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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%.