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Ian Pollard – Primark Like For Like Sales Fall

Associated British Foods ABF updates that the outlook for the year to the 15th September remain unchanged. Strong profit performances from Primark, Grocery, Agriculture and Ingredients are expected to more than offset the adverse effect of lower EU sugar prices. Grocery revenues are expected to be ahead of last year and adjusted operating profitshould be well ahead. At Allied Bakeries, some progress has been made in reducing the operating loss.It looks like the glory days at Primark  may be coming to an end with a 2% fall in like for like sales expected, although in the UK full year sales  are expected to be 5.5% ahead at constant currency rates or 6% at actual  rates following a significant increase in market share.

RPC group plc RPC has announed that it notes the recent media speculation and confirms that preliminary discussions are taking place with each of Apollo Global Management and Bain Capital which may or may not result in an offer for the Company.

HydroDec Group plc HYR The introduction of a new senior management team came too late to stop losses escalating for the six months for the 30th June:  The overall loss for the period increased to US$3.3 million compared to last years US$2.6 million due to under performance from discontinued Australian operation. There has however been a strong start to the second half and the new management is excited bout what lies ahead.

ABCAM PLC ABC is increasing its annual dividend by 17.9% after revenue for the year to the 30th June increased by 7.4% on a reported basis and 10.7% on a constant exchange rate basis.Reported  profit before tax rose by  grew 33.1% to £69.1m and whilst on an adjusted basis the increase was 26.3% to £81.6m. The company met all its strategic targets during the year and says that the long-term market outlook remains positive with good momentum across the business.

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Barclays Third Quarter Nightmare

Image result for barclays logoBarclays plc BARC suffered a nightmarish third quarter but claims it was part of an industry wide trend. It has had to admit that it is not delivering the economic performance of which it is capable but claims it has the confidence to assert that it will start to do so in 1919 -20. As for the quarter to the 30th September it produced a 19% rise in profit before tax driven by a £932m. reduction in costs but the good news ends there. After producing basic earnings per share of 9.6p in the third quarter of 2016 it managed to turn that into a basic loss of 3p per share this year. Group attributable profit for the third quarter of 2016 was a healthy £1,524m. This year it plunged to a loss of £628m.

And as for what it claims are industry wide trends, it is noticeable that only yesterday, Lloyds seemed not only to have escaped them, it did not even give them a mention in its 3rd quarter report.

Image result for national express logoNational Express NEX continued to deliver strong growth in the quarter to the end of September, especially in the international division. Group revenue rose by 6.4% (4.8% at constant currency rates). North America accelerated growth rates to 13.7% and in September there was a particularly strong performance from UK Bus and Coach.  German Rail passenger numbers grew by only 1% but the revenue they produced rose by 20.7% at constant currency rates.

Image result for bodycote logoBodycote BOY Group revenue rose by 16.8% or 12.9% on a constant currency basis for the quarter ending on the 30th September. Organic growth was 9.1% on the same basis. The car and light truck market continued to grow and was particularly strong in Western Europe and emerging markets, with western Europe leading the way in industrial growth.

Hydrodec HYR claims it is making further strong progress with strong demand ensuing as the quality of its products becomes recognised. Third quarter group EBITDA was positive and the expectations are that this year, for the first time in its history, it will deliver positive EBITDA for the full year.

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Cropper Delivering Potential At Last

Cropper James plc CRPR is to increase its dividend by 27%, from 9.3p per share to 11.8p, for the year to 1st April. With higher sales in every division, profit before tax rose from £3.9m to £5.6m. The Chairman described it as something of a watershed year for the company which has now started to deliver its long awaited potential.

Molins MLIN Order intake in all parts of the business during the half year to 30th June has been ahead of last year. Excluding the Instrumentation and Packaging Machinery division which is to be sold, order intake has been considerably ahead of last year.

Northgate NTG proposes to increase its final dividend for the year to the 30th April by to 11.6p per share making a rise for the year of 8%. The results have been impacted by the lower number of vehicles on hire in the UK and by the change in vehicle depreciation rates which cost £5.7. set off almost exactly by foreign exchange benefits of £5.2m. The outcome of these was a fall in profit before tax from £77.6m. to £72.2m. Spain produced a strong commercial performance but the problem was a weak second half in the UK whew closing vehicles on his fell from 42,400 to 39,500

Zoo Digital Group ZOO saw revenue rise by 42% in the year to the 31st March and after a strongly improved performance in the  second half. Last years loss of $0.5m. was turned into a profit of $1.5m and EBITDA rose substantially from $0.2m to $1.8m, The improvement has continued into the new financial year

Hydrodec HYR expects first half revenues to the end of June to show growth of about 12 % over the first half of 2016m, with positive EBITDA replacing a $1.1m. loss, after growth in transformer oil sales of 58%. Further growth and a continuing improvement in margins is expected throughout the year.

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Cloth Caps, Whippets and Forelocks

From the Daily Mirror

In the absence of very much company news, the main story this morning must be the Prime Minster’s sudden realisation that the working class is alive and kicking. So, she is actually off slumming it to the North East with the intention of finding it and meeting some of its members, so that she can explain that they have been deserted by Labour. No doubt sales of cloth caps will have boomed as these relics of Victorian times don appropriate dress, rehearse the long forgotten practice of forelock touching and stuff their best whippet down their trouser leg.  Reet lads whippets out and off back down the shipyards to check on the rust.

It just goes to show how mislead we have been about what was supposed to be a classless Britain. What a picture it portrays of our Prime Minister, her ignorance and her real attitude to the plebs. What an admission of how out of touch she is. She must be one of the few person in the country who believe that the working class not only still exists but votes Labour as well.

Has she has forgotten that Harold McMillan abolished  the working class some 60 years ago and in so doing created a new modern Tory party. Do those living in the Tory heartland really look down on those who earn a living by getting their hands dirty. Theresa May lis completely out of touch even with her own party. More idiocy like this and she will make Jeremy Corbin look competent and throw away her chances of remaining Prime Minster after the election.

And now for a bit of business news.

Hydrodec HYR revenue for the year to 31st December grew by over 100% as the Canton plant was fully recommissioned.  At the same time administrative expenses fell by 44%. The result was that in quarter 4 the group became EBITDA positive, a trend which is expected to continue throughout the current year. The overall loss for 2016 fell sharply from $31.1m to $7.8m

Filtronic FTC Fourth quarter trading has been ahead of management expectations and group revenue for the year to the 31st May is now expected to reach £35m.

Gemfields GEM admits to mixed results for the quarter to 31st March, in a market where demand for coloured gemstones continued to increase and the sector itself, strengthened. Exceptionally heavy rainfall was only partly to blame. Lower production at Kagem and Monetpuez was a problem. Production of ore and Beryl and Emerald stones in the March quarter was the lowest for nearly two years and lower even than Decembers figures.

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RWS Becomes A Major Global Player

RWS Holdings RWS After a strong first half performance, record revenues of not less than £76m are expected for the six months to 31st March, a rise of 33% on 2016. Adjusted profit before tax is expected to show a rise of 36.7%. Following the acquisition of LUZ in February, integration of which has proceeded smoothly, RWS is now a major force in Life Sciences and a premier global supplier of intellectual property support services. This makes it an attractive home for niche companies specialising in these fields. Further expansion and further progress are expected during the remainder of the year.

The share price has risen by over 50% since May 2016 and now stands at 340p.

WH Smith SMWH is increasing its interim dividend by 9%, after what it calls a good first half in which group revenue remained flat but group trading profit rose by 5% and earnings per share by 7%. Travel was particularly strong with a like for like sales rise of 5%.

PageGroup plc PAGE produced a record first quarter with gross profit growth of 9.1%. Regional profits grew strongly on a world wide basis except for the UK which lagged way, way behind and actually managed  to produce a decline of 0.1%, all due it is claimed, believe it or not, to the uncertainties created by Brexit

HydroDec Group HYR First quarter revenue grew by 25% over quarter 1 2016, leading the company to believe that it will have achieved positive EBITDA. Further growth in both revenue and EBITDA is expected for the remainder of the year, as further progress is made in establishing the company as a profitable business.

Tricorn Group TCN benefited from an improvement in trading towards the end of the year with second half revenue up by 7.5% on the first half and 20% on the second half of 2016. The energy division was particularly strong and it is anticipated that adjusted profits before tax for the year to 31st March will now exceed market expectations.

D4t4 Solutions D4T4 expects that profits (excluding foreign exchange gains) will be ahead of current market expectations for the year to the 31st March. Software revenue and recurring revenues both showed strong growth with sales of Cerebrus rising by 48%. The company claims it is in robust shape.

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Filtronic Returns to Profitability

Filtronic FTC traded strongly in the first half and returned to profitability as revenue leapt from £4.5m to £21.6m and turning last years half time loss of £4.1m into a profit of £1.8m. Increased sales of its main antenna product, and strengthening of its Wireless sales team were responsible for the turnaround. The Chairman went overboard with praise referring not to the company’s growing opportunities  but to its growing opportunity pipeline so he has obviously done his bit by attending company speak classes.

Torotrak TRK warns of a material reduction in the mass market for its V charger in passenger cars following the recent shift towards electrification and the move away from diesel engines. This appears to mean that t he company is going to basically have to re-invent itself which includes managing its resources prudently and focusing on KERS. Engineering resources will have to be consolidated.

Hydrodec HYR   expects revenue from its core refining business to have risen by 100% for the year to the end of December following the recommissioning of its Canton plant which enabled the company to become EBITDA positive in the last quarter, a situation which is expected to continue throughout 2017. Utilisation of plant increased to 73% as unscheduled plant stoppages declined. Recent changes in the operating environment also impacted the company positively.

Pure Circle PURE has received the happy news that it has been removed by US Customs from the Withhold Release Order and can now resume sales to the US which represented a third of its annual sales.

YouGov YOU anticipates that trading will be ahead of expectations for the half year to the end of January, following strong revenue growth

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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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