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Ian Pollard – easyJet #EZJ load factor & spend per passenger both fall

easyJet plc EZJ made a good start to the 2019 financial year with robust customer demand and ancillary sales.At least that is the official version. Flying at Tegel had what is described as a dilutive impact. as did the Christmas drone incidents at Gatwick, or perhaps more accurately, the Christmas no drone incidents at Gatwick. The Chief Executive is proud of the way the teams worked around the clock to mitigate the impact of the incident and looked after affected customers. Total revenue in the first quarter to 31 December 2018 increased by 13.7% and passenger numbers in the quarter were up by 15.1% to 21.6 million. Unusually for easyJet load factor decreased by two percentage points to 89.7% and total revenue per seat was down by 4.2%. So perhaps when you get into the real statistics where the company usually does shine, on a comparative basis, things were not quite as robust as at first appears, with. more empty seats and a nearly 5% fall in spend per passenger.

Dixons Carphone plc DC produced record sale in the 10 week Christmas period to the 5th January and did so against a strong backdrop.  UK & Ireland like for like sales rose by 2% whilst group like for like only managed a 1% rise. Mobile sales in the UK and Ireland look to have been a disaster area with reported revenue down by 12% but that does not seem to matter too much because it was expected. As usual international revenue did well with a 5% rise and accounted for almost 40% of sales. Good progress has been made with what it describes as its long term plans to deliver more engaged colleague which may appear to mean that it has woken up to the fact that customer service level can be fairly abysmal, just try paying for something in Greece. The outstanding performance came  from Gaming, up 60% year-on-year.

IG Group Hldngs plc IGG Net trading revenue for the six months to the 30th November fell by 6% whilst operating expenses rose by 4%. Operating profit declined by 18% and basic earnings per share by 16%. Not surprisingly revenue in in 2019 will be lower than in 2018. The Chief Executive is excited to bring his experience in strategy and product innovation to the company but his confidence is not such  that a return to growth is expected until after 2019.

ZOO Digital Group plc ZOO updates on current trading for the year ending 31 March 2019.The second half performance has been affected by the loss of a single, material project, Revenues from DVD and Blu-ray titles in the second half will be significantly lower than anticipated because  the overall market decline has accelerated more quickly than envisaged. he Company now expects revenues for the second half to be comparable to those in the first half and  approximately 10% below full year expectations.Nonetheless the company’s excitement for the future remains undiminished.

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Ian Pollard – Ferguson #FERG Restructuring for UK After Weak Performance

Ferguson plc FERG Ongoing revenue for the quarter to 31st October.was 5% ahead of last year, including 6.7% organic growth, whilst ongoing trading profit at $432m.  was 9.9% ahead. US business saw organic revenue growth of  9.6% . All the US business units generated organic growth in the quarter  with continued good demand from residential and commercial customers an. Industrial markets described as growing very well. The UK on the other hand could not have been a geater contrast with like-for-like revenue growth down at 1.5% for the quarter including about 2.5%  price inflation. Trading profit was down about 2% and ominously the promised UK restructuring is now under way.

IG Group Hldngs plc IGG expects first half revenue to be around 6% lower than in the record first half of the last financial year. Group revenue in the four month period since product intervention measures came into force in July is expected to be around 10% lower than a year ago.whilst in the ESMA region (UK and EU) it is expected to be around 20% lower. By startling contrast it is expected that in other regions revenue is expected to show growth of 9%.

Victrex plc VCT Preliminary results for the year to the 30th September show that the group enjoyed a strong year with group revenue up by 12% and profit before tax by 15%. Regular and special dividends are being raised by 17%. For 2019 the expectations are for continued momentum and the achievement of more milestones.

James Fisher & Sons plc FSJ for many a year one of the stalwarts of British Industry and which updated only 10 days ago that revenue for the ten months ended 31 October was 14% ahead of the comparable period last year, is to lose its long standing Chief Executive. Nick Henry has informed the Board that he is to retire from the Company after 16 years and step down after 15years as CEO by the end of December 2019.

Mind Gym MIND After a successful IPO revenue for the six months to the 30th September has risen by 13% and adjusted profit before tax by 31%. An interim dividend of 0.8p er share is to be paid. After a start-up at a kitchen table 18 years ago the company has grown to become an adviser to over half of the companies in the FTSE-100 and S&P-100.

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Ian Pollard – IG Group To Slide In 2018 -19

IG Group Holdings plc IG reports record revenue, operating profit and earnings for the year to the 31st May with strong growth across all regions and products. It is proposed that dividends for the year be increased by 34%, with a final payment of 33.5p per share bringing the total to 43.2p. The outlook for 2019 is not as bright as revenue  will be lower than in 2018, reflecting the impact of the regulatory changes in the UK and EU.  Operating expenses are also expected to increase. A return to growth is expected in the following year.

Unite Group plc UTG The first half of 2018 has been another active and successful period with reservations at record levels.  91% of beds already reserved for the 2018/19 academic year and like-for-like rental growth is expected to be within a range of 3.0-3.5%. Profit before tax for the six months to the 30th June rose by 70% and the interim dividend is to be increased by 30%.

Drax Group DRX Performance in the six months to the 30th June was impacted, by two unplanned outages. Despite this last years statutory operating loss of £61m. was turned into a profit of £12.m and the statutory loss before tax of £104m fell to £11m. The reported basic loss per share which stood at 21p in the first half of 2017, fell to 1p. per share. The interim dividend is to be increased to 5.6p per share, a total of  £22.4 million compared to 2017’s £20m. The full year dividend is expected to total £56m

Fevertree Drinks FEVR Enjoyed further strong UK growth in the six months to the 30th June. Revenue rose by 45%. andaAdjusted EBITDA by  35% and the interim dividend was increased by 40% to 4.22p per share. The major progress made in the first half leads the company to believe the outcome for the full year will be comfortably ahead of expectations.”

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Ian Pollard – easyJet benefits from collapse of competition & Ryanair disruption

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%.

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Ian Pollard – Victrex – Sales Volume Up 1%, Divi Up 160 %

Victrex VCT managed a  whopping  160% increase in dividends for the year to the end of September after a mediocre rise of 1% in sales volume led to a rise of 11% in profit before tax.   The dividend increase comprised a 15% rise in the regular dividend plus payment of a special dividend of 68p per share. The support for this largess to shareholders is based on strong core growth and  a rise of 88% in.cash generation. Pity they could not do more with the sales volume, then they could really have gone to town on those dividend increases.

Dewhurst plc DWHT announces record results for the year to the 30th September. With the help of positive currency movements sales rose by 12.2% and profit before tax by 17.3% including a 0.4m currency benefit. The final dividend is to be increased by 0.5p per share to 8.5p making a total increase for the year of 1p. UK demand is described as being fragile at present with projects being delayed and deferred whilst overseas markets are buoyant.

Ferguson plc FERG Trading profit in the quarter to the end of October grew by 13.9% after a 7.6% rise in organic revenue. The US enjoyed strong organic growth of 8.3% but as often happens the UK let the side down with a 3.8% fall in trading profit at constant exchange rates.

IG Group Holdings IGG continued to perform well in the second quarter after a strong first quarter and net trading revenue for the first half is expected to be up 9% on a year ago, whilst operating costs are expected to have fallen by 7% following a reduction in advertising and marketing.


Cerillion CER has won one of those significant major contracts which had been so elusive earlier in the year. The contract, with a European telecommunications provider is to start immediately  and is worth an initial £5m. and a total of £8.4m over five years.


Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ grew November passenger numbers by 22% and increased load factor by 1.5ppts to 88.3%.

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Corporate news review Thursday 21st September 2017

APC Technology APC says unaudited FY results to 31 Aug 2017 are expected to show revenue of £15.6m (2016: £17.9m), gross profit of £5.5m (2016: £6.4m), an operating profit before interest, amortisation, depreciation and exceptional costs of £0.8m (2016: £0.3m) and a PBT in the region of £0.2m, the first PBT since Aug 2014.

Compass Group CPG says CEO Richard Cousins has decided to step down on 30 Sept 2018. He will be succeeded by Dominic Blakemore, currently COO Europe.

IG Group IGG reports a record Q1 in relatively quiet financial markets, with revenues 21% of the last quarter at £135.2m.

Mitchells & Butlers MAB says the weather in August and September has adversely affected the market, but it remains encouraged that its like-for-like sales performance continues to outperform the market. As such MAB expects to deliver a full year performance in line with the Board’s expectations.

NCC Group NCC said it continues to trade in line with expectations for the full year.

SCISYS SSY reports half year results to 30 June 2017. Half year adjusted operating profit rose 18% to £1.3m, on revenues up 23% to £27.2m. Order book stands at a record £64m, and the interim dividend is up 11% at 0.59p. Chairman Mike Love said the company currently expects to deliver FY results at the upper end of current guidance.

Brand CEO Alan Green talks markets, Gooch & Housego (GHH), Andalas Egy (ADL) & IG Group (IGG) on TipTV Finance Channel

Brand CEO Alan Green talks markets, Gooch & Housego (GHH), Andalas Egy (ADL) & IG Group (IGG) with Zak Mir on the TipTV Finance Channel.

Telford Homes Breaking Records

Telford Homes TEF reports that revenue for the year to 31st March rose by 19% to a record £291.9m, allowing the final dividend to be increased to 8.5p, making an increase of just over 10% for the full year. Profit before tax is expected to exceed £40m for 2018 and £50m for 2019.

Avanti Communications AVN updates that it is recovering from the disruption of the first nine months and in the last two months it has won over $25m of new business. Weak macro economic conditions especially in Africa, Brexit and industry volatility have all presented significant challenges over the last 12 months but new contracts are again being won and it is expected that they will begin to make a significant impact in the next financial year, when like for like growth will recommence. The launch of Hylas 4 is nearing and this is expected to have a strong positive effect on the image of the business

IG Group Holdings IGG expects revenue for the year to 31st May will be ahead by some 7% and that profit before tax and earnings will be modestly ahead of the previous year.


Futura Medical FUM is delighted by the constructive feedback which it has received for MED 2002 from  US and UK regulatory authorities both of whom have a broad consensus on the development pathway.  No impact is  expected on the timing of the submissions for market authorisation, now expected in the second quarter of 2019

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Brand CEO Alan Green discusses IG Group (IGG), Premier Oil (PMO) & Angus Energy (ANGS) on Vox Markets podcast

Brand CEO Alan Green discusses IG Group (IGG), Premier Oil (PMO) & Angus Energy (ANGS) with Justin Waite on the Vox Markets podcast. The interview is 13 minutes 55 seconds in.

Brand CEO Alan Green with Zak Mir on TipTV – Prospects for 2017 – Reasons to be Cheerful


Brand CEO Alan Green with Zak Mir on TipTV – Prospects for 2017 – Reasons to be Cheerful, plus stocks including Marks & Spencer (MKS) and IG Group (IGG). Link here

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