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Smiths Group – Some Slight Confusion

Smiths Group SMN The interim report for the half year to the end of January is confusing and obscure. Thus headline, in line, underlying, reported revenue rose by 18%. Headline, underlying, reported operating profit rose by 8% and headline basic earnings per share were up by 30%. Despite flat sales, underlying pre tax profit grew by 10% and the proposed interim dividend is to be increased by 2.3%.

Believe it or not, all this is called “running the business better” which produced declines in revenue and profit at Smiths Medical and at John Crane. But it is not quite clear whether in fact they may mean declines in revenue and profit growth, which is an entirely different matter. Whichever way one reads it the claim at the end of the same paragraph that John Crane showed “a modest return to growth” appears to completely contradict it. Presumably they know what it means.

As for 2017 Cranes first-fit end markets are expected to remain tough. Sales growth is anticipated at Smith Detection and if the decline in sterling does not change then that will provide an added tailwind.

easyHotel plc EZH Revenue growth for the 5 months to the 28th February slightly exceeded the boards expectations, with like for like revenue growth of 19%. Owned hotels materially outperformed. Eight new hotels are to be opened in the current year of which four will be owned and four will be franchised.

IG Design Group IGR updates that record revenues for the year to the end of March will lead to profit after tax and earnings per share for 2017 being significantly ahead of market expectations. Growth in America was particularly strong but Australia was challenging and a robust performances in the UK helped to offset currency headwinds.

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