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Property investment company Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) more than doubled its interim profit. In the six months to October 2020, rental income was 7% lower at £3.22m, while pre-tax profit was 121% higher at £674,000. The profit improvement was due to lower interest charges, offset by a £200,000 write down on assets held for sale. Rent collections have exceeded 80% each quarter. There were £131,000 of rent concessions written off in the period. NAV is £32.2m. Net debt was £49.6m at the end of October 2020. Loan to value is 53%. There is no interim dividend.
Sativa Wellness (SWEL) plans to achieve UK FSA Novel Foods accreditation by the end of March. This will enable the company to sell CBD products under the Goodbody brand and white labels. An online store will be launched. It will also be completing the integration and simplification of the businesses. Management believes the company can become cash generative from operating businesses this year. Chief executive Henry Lees-Buckley has stepped down from the holding company board.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has resumed exploration at the Beaconsfield mine, which has 483,000 ounces of JORC compliant mineral resources.
Gunsynd (GUN) increased its stake in Rincon Resources to 17.3%. The company’s employee benefit trust is subscribing for 15 million shares at par and that will raise £12,750. That equates to a 3.7% stake.
World High Life (LIFE) raised £566,000 at 1p a share. First quarter revenues of Love Hemp were 13% ahead of the previous quarter.
Altona Energy (ANR) raised £523,000 at 6.5p a share, although £355,000 is still to be received. The cash will enable the company to complete due diligence on two rare earths mining projects in Africa and a move to the standard list. Two more possible acquisitions of rare earths assets are being negotiated.
Early Equity (EEQP) raised £243,000 at 0.5p a share.
Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) executive chairman has acquired 650,000 shares at 2.0308p each, which takes his stake to 6%. Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) chairman and chief executive Sir Henry Angest bought 3,161 non-voting shares in the financial services provider. He owns 56.1% of the voting shares and 64.9% of the non-voting shares.
Insolvency-related litigation firm Manolete Partners (MANO) has warned that the pipeline of new cases has slowed because of the government’s Covid-19 support for businesses. Case enquiries have fallen sharply, and this is expected to remain the case until the end of March at least. Manolete has already completed twice as many cases as in the year to March 2020. Gross cash collected from cases was £9.3m up until the end of December and the company’s share is £4.8m compared with cash overheads of £3.2m. Full year realised profit will be higher than expected but the increase in unrealised gains will not be as much as anticipated. There may be a small second half profit. Mithaq Capital took a 16.1% stake on the day of the trading statement. Three non-executives bought shares.
Ideagen (IDEA) increased its annual recurring revenues to £54.8m at the end of October 2020 with organic growth of 7%. The document management and compliance software supplier says that 83% of its revenues are recurring. It is on course to improve full year pre-tax profit from £14.3m to £17.2m.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) has completed a £3.5m fundraising at 5p a share. Dekel plans to spend £1.1m in cash and shares acquiring a further 16.7% of the raw cashew nut processing project in Tiebissou, Cote d’Ivoire. That will take the stake to 70.7%. The rest of the cash will fund the ongoing business.
Cloud-based PCI-compliant payment services provider PCI-Pal (PCIP) increased interim revenues by 56% to £3.2m. Total annual contract value has risen to £8.3m. Net cash was £2.1m at the end of 2020.
Beximco Pharma (BXP) increased interim revenues from £112.6m to £125.8m. Export sales were flat. Pre-tax profit increased from £15.5m to £19.4m. Beximco has received the first consignment of five million doses of the Oxford/ AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
CIP Merchant Capital (CIP) has rejected a potential 50p a share cash bid by Corporation Financière Européenne S.A. That compares with the last quoted NAV of 78.05p a share.
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing (BMY) continued to trade strongly with revenues ahead of expectations. Investec has upgraded forecast 2020-21 revenues by 4% and earnings per share by 19% to 14.1p a share, which is still down on last year. There should be net cash of £50m by the end of February 2021.
IT firm Triad Group (TRD) says that results in the second half will be well ahead of the same period last year.
Associated British Engineering (ASBE) has still not published its accounts for the year to September 2020. Management is considering opportunities that will help to get the share trading suspension lifted.
BWA Group (BWAP) has conditionally agreed to acquire share capital of a company with rights to five mining projects, predominantly in Quebec. The company is majority owned by Canadian Stock Exchange listed St-Georges Eco-Mining Corp and the total cost of the deal is C$7.5m (£4.3m). This will be paid in unlisted, convertible, interest-free loan notes. The repayment date will be three years after issue. The notes are convertible at 0.5p a share, or the market price of a share if it is higher. BWA will subscribe for C$300,000 (£170,000) of shares in St-Georges. BWA needs to raise at least £500,000 to go ahead with the deal.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased 2018 sales by 10% to £13m. Turnover from wine and spirits and from Curious Drinks grew by similar percentages. However, a pre-tax profit of £253,000 to a loss of £850,000 as overheads were doubled to £5.57m. There is still £12.8m in the bank even though there was a cash outflow from operations and £8.37m of capital investment. There are 635 acres of vineyards that have been planted and a further 388 acres will be planted on the North Downs.
Wealth management firm AFH Financial (AFHP) increased interim revenues by 61% to £36.6m and underlying earnings per share were 49% higher to 14.9p a share. AFH continue to acquire IFA firms. Funds under management totalled £5.4bn and that is expected to nearly double within five years.
St Mark Homes (SMAP) has net assets of 130p a share, which is a discount of around one-third to the share price bid/offer of 85p/90p. The dividend was maintained at 5.5p a share, providing a yield of more than 6%. In 2018, revenues increased from £120,000 to £294,000, but underlying pre-tax profit declined to £80,000, because of higher overheads and a lower contribution from joint ventures. The regional housebuilder intends to release capital from existing developments to fund other opportunities in the outer London Boroughs.
Coinsilium (COIN) reported near-trebled revenues of £1.68m in 2018, but a pre-tax profit of £121,000 was turned into a loss of £982,000. That is due to much higher overheads and a £973,000 impairment of current assets. There was £592,000 in the bank at the end of 2018. Most of the revenues came from advisory services to blockchain companies. That business has moved to Gibraltar.
KR1 (KR1) made reduced realised gains in 2018 and there was an unrealised loss on investments, compared with an unrealised gain in 2017. The total pre-tax loss was nearly £11m. The NAV fell from £13.6m to £6.11m.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased the value of its investments by around £630,000, which reflects performance and prospects. Even without that unrealised gain, the loss declined. The NAV of the employee-owned businesses investor rose from 41.5p a share to 48.1p a share at the end of February 2019.
European Lithium (EUR) is commencing a drilling programme to confirm part of the inferred resource at the Wolfsburg lithium project in Austria. This data will be used in the definitive feasibility study.
In the six months to February 2019, Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reduced its loss from £181,000 to £126,000. Revenues remain small but they grew from £44,000 to £61,000. There were orders from Germany in the period, but Netherlands and Austria were delayed. Lower overheads helped to reduce the loss.
Cancer therapy provider Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) generated revenues of £1.47m in the year to February 2019. There was cash generated from operations but that was dwarfed by £42.3m of capital investment. Additional cash has been raised since the year end.
In 2018, the revenues of Chinese treatments supplier MiLOC (ML.P) dipped from HK$11.6m to $10.7m, while the reported loss more than doubled to HK$37.9m. That was mainly due to a royalty fee related to AKFS Plus haircare brand. There was HK$2.75m in the bank at the end of 2018. Since then, HK$3.45m (£334,000) has been raised in a placing at 28.5p a share.
Cannabis investor Sativa Investments (SATI) has secured a commercial offtake agreement with a Portuguese supplier of cannabis oil. This will be included in products produced in Somerset.
Barkby Group (BARK) has secured a new six-year lease for the Rose and Crown Inn, near Swindon. This is the second lease from Arkell’s Brewery.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) says 75%-owned Footies Ltd has completed its sports ticketing system demonstration product. This will enable it to approach potential football club clients. It is still hopeful that it can sign one up this year. Ian Ayre has stepped down from the Footies board.
Investment company Eight Capital Group (ECP) had net assets of £668,000 at the end of 2018. The investments include shell companies Abal Investments (ABAL) (formerly Imaginatik) and Sport Capital Group (SCG) which has net assets of £206,000 at the end of 2018.
Investment fund manager Startup Giants (SUG) still had £646,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.
Trading in the shares of Angelfish Investments (ANGP), London Capital Group (LCG), Black Sea Property (BSP) and Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) is suspended because they have not published their 2018 accounts. Gamfook has replaced its auditor and will not publish accounts before the middle of July. Allenby has ceased to be nominated adviser and broker, as well as NEX corporate adviser, to PCG Entertainment. Trading in PCG shares is already suspended because of a potential reverse takeover.
Ramsdens (RFX) has acquired another four stores trading as The Money Shop and 12 loan books from Instant Cash Loans. This takes the number of stores acquired to 22 and the loan books to 17. Ramsdens says that there will be a small contribution to profit in the first year. The additional stores will be rebranded as Ramsdens and it has 163 stores. The 2018-19 figures will be published on 12 June.
Ideagen (IDEA) has gained a new £1.2m, three-year SaaS contract with an airline. The software will be used for safety incident reporting. Ideagen is expected to report a 2018-19 pre-tax profit of £12.2m.
Volvere (VLE) is returning up to £16.6m via a tender offer at 1290p a share, a premium of 12% to the market price when it was announced. Recent disposals have generated £25.6m, which took the cash pile to £36.2m. Management says it requires around £20m of cash for ongoing requirements.
Stride Gaming (STR) has received a bid proposal from Rank Group. A 151p a share offer is being considered. Stride floated four years ago at 132p a share.
TSX Venture Exchange company Hunt Mining Corp is offering 10.76 shares for each share in Patagonia Gold (PGD) and this values the target at £17.2m. The bid is recommended, and Patagonia shareholders will own 80% of the enlarged company. Hunt is producing silver and gold in Argentina and Patagonia has assets in the same region.
Nautilus Mineral Services (NAUT) wants to cancel its AIM quotation. A general meeting has been set for 24 June and shareholders owning 73.4% agree with the proposal. A matched bargain facility is planned.
Suits manufacturer Bagir (BAGR) still has not received the remaining cash investment of $13.2m from Shangdong Ruyi, which has requested an extension and wants to change the terms of the deal.
AfriTin (ATM) says that it expects to ramp up production at the Uis tin mine in the fourth quarter. The initial phase of the plant will be able to produce 60t/month of tin concentrate.
AssetCo (ASTO) says that Grant Thornton has been granted permission to appeal the judgment against it relating to the auditing of past AssetCo accounts.
Tavistock Investments (TAVI) has ended its strategic alliance with Lighthouse Group (LGT) because of the Quilter takeover of the IFA.
Aptitude Software (APTD) plans to sell Microgen Financial Systems for £51m. Previously, this business was going to be demerged on AIM. There should be £48.4m after expenses and a majority of this will be returned to shareholders.
Standard list shell Fandango Holdings (FHP) has ended acquisition discussions with Konnect Mobile Communications because it could not raise the funds it required. There was £8,000 in the bank at the end of February 2019.
Novo Holdings has exercised its option to subscribe for 6.57 million Oxford Biomedica (OXB) shares at 690p each. Novo will own 10.1%.
Summerway Capital (SWC) had £5.69m in cash at the end of February 2019. Potential acquisitions have been identified.
Toople (TOOP) has raised £662,000 at 0.35p a share and it will use £150,000 as final settlement of £601,000 of loans from David Brieth. There was £1.15m in the bank at the end of March 2019. There was a cash outflow of nearly £1m in the previous six months. Last September’s placing was at 0.3p a share.
Cathay International Holdings (CTI) has been fined £411,000 by the FCA due to a breach of listing principles. These relate to the preparation of forecasts and monitoring of financial performance, as well as a failure to provide information in a timely manner. Chief executive Jinyi Lee and finance director Eric Siu were both deemed to be involved in the breaches but they are considering an appeal.
Sport Capital Group (SCG) is acquiring Italian football club Palermo for a nominal sum. The deal also includes the project for a new stadium for the Serie B team, which is currently five points clear at the top of the table. Promotion back to Serie A would boost revenue generation and it would also trigger an earn-out payment. There is also potential for more sponsorship and match revenues. There is a plan to raise up to £10m from a bond issue that would be traded on NEX.
Clinical decision support technology provider DXS International (DXSP) reported a lower interim loss in the six months to October 2018. Revenues edged up from £1.61m to £1.69m and the loss declined from £92,000 to £35,000. Tax credits meant that there was a post-tax profit of £70,000, up from £28,000. The GPSoC tender has been delayed but it is expected to be completed this year.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its priorities for 2019 are to demonstrate the potential of the blockchain investments that it has and to take advantage of the growing sector. There were record levels of investment in the blockchain sector last year. Management wants movements in the share price to reflect progress rather than the movement of the price of bitcoin, as has been the case in the past year.
KR1 (KR1) has set up a subsidiary in Gibraltar. KRX Ltd will sponsor token-based projects that will list on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, which operates the first regulated blockchain exchange. The subsidiary will generate fees from clients and there are a limited number of sponsors.
AFH Financial Group (AFHP) has acquired fellow wealth management firm Hayburn Rock for up to £3.5m. The initial payment is £900,000. In 2017, the firm made a profit of £400,000.
TechFinancials (TECH) is selling its stake in MarketFinancials, which no longer trades, for €100,000. The investment had no value on the balance sheet.
Smaller company investor Gledhow Investments (GDH) had £167,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018, having made a small profit in the period. The NAV is £793,000.
Ashley House (ASH) is changing its year from April to June. This is the end of the first six months period for joint venture Morgan Ashley Care Developments LLP. There will be interim results for the six months to October 2018 reported at the end of January.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has commissioned the Hellyer processing plant and in the fourth quarter generated £3.2m of revenues from lead, zinc and pyrite.
Ascent Resources (AST) is attempting to raise cash at 0.3p a share, which is a 20% discount to the market price, via PrimaryBid.com. Ascent has successfully raised cash via the platform in the past. The broker handling the deal is Stanford Capital Partners. Ascent, which has €400,000 in the bank plus a deposit for a bank guarantee of €200,000, is refocusing its expansion outside of Slovenia because of regulatory hold ups in the country. Revenues from the export of gas from Slovenia totalled €2.1m in 2018 but gaining permission to process the gas and sell it to the national grid has proved difficult.
Knights Group Holdings (KGH) has acquired Leicester-based legal services business Cummins for £1.57m in cash and shares. This fits well with the existing east Midlands operations. In the six months to October 2018, group revenues were 37% ahead at £23.9m and organic growth was 10%. Underlying pre-tax profit doubled to £4.4m. The maiden interim dividend is 0.6p a share. Net debt was £9.5m at the end of October 2018. Average fees per fee earner was one-quarter higher at £66,000.
Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) did better than expected last year. The 2018 pre-tax profit forecast has been raised by 5% to $29m. Net cash is $25m and 50% of the excess over $15m will be paid in a special dividend on top of the ordinary dividend. Somero has also paid $2m for concrete pouring and line dragging company Line Dragon and this broadens the product range.
Student accommodation activities fuelled the growth of Watkin Jones (WJG) last year but private rental will become increasingly important from this year onwards. Richard Simpson has taken over as chief executive.
Kromek (KMK) is making progress towards breakeven and it has plenty of cash in the bank to take it there. The imaging and radiation detection technology developer has a strong order book. There was a dip in first half revenues because of the transfer of production to a new site in Pittsburgh. Even so, full year revenues are forecast to increase from £11.8m to £15m and the loss should reduce from £2.5m to £1.9m.
Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is selling its antinomy exploration interests in Turkey. The company’s main asset is the 40% shareholding in the Sohar antinomy and gold production facility in northern Oman. Some engineering problems have to be sorted out before the plant is fully up and running. More cash will be required. The venture has requested $10.5m from its shareholders.
The market was disappointed by news from Verona Pharma (VRP) about the clinical trial results for COPD treatment Ensifentrine (RPL554). Two different does were used in combination with Stiolto Respimat. The treatment did work better than the placebo, but the improvement in breathing was not statistically significant. The share price slumped by more than one-third, although there was a small subsequent recovery.
CH Bailey (BLEY) has decided to cancel its AIM quotation and it is asking for shareholder approval. The company is offering to buy back shares at 100p each via a tender offer.
Ariana Resources (AAU) says that its 50%-owned Kiziltepe mine produced 27,110ounces of gold in 2018. Ariana expects its $33m development loan to be fully repaid during 2019.
Tax Systems (TAX) had reduced net debt from £20.5m to £13.9m by the end of 2018. Pre-tax profit of £5.8m is forecast for 2018.
Ideagen (IDEA) is acquiring Cork-based Scannell Solutions, which provides environmental health and safety software, for £3.5m. Annualised revenues are around €1m, of which, two-thirds is recurring.
Consumer engagement technology provider Pelatro (PTRO) has confirmed that 2018 figures are in line with expectations and there was improved cash generation in the second half. Net cash was $1.8m at the end of 2018. finnCap expects 2019 pre-tax profit to double from $2.9m to $6m.
Plexus Holdings (POS) plans to buy back 4.95 million shares owned by LLC Gusar. The price will be 50.5p a share. Gusar will use the cash to buy two POS-GRIP wellhead systems, which it announced it was going to buy one year ago.
Midwich Group (MIDW) has acquired MobilePro AG, which expands the audio visual products distributor into Switzerland. The business has annual revenues of CHF25m.
Pharmaxis has completed a toxicity study for two LOXL2 inhibitors in which Synairgen (SNG) has a 17%carried financial interest. Pharmaxis can brief potential licensing partners with the information gained.
Tracsis (TRCS) is acquiring Compass Informatics, which is a data analytics and systems development business. Tracsis is paying up to €5.15m for the Dublin-based company, which made a pre-tax profit of £600,000 last year.
Portmeirion Group (PMP) has achieved record sales in 2018 and beat the profit forecast of £9.5m. The fastest growth came in the home fragrance division.
Iofina (IOF) achieved record iodine production levels in the second half of 2018. Full year production was 17% higher at 588.8 million tonnes. There should be a further rise in production this year and that could move Iofina into profit.
Brandon Hill has initiated coverage of Karelian Diamond Resources (KDR) and it has valued the company’s Lahtojoki diamond project in Finland at $32.9m, based on an average diamond price of $100/carat.
The People’s Operator (TPOP) has postponed the appointment of an administrator as negotiations with interested parties continue.
Kestrel Opportunities has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) from 22.2% to 23.1%. Little more than one year ago the stake was below 15%.
Caledonia Mining Corporation (CMCL) has cut 2019 gold production guidance for its Blanket Mine and WH Ireland has downgraded its forecast from 61,200 ounces to 55,500 ounces, which is at the higher end of the guidance. There was 54,5000 ounces of gold produced in 2018.
Athelney Trust (ATY) is holding the requisitioned general meeting on Tuesday 22 January. Robin Boyle has requisitioned a general meeting in order to get himself reappointed. He left the board last year after a disagreement over the future of the investment company. He wanted to stay on as a non-executive director to shepherd the change in investment management for the trust. The plan is to get Gresham House involved in the investment management. Boyle also wants David Lawman and Paul Coffin to be appointed and the three existing directors, Dr Emmanuel Pohl, Simon Moore and Jemma Jackson, to be removed.
Path Investments (PATH) has signed heads of agreement with ARC Marlborough. The plan is to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland, via a share issue. Path had £31,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.
Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has agreed to sell its $300,000 investment in the Dallas Wheel project back to the developers. Challenger has received $27,000 in interest and will receive $50,000 a month, plus interest, for six months.
Gresham Technologies (GHT) has sold its VME mainframe software business for £2m.
Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has sufficient cash to finance continued exploration in the first quarter of 2019. By the middle of the year the gems explorer will be able to estimate how much cash it requires to start trial mining.
Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) generated a 10% increase in turnover to £3.52m, but there was a decline in pre-tax profit from £224,000 to £156,000 in the year to October 2017. This is blamed on the increase in the minimum wage and the fact that more bookings are coming from online travel agents. The total dividend was unchanged at 21p a share. There is £1m in the bank. The public rooms’ refurbishment is complete and the hotel has gained 4* status. Exterior repair work and bedroom refurbishments continue.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has launched a private fund for digital tokens. The Gibraltar-based fund will hold tokens issued to Coinsilium. The value of the digital tokens received in 2017 is $822,000. If digital tokens that will be received over the coming two years are included the total value is $5.34m. The advisory business has advised on four token issues and there are four more to be completed.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) says that its investee company Cotswold Valves has acquired Flow Capital Company Ltd. Capital for Colleagues has made a working capital loan of £300,000, on top of an existing £50,000 loan. Capital for Colleagues also owns 49% of Cotswold Valves.
Ganapati (GANP) says that its slot game Pikotaro’s Pineapple Pen has been selected as one of the ten finalists at the Global Gaming Awards. The result will be announced on 5 February.
Globe Capital (GCAP) has raised £100,000 from a 6% convertible loan note. The conversion price is 0.5p a share.
MayAir Group (MAYA) is recommending a 120p a share cash bid from Poly Glorious, which is ultimately owned by Jiang Li. That is below the 130p a share floatation price less than three years ago. The air purification equipment manufacturer is valued at £50.4m. The current chief executive and other management are taking shares in the acquisition vehicle, which is already involved in air conditioning industry in China. MayAir has been hit by increased competition.
Learning Technologies Group (LTG) reports that 2017 profit and cash was much better than forecast. Pre-tax profit is set to more than double to £13m and net cash was £1m. The e-learning business appears to have made good progress integrating NetDimensions and it is assessing other international acquisitions.
The decline in underlying profit at compliance and energy services provider Lakehouse (LAKE) was slightly lower than expected. There was still a fall from £7.5m to £5.5m and a cut in dividend from 1.5p a share to 0.5p a share. Net debt was £1.3m but there might be additional working capital requirements this year. Profit is on course to recover this year but dividend expectations have been downgraded. Property services and construction remain the weaker parts of the business but the core operations are growing.
MYCELX Technologies (MYX) says that orders from Saudi Arabian chemicals company SABIC boosted 2017 revenues. These revenues were generated late in the year. This has increased estimates by 20% to 30%. This means MYCELX will be cash flow positive. This year’s revenues should at least be maintained at 2017 levels.
Castleton Technology (CTP) has won two contracts, one of which is a renewal with Places for People, worth £1.2m and both incorporate a range of the modules provided by the housing association-focused business.
Composite materials supplier Velocity Composites (VEL) sparked a 2017-18 earnings per share downgrade from 8.5p to 5.5p following its 2016-17 figures. This is due to cost increases with the concomitant revenues not set to show through for another year at least.
Ideagen (IDEA) grew revenues by 43% to £17.2m in the six months to September 2017. The document control and compliance software supplier is on course to increase full year profit from £6.9m to £9.7m. Recurring revenues generated 63% of total interim revenues.
Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC), the renamed Stapleton Capital, has changed its investing strategy to cover the blockchain technology industry. Management claims to have already seen a number of exciting blockchain opportunities.
Standard list cash shell Derriston Capital (DERR) still had £2.17m in cash at the end of 2017. Derriston has been seeking an acquisition for more than one year but it has not yet identified a suitable target.
Avocet Mining (AVM) has delayed completion of the sale of Resolute (West Africa) for a further five days to 30 January.
easyJet plc EZJ produced a strong first quarter performance thanks in part at least to the collapse of a number its competitors such as Al Italia, Monarch and Air Berlin, which it has now bought and the disruption suffered by its main competitor Ryanair. On time performance rose by 2 percentage points to 81% despite increased disruption. Total revenue for the quarter rose by 14% and passenger numbers by 8%. Constant currency revenue is expected to rise by mid to high single digits in the first half of 2018. Passenger numbers are expected to rise from 80 million to 90 million, again helped by the lack of competition.
IG Group Holdings IGG produced new records in revenue and profit before tax in the half year to the 30th November. Profit before tax rose by 29%, diluted earnings per share by 30% and operating expenses fell by 7%. Own funds generated by operations rose by 38%.The interim dividend is being increased a tad to 9.69p per share compared to 9.42 pence in 2017
Pets at Home Group PETS The third quarter to the 4th January produced group revenue growth of 9.6% or 7.2% on a like for like basis after a strong customer response following the launch of a low price initiative.
Marstons MARS suffered disruption from ice and snow both at the beginning of December and between Christmas and the New Year which cost it nearly £1m in lost profits. Despite that Santa looked kindly on the brewer on Xmas day itself which produced record retail sales of nearly £4m., 5.4% up on last year. Market conditions are tough but 2018 will still see the opening of 15 new restaurants and pubs and 6 lodges.
Elecosoft ELCO Profit before tax and revenue for the year to 31st December are expected to be significantly higher than in 2016. Following strong conversion of operating profits into cash, net borowings were eliminated at the 30th June. Staff are praised for the development of a number of significant award winning technical innovations which have pleased customers.
Ideagen IDEA saw revenue rise by 43% and adjusted profit before tax by 56% after a strong performance during the half year to the 31st October. Sales momentum was strong in the USA, Europe and in the Asia Pacific region. Current trading is described as robust and the interim dividend is to be increased by 15%.
Experian EXPN produced revenue growth of 6% in the quarter to the 30th June. On an organic basis the growth was 4% and for business to business on an organic basis it was a sturdy 7%. But Experian is yet another company producing appalling figures for the UK which suffers more and more from the devastation wreaked on the country by politicians who regard a weak currency as the greatest benefit they can give to the nation and deliberately pursue policies aimed at destroying the value of the pound. Revenue in the UK & Ireland fell by 13% during t he quarter and even at constant exchange rates there was a decline of 3%.
Royal Mail RMG CEO Moya Green believes that a 1% revenue rise in the three months to the 25th June can fairly be described as “another strong performance” in GLS. Total letter revenue fell by 4% but she remains silent as to whether that is weak or strong. Parcels did better with revenue up by 3% on volume up by 5%. Star performer was Royal Mail Tracked Services with growth of 39%. Despite miserable figures in some areas, she claims that the overall trading performance for the quarter was good.
Dairy Crest DCG Volume sales for Dairy Crests four key brands in the quarter to 30th June are 7% ahead of last year, Cathedral City leading the way with a rise of 15%. There is a cloud on the horizon in the form of increased input costs, which have increased substantially for the butter business and led to a reduction in the promotion of Country Life in order to try and save money. Overall however trading for the quarter has been in line with expectations.
Ideagen plc IDEA is increasing its final dividend to 0.142p per share making a total increase for the year of 15%. Revenue for the year to 30th June rose by 24%, profit before tax by 22% and underlying organic growth by 10%. Trading since the year end has been robust with strong demand from new customers.
Alliance Pharma plc APH Sales in the six months to the end of June grew by 8% with help from a weak pound adding £2.6m part of which was offset by higher import costs. The cp,[any’s international growth brands have been successful with sales growth of 50% or more.
SSE plc. SSE is increasing its final dividend by 2.1% for the year to the end of March after yet another flat year, in which the absence of 2016’s large total of exceptional items helped to make the figures look better, despite this years complex challenges. Profit before tax has stayed at just over £1.5b for each of the last three years, during which the annual dividend has risen from 88.4p to this years 91.3p. The target for the next 3 years is that dividend increases will at least equal RPI inflation. “Flatness” and lack of excitement is not a bad thing. Our pension funds have to have somewhere safe to invest in so that tomorrow’s pensioners, or even today’s for that matter, can enjoy their retirement, content that next months and next years pension payments are secure.
Mitchells & Butler MAB results for the half year to the 8th April were adversely affected by this years Easter falling in the second half of the year. Profit before tax fell from £83m. to £75m. and basic earnings per share were sharply down from 18.4p to 13.7p. The Chief executive claims that it was still a period of sustained growth and that they outperformed the market. The interim dividend remains unchanged.
Countryside Properties CSP has delivered strong growth, ahead of expectations for the half year to 31st March and this is continuing into the second half so that that profits for the full years hould similarly be ahead be ahead of market expectations. completions in the first half rose by 31%, adjusted operating profit by 39% and basic earnings per share by 258%, or 128% on an adjusted basis. The private forward order book is up by 69% on a year ago.
Bodycote BOY reports a robust performance in the 4 months to 30th April, with gross revenue rising by 18% on the same period last year, despite oil and gas revenues still declining and defence revenue remaining weak.
Ideagen IDEA Robust trading during the year to the end of April is expected to have produced growth of 24% in both revenue and adjusted EBITDA. On an organic basis the rise in revenue is expected to about about 10%.