owns 712,500 shares.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) has appointed Allenby Capital as its corporate adviser.
Applegreen (APGN) is recommending a €5.75 a share bid from the company’s founders, which values the company at €718.1m. The roadside convenience retailer floated on AIM in 2015 at 277p a share. Applegreen has 559 sites.
Coral Products (CRU) its core mouldings business at Haydock and Interpack to One51 ES Plastics for £7.9m. That is nearly as much as the current market capitalisation, while pro forma net cash is expected to be £6.6m. One51 acquired Straight in 2014. Coral will still own the Haydock freehold and the annual rent will be £300,000. The deal required shareholder approval because it is deemed to constitute a change of business. The remaining subsidiaries are Tatra Rotalac, which produces plastic extrusions and mouldings, and Global One Pak, which supplies lotion pumps and trigger sprays. They generated full year revenues of £5.4m and are profitable prior to central costs. Pro forma NAV is £13.6m.
Equatorial Palm Oil (PAL) has agreed to acquire Capital Metals for £15.8m. The company is raising £2.09m at 12p a share (following a 20-for-one consolidation). Capital has an interest in the Eastern Minerals project in Sri Lanka. There is a JORC resource of 17.2Mt with an average grade of 17.6% total heavy minerals. The Environmental Impact Assessment should be published soon. First production could be in 2022.
Hargreaves Services (HSP) has sold its remaining speciality coal stocks to its German joint venture company for £24m. Hargreaves will market the coal on the joint venture’s behalf for commission. There will be a £3m goodwill write-off, but the profit impact should be neutral.
Duke Royalty Ltd (DUKE) has exited its investment in IT firm Welltel (Ireland) for £15.4m. This represents an IRR of 27%. There have been follow-on investments in two other royalty companies. Duke has invested £3.1m in recreational vehicle parts wholesaler MRDB, which will use the cash to help buy vendor loan notes for £4.9m. Duke will own 30% of MRDB. Monthly payments will be £147,000. A further £1m has been invested in Irish insurance brokerage company BHPC.
IXICO (IXI) has secured a £3.4m contract to provide data analytics services for rare neurodegenerative condition, SCA3 (Machado-Joseph disease). This will last more than four years.
Driver Group (DRV) chairman Steven Norris has bought 46,000 shares at 53.5p each. He owns 293,062 shares.
Sutton Harbour (SUH) has purchased a 1.5 acre site to the east of Sutton Harbour. Two residential developments totalling 200 units are planned for the site. A planning application has been submitted for another residential and commercial development at Sugar Quay. The company has also gained permission for event pontoons in the harbour.
Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has not received a definitive offer and the board has decided to end bid talks. It has also failed to secure the cash it requires and KRE Corporate Recovery has been appointed to advise on alternatives, such as selling assets. There is a possibility that an administrator may be appointed.
TMT Investments (TMT) received $40.9m for its stake in CRM company Pipedrive Inc and this increases its cash to $42m. It will repay the shareholder loan of $3m.
Residential developer One Heritage Group (OHG) has raised £930,000 at 10p a share when it joined the standard list. This valued the company at £3m. The shares ended the week at 11p. The initial focus is north west England and One Heritage redevelops and refurbishes buildings and has a lettings operation. The company has a marketing network in Hong Kong and also sells developments to institutional investors.
Standard list shell Pineapple Power Corporation (PNPL) raised £1.3m at 3p a share. The focus is renewable and clean energy. The share price increased to 3.25p.
Construction and water infrastructure company nmcn (NMCN) says that its full year loss will be £16.5m. That includes £5.3m of prior year adjustments. There should be a small cash outflow. The one bright area is telecoms, where capital investment by clients increased. The order book is valued at £200m. Shore Capital has been appointed broker.
British Honey Company (BHC) says its hand sanitiser has generated revenues of more than £500,000 since late March. This helps to offset the reduction in sales of alcohol products. There is sufficient alcohol available for the company’s requirements for the rest of the year. British Honey has appointed finnCap as corporate adviser and joint broker with Stanford Capital.
National Milk Records (NMRP) increased first quarter revenues by 1% to £5.61m. The growth comes from testing revenues with other revenues declining slightly. The company remains positive about the prospects for the dairy sector. The supply chain is rebalancing following a drop in demand for milk from coffee shops.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that the total gold resources at the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania have increased to 1.454 million tonnes at 10.3g/t for 483,000 ounces of gold. This excludes any estimate for the upper section of the mine.
World High Life (LIFE) says the Love Hemp brand has increased online sales by 39% each month since January. The brand’s CBD products are being stocked by more retailers.
TechFinancials (TECH) has signed a separation agreement with the cofounders of Footies Ltd and it will own 100% of the business. The cofounders get the original source code from May 2019. TechFinancials is ending its B2B brokerage activities by 1 November.
Investment company Gunsynd (GUN) has consolidated 85 shares into one new share.
Adnams (ADB) has appointed Jenny Hanlon to replace Stephen Pugh as finance director, which is a role he has held for 16 years.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a NAV of 266.48p a share at the end of April. That represents a decline from 317.18p a share in the latest quarter.
Best of the Best (BOTB) has sparked another profit upgrade following its trading statement. finnCap has raised its 2019-20 by 27% to £3.8m.
IP investment company Tekcapital (TEK) increased net assets by two-fifths to $22.3m, which is equivalent to 35 cents a share. The biggest gain in value was for Guident, where nearly $7m was added to the valuation. Alternative salt developer Salarius and medical devices company Bellascura also generated good increases. Hi-tech eyewear developer Lucyd’s value fell by nearly $2m. Tekcapital recently raised £925,000 at 10p a share. This will be invested in portfolio companies.
Lower costs meant that ClearStar (CLSU) made a lower loss than expected in 2019. The background checks provider had net debt of $300,000 at the end of the year and this has increased to $1m. The year commenced with a record order book but there have been delays and reductions in volumes.
Genedrive (GDR) has raised £7m at 80p a share to finance the development of two COVID-19 tests.
Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) has launched FiltaShield, a COVID-19 sanitising services. It has also combined with a technology company to provide temperature screening devices.
VR equipment supplier Immotion (IMMO) has raised money for the second time this year. It has raised £1.35m at 2.5p a share, which is much lower than the 7.25p placing price in February.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) says that Bangladesh’s economic slowdown and disruption to supplies due to COVID-19 could hamper the fourth quarter of the year to June 2020. Even so, Beximco still expects to report annual sales growth.
ZOO Digital (ZOO) says that strong cash collections mean that it had cash of $700,000 at the end of March 2020. Demand for localisation services weakened at the end of March but demand is recovering.
Hargreaves Services (HSP) has conditionally exchanged contracts for a 79 acre plot on the Hatfield site in South Yorkshire, which will be used to develop a national distribution centre for a retailer. The company is trading in line with expectations other than in the property business, where planned land sales will not complete before the end of May as originally anticipated.
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) has been told by the CMA that it has to sell Footasylum. The formerly AIM-quoted footwear retailer was acquired last year. An appeal is being considered.
BATM (BVC) has launched an antibody test for COVID-19 and sales have begun to European countries.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) mined 319.2 bitcoin during April, down from 333.8 the previous month. The revenues were £1.8m in each month.
Next pc NXT Full price sales in the second quarter were up 2.8% on last year and ahead of the 1% expected at the time of the May update. Next believes believe that this over-achievement was due to the prolonged period of exceptionally warm weather, which greatly assisted sales of summer weight products.Expectations for the remainder of the current year to January 2019 are that full price sales will rise by 2.2%, earnings per share will grow by 3.7% and group profit before tax will be down by 1.3%. Full price sales for the 26 weeks to the 28th July were up by 4.5% compared to last year but therein lies the pending nightmare facing most of the major retail clothing retailers. Sales in retail stores declined by 5.3% whereas online sales rose by 15.5%, providing further proof,if proof were needed, that the high street is dying on its feet.
BAE Systems plc BA. claims to have made good progress in the half year to the 30th June and laid a strong foundation to deliver future growth. The interim dividend is being inceased by 2%. Despite the optimism, on a constant currency basis, sales fell 3% to 8.8bn. as a result of reduced Typhoon production, underlying EBITA was down 6% but underlying earnings per share rose by 2%. As defined in IFRS and on a constant currency basis revenue fell by 5%, operating profit was down by 11% and basic earnings per share by 17%
Direct Line Ins Group DLG with half year falls of 15.75% in operating profit and 13.9% in profit before tax, has decided that attack is the best form of defence and is increasing its interim dividend by 2.9%. It is also brave enough to put on its rose tinted glasses and describe these as a good set of results. Perhaps it is purely coincidence that the CEO has chosen this as a good time to depart after 10 years in office.
Hargreaves Services plc HSP After seeing like for like basic earnings per share fall from 17.8p to 3.8p and last years operating profit of 1.4m. tuned into a loss of 1.4m for the current year, the group describes its preliminary results as being “satisfactory”. With profit before tax falling from 4.7m to this years 500,000 it even tries to get its shareholders to accept that it is delivering against its strategic objectives. Hands up those who have doubts.
BT Group plc BT.A Todays announcement from BT that the Chief Executive is to make an unexpected and unplanned exit illustrates that the Board and the Chairman may have a problem which in turn illustrates that BT has a problem. The problem appears to be that the top management is confused and incapable of expressing itself logically. Reaction to recent results, bemoans the Chairman, has thoroughly demonstrated both to him and to the outgoing Chief Executive that there is need for a change of leadership to deliver the strategy set out by the Chief Executive and his team. So the Chief Executive is to go, whether stabbed in the back or falling on his sword, one know not but this is where the Chairman and the Board just tie themselves into knots. There is nothing wrong it appears with the Chief Executives strategy. It has the full support of the board says the Chairman “The Board is fully supportive of the strategy recently set out by Gavin and his team.”
So why has Gavin alone been selected for the chop. It does seem slightly illogical that the board should escape Scot free from the consequences of something to which it gave its full support. Sacrificial lambs, this way, please.
Games Workshop Group GAW has today announced a dividend of 30p per share, payable on the 27th July, as the sales and profit growth previously announced has continued to the and of the year on the 3rd June. Group profit before tax for the year is expected to be not less than 74m.
Hargreaves Services plc HSP updates that trading has been satisfactory during the year to the 31st May and results are expected to be in line with expectations.
Distil plc DIS Both sales volume and revenue continued to grow strongly across all channels during the year to the 31st March.Turnover and gross profit both rose by 23% and the company expects to build on its success during the coming year.
Galliford Try GFRD Has done the unthinkable, especially for a housebuilder which claims to have delivered a strong first half performance. It has not just tweaked its interim dividend, it has cut it by a hefty 13% The reason is of course perfectly natural. It wants to increase dividend cover to twice pre exceptional earnings. One of those exceptional items is £25.m lost through its relationship with Carillon.True, revenue did rise by 14% but profit before tax was down 11% and earnings per share 9%. Perhaps shareholders are hoping that the second half will not be quite as strong as the first half.
Sky plc SKY has won four packs of football rights covering 128 games from 2019 to 2022 and they have got away with paying 16% less than before for the so called privilege. Could this be the first sign that the allure of football has at last begun to fade as viewers get fed up watching grossly overpriced and overrated foreign players ducking, diving and brazenly cheating and fouling through 90 minutes of what used to be called sport. If the money continues to shrink may we eventually return to the days when we will see an English team with enough talent to enable it to start winning matches again.
Hargreaves Services HSP is another company to come unstuck in its first half with revenue for the six months to the 30th November falling from £170 .9m. to £150.3m. and earnings per share down from 0p to a loss of 4p per share. A tiny profit of 0.1m was also turned into a much bigger operating loss of 2.7m., results which were in line with management expectations. But the board stood by its shareholders in these difficult times and maintained its interim dividend at 2.7p per share.
Hargreaves Services HSP warned in December that the half time figures would be bad and they are. Although like for like revenue for the 6 months to 30th November fell by only 2.2%, like for like profit before tax was down by 75% and underlying diluted earnings per share by 95.7%. As is usual in these circumstances the Board decided that it would be wise to look after the shareholders and they have certainly done that with a rise in the interim dividend of of 58.8%. The share price has been strong since the end of October having risen by a maximum of 40%.
The Chairman says it is pleasing to see how much progress has been achieved in meeting the targets which the company set itself a year ago.
NEX Group NXG benefited substantially in quarter 3 from the high volatility and increase in trading activity which followed Trump’s election success. On the day after Trump’s victory BrokerTec enjoyed its second highest volume day on record. Average daily volume for quarter 3 in IS and EU repos rose by 8% and 11% respectively. Volatility in the dollar/yen saw average daily volume surge by 23%.
Group like for like 3rd quarter revenue rose by 11% on a constant currency basis but the arrival of the new year saw volumes become much more muted and NEX admits that it is too early to say that previous long term subdued market conditions have come to a permanent end.
Tracsis TRCS Group revenue for the half year to 31st January rose from £13.1m. to £15.5m. and both EBITDA and adjusted pre tax profit are expected to be slightly ahead. The second half should prove to be significantly stronger than the first half and full year revenue and profit are expected to be in line.
Animalcare Group ANCR reports a very strong first half, ahead of the boards expectations and the interim dividend is to be increased by 11.1%. Revenue for the 6 months to the 31st December rose by 12%. Reported operating profit was up by 23.5% and basic earnings per share by 23%. Exports led the way with export revenue rising by 37.7%
Hargreaves Services HSP updates that trading conditions in the six months to the 30th November have become more stable and a strong second half is expected, despite contract delays in the Industrial Services Division. Coal is becoming king again with profits from the UK coal division expected to exceed forecasts and be some £3m ahead of management expectations. The German coal distribution division is trading very strongly helped by price increases and recovery in its markets.
KOOVS plc KOOV Another six months of amazing growth is how Koov’s CEO, Mary Turner, describes the half year to 30th September. The interim loss before tax soared from last years £5.7m to £9.1m due to increasing investment in marketing and technology, whilst sales grew by 114%, active customers by 138% and website traffic by 132%
Hargreaves Services HSP went into meltdown in the year to 31st May leaving the total dividends for the year to be slashed by over 92%, as it went through a second successive year of tumultuous market conditions and almost a complete absence of demand for coal by UK power stations.Last years profit before tax of £24.9m was turned into a loss of £10.6m after like for like revenue declined by 48.6%. Net debt soared by over 3,000% to £32.3m
But, with true Yorkshire grit, Hargreaves has not given up. Fully aware of the problems it was facing, the company has now completed a restructuring and re-positioning programme enabling the Chairman to deliver a positive view of the future which he says, will develop and deliver significant shareholder value. The share price has been comparatively steady since mid May. Anyone for recovery??
Smiths Group SMIN expects revenue for the year to 31st July will be above both expectations and the previous year, due to a stronger operational performance and the favourable impact of a stronger US$, which has more than offset a10% decline in the John Crane subsidiary. Full year operating profit will also be above expectations but because of the John Crane problems will be below the level of last year.
boohoo.com BOO performed well during its first quarter and this has maintained with robust demand and sales momentum continuing into the second quarter. results for the full year will now be above expectations, says the company, with sales growth of between 28 and 33%.
Amec Foster Wheeler AMFW After turning last years first half profit of £73m into a thumping loss of £446m for the current year, Foster Amec has bowed to the inevitable and halved its interim dividend from 14.8p to 7.4p per share. The Chairman blames the very challenging conditions which have led to cancellations and delay in capital projects in many parts of the world.
Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has raised £10,000 at 0.25p a share following its announcement that it has bought a freehold property in Sunderland partly owned by Etaireia director Baron Bloom. The 11,000 square foot Ivy Leaf Club is generating income of £31,200 a year. Etaireia paid 210 million shares at 0.1p a share for the property. Baron Bloom and Oliver Fattal were issued 105 million shares each. There are plans to change the use of the property from a social club to residential/student accommodation. At 0.04p (0.3p/0.4p) a share, Etaireia is valued at £600,000.
Brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) has bought back 1.26% of its share capital for £862,500 (115p a share). Two directors have acquired a total of 115,000 shares at 115p each. Directors own 42.1% of the company.
LED lighting supplier Gowin New Energy Group Ltd (GWIN) says that convertible loan note holders owning the £250,000 worth of convertibles in issue have converted them into shares at 0.02p a share. The 125 million new shares are equivalent to 21.9% of the enlarged share capital. Tsai Cheng-Feng and Chao Chih-Feng each own 8.76% of the company and Dai Ming-Hsuan holds 4.38%. They did not previously own any shares.
Oil and gas explorer Nordic Energy (NORP) will not be able to publish its results in the allotted timescale so trading in the shares has been suspended. At the suspension price of 0.9p, Nordic is valued at £900,000.
Equatorial Mining & Exploration (EM.P), which still has plans to move to the lightly regulated standard list, has raised £360,000 from the issue of 8% unsecured, irredeemable convertible loan notes, with one warrant exercisable at 0.01p a share, attached to each of the 0.1p loan notes. There are 1.5 billion warrants in issue. The cash will go towards covering the costs of exploration in Nigeria and the expenses of the move to the standard list.
Facilities management services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) has won a major new contract with the University of Hertfordshire. Mortice’s recently acquired subsidiary already worked for this client but the new ten year deal is worth more than £55m. The previous contract was worth £1.8m a year. The new deal includes planned maintenance, grounds maintenance, pest control, cleaning and hygiene services. The deal followed a seven month tender process. The contract should be earnings enhancing, although Mortice will have to invest £1m over the length of the contract.
Yokogawa Electric Corporation has tabled a rival bid for KBC Advanced Technologies (KBC). The offer is 210p a share and values KBC at £180.3m. Yokogawa is involved in industrial automation and it believes that the consulting and software skills offered by KBC will fit with this business. Aspen Technology Inc says that it will not increase its 185p a share offer.
Health insurance products provider Personal Group (PGH) is losing Royal Mail as a client for its core business but it could gain additional business for its home technology salary sacrifice business Let’s Connect. Personal will not be selling any more medical insurance products to Royal Mail staff from March but existing clients will still be paying for insurance through payroll deduction until the end of March 2017. Payments will then move to direct debit, although clients could choose to stop paying. Let’s Connect is negotiating with Royal Mail. An initial contract is expected to last four years. Last year’s trading was in line with expectations helped by the full year contribution from 2014 acquisition Let’s Connect.
Richard Ames is stepping down as chief executive of hobbies and toys company Hornby (HRN) following its profit warning in the previous week. In the UK, a strong Christmas was followed by subsequent weak sales. International sales are starting to improve following a period disrupted by the reorganisation of management in Europe. Even so, this year’s loss will be worse than forecast and there will be a £1m write-off. The underlying loss will be up to £6m. There is a danger that banking covenants could be breached. Roger Canham will become executive chairman.
Scientific instruments supplier Judges Scientific (JDG) is acquiring Hampshire-based CoolLED, which supplies illumination systems for fluorescence microscopy, for £3.5m plus up to £1m more dependent on performance. Operating profit has to be £1m in the year to June 2016 for the full earn out to be paid. In the 12 months to September 2015, the underlying operating profit was £750,000. Judges already owns one of CoolLED’s main customers.
Coal and transport services provider Hargreaves Services (HSP) reported halved revenues from continuing operations in the six months to November 2015. Underlying pre-tax profit slumped from £20.3m to £3.2m and this led to the interim dividend being slashed from 10p a share to 1.7p a share. Net debt was £30.8m at the end of November 2015. Hargreaves is reducing its dependence on coal, although all divisions reported lower profit. Coal production lost money and stocks have increased. There is potential to generate cash from the property portfolio.
Transport optimisation software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) says that its revenues for the six months to January 2016 were more than £14m, up from £12m but profit will be lower due to acquisition costs and the disposal of the Australian traffic data operations. The seasonality of the acquisitions means that they will make a larger second half contribution. There was £8m in the bank at the end of January 2016.
Standard-listed cash shell daVictus (DVT) is seeking to acquire a restaurant or bar franchise business that is operating in south east Asia. Trading started on 29 January and the share price has settled down at 11.25p. Jersey-based daVictus raised £1m at 10p a share but £335,000 of that went on expenses. Prior to the flotation, chief executive Richard Pincock owned 1.25 million shares which was then the whole of the share capital. Non-executive director Malcolm Groat is an ex-director of London Mining, which is a former AIM-quoted company that was placed in administration.
Construction services provider North Midland Construction (NMD) says that it will still make a profit this year despite one-off losses. It has sorted out most of its problem contracts and this will lead to an additional loss of £3.1m in 2015. That means the profit will be lower than originally envisaged. There is one more problem contract to sort out. North Midland Construction has an order book for 2016 that is worth £195m, which is similar to 2014 revenues.
Creightons (CRL) has acquired equipment, stock and manufacturing IP of Broad Oak Toiletries from its administrator for £600,000. Broad Oak was also involved in toiletries contract manufacture and the deal could add up to £3.2m to revenues in a full year – the business had previously generated annual revenues of more than £19m. The product range will be expanded.
World Trade Systems (WTS), which has been a fully listed shell for well over a decade, has sourced a potential deal with Suzhou Weibao Investment Co Ltd, which is a supplier of biotech and healthcare products. Suzhou Weibao will transfer its business activities to a subsidiary of WTS and its founder Dr Shao Chen will join the WTS board. The business activities will commence on 1 March. Suzhou Weibao will loan WTS £1m, which will pay off other loans, including those from current WTS majority shareholder Kudrow Finance. Avalon Enterprises and JH Global are injecting £50,000 into WTS at 2p a share.
Passenger aircraft leasing company Avation (AVAP) increased its revenues by 14% to $31.5m in the six months to December 2015. However, pre-tax profit fell from $6.98m to $5.57m, even though this includes a $305,000 gain on an aircraft disposal, due to higher interest costs. The financial benefits of the new aircraft added to the fleet have yet to show through.
Folk2Folk, which is a lender focused on rural businesses, is planning to raise £1.5m through the issue of EIS eligible shares via Asset Match. Existing shareholders are raising £2m from selling existing shares. The offer price is £263 a share. This is a combined offer so investors will receive 57% existing shares and 43% new shares, which are eligible for EIS relief. The existing share capital is valued at £16m. Folk2Folk (www.Folk2Folk.com) has committed to make its shares tradable on Asset Match but this could take 12 months. Folk2Folk is a peer to peer finance business but it is an arranger and does not take the loans onto its balance sheet. Jane Dumeresque, is chief executive of Folk2Folk. She is a former finance director of fuel cells company AFC Energy and financial services firm Syndicate Asset Management, both quoted on AIM at the time. Minimum investment is £20,000.
Despite their best efforts Harold Wilson, Ted Heath, Kinnock, Blair, Old Uncle Tom Cameron and all did not manage to destroy completely the UK’s industrial base.It is still there, even if there were times when it looked like they may succeed and even if it is limited to the Barnsley- Sheffield triangle and a couple of Welsh valleys.
Firstly, Hargreaves Services (HSP) – Hargreaves, a name from the north, a name full of grit and determination. With a name like that it has to be in coal and steel and it is, at least for the next year or two. As with most things from the north it has fallen on hard times and has just slashed its interim dividend by 83% from 10p to a miserable 1.7p.
As if that were not enough, like for like profit before tax for the 6 months to 31st January is down by 94.7% and like for like revenue by 50.2%, all due to the widely reported pressures in the UK coal and steel markets.
Hargreaves however has a cunning plan, or two. Firstly it has built itself a range of exciting opportunities with its extensive property portfolio and over the next eighteen months it will be reducing further its exposure to steel and thermal coal.
The share price has naturally not been well and has lost 75% of its value, from a high of 886p, almost two years ago to the day, to its present 215p, which includes a 9% fall this morning.
Now for the modern. Pendragon (PDG) is not just the UK’s largest automotive retailer, it is its largest online automotive retailer and you can not get more modern than that.
Pendragon’s final dividend for the year to 31st December is being raised by 44% after another record breaking year, in which profit before tax rose by 22.3% and earnings per share by 19.4%. Despite that, its share price is well down, having fallen with some speed from a January high of 49p to 37p which includes a rise of a penny this morning. It just goes to show there is no pleasing those city chaps.