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ITV plc ITV made good progress in delivering its stategy in the quarter to the 31st March. Online viewing rose by 16% and Family Share of viewing by 4%. Total external revenue was down 4%. ITV Broadcast & Online revenue fared even worse with a fall of 7% at £489m compared to £526m in 2018 and ITV total advertising also fell by 7%. Advertising in the first half of the year will be impacted by continuing economic and political uncertainty with ITV total advertising expected to be down 6% over the first half. Over the full year delivery of double digit growth in online revenue is expected together with good organic revenue growth in ITV Studios.
Imperial Brands plc IMB claims a pleasing underlying tobacco performance in the six months to the 31st March with volume down 6.9%. Focus is being maintained on longstanding brands which are delivering high margin sales growth. In both Europe and the Americas revenue grew by 4%. Operating profit rose by 38.1%, basic earnings per share by 37.7% and the interim dividend is to be increased by 10%.
Travis Perkins plc TPK made a positive start to 2019 with strong first quarter sales growth. Like for like sales rose by 7.3% and total sales by 5.4%. Travis Perkins itself generated like-for-like sales growth of 8%, continuing the improving trend seen from the end of 2018.Wickes delivered encouraging sales growth in both DIY and showroom categories, with a strong turnaround in Kitchen and Bathroom performance. Sales in Plumbing & Heating were impacted by the milder winter.
Wetherspoon JD plc JDW saw third quarter like for like sales rise by 7.6% and total sales by 8.4%. Since the start of the financial year, the Company has opened three new pubs, closed seven and intends to open two further pubs in the current financial year. The trading outcome for the current financial year is expected to be in line.
Vertu Motors Plc VTU produced profit and cash generation ahead of expectations for the year to the end of February. The full year dividend is to be increased by 6.7% to 1.6p per share. Adjusted profit before tax of £23.7m was ahead of market expectations but down from £28.6m in 2018. Like-for-like revenue growth came in at 5.1% but in used vehicles revenue growth was particularly strong at 11.6%
Next NXT Full price sales for the 14 weeks to the 7th May have risen by 5% compared to last years figures mainly due to online sales jumping by 18.1% whilst retail fell foul of the high street malaise with a fall of 4.8%. First quarter sales were better than expected helped by the recent unusually warm weather. Sales for the remainder of the year howeverare not expected to be as strong as they were in quarter 1 but they are still expected to show a jump in earnings per share growth from 1.4% to 3.7%. The decline in group profit before tax at 1.3% is also expected to be less than previous guidance of 2.9%
Morrison W. MRW has made a strong start to the year with like for like sales for the 13 weeks to 6th May showing a rise of 3.6% and total sales up by3.8% excluding fuels. The quarter also saw the commencement of wholesale supplies to McColls. The Chief Executive is confident of a strong year ahead.
Barratt Developments BDEV Trading has been strong since the beginning of the year and is inline with expectations, driven by strong customer demand across the country. Total forward sales have risen by 2.5% and the outlook for the full year is also in line with expectations.
ITV plc ITV has delivered a strong first quarter performance on and off scree. Total external revenue rose by 5% with ITV studios up by 11% and online revenue growing by 41%. The Chief executive claims that they are having a strategic refreh whatever that is and claims that it is going well. Good organic growth is expected in Studios for the full year, with double digit revenue growth projected for Online.
BT Group plc BT.A claims it delivered solid results for the 4th quarter to to the 31st March. Reported revenue is expected to be down more than expected at 1% for the year and 3% for the quarter. On an adjusted basis EBITDA and profit before tax for the quarter are each up by 1% and basic earnings per share by 5%. Dividends for the year remain unchanged.
ITV PLC ITV If you can bother to fight your way through the meaningless jargon with which the preliminary 2017 results are littered you may end up with an idea that Carolyn McCall and her team are very pleased with themselves. They should be because one of their star achievements has been to produce 7% organic growth excluding currency. Not many companies can manage that. For the future they are excited that they have a strategic refresh underway and not only that, they are very focused on it. The main headline is that they produced a strong operational performance which included such successes as falls of 10% in statutory profit before tax, 9% in statutory earnings per share, 6% in adjusted earnings per share and 5% in adjusted EBITDA. External revenue did show a rise of 2% driven by double digit growth in non NAR. Revenue for ITV studios rose by 13%. Family SOV was up by 2% and online viewing continued to grow strongly with a rise of 39%. All this was achieved despite the impact of an uncertain economic environment. The board has decided not to pay a special dividend because there have been five and also because the dividend is now more normal. Make what you like of that, Presumably they know what they mean. The final dividend , presumably the “more normal” one, is to be 5.28p, leading to a full year dividend increase of 8% to 7.8p per share.
Informa plc INF The year to the 31st December saw growth in all four divisions leading to a 30.7% rise in revenue. The adjusted profit before tax rose by 29.4% and the final dividend is to be increased by 6%.
Taylor Wimpey TW 2017 was another strong year with revenue up by 7.9% and profit before tax rising by 10.7% profit for the year. Basic earnings per share fell by 6.1% and he average selling pice was increased by 3.5%. A good start has been made to 2018 and he order book is strong.
Safestyle plc SFE The Board’s worries for 2018 which were explained in detail in December have now been exacerbated by the impact of what it describes as an aggressive new entrant into the market. Order intake for 2018 has been disappointing and below its expectations. Group revenue and underlying profit before tax will now be materially below both 2017 and current market expectations.
ITV plc ITV updates that with nine months of its year now gone, it is confident of delivering good organic revenue growth but does so without putting a figure on what “good ” actually means in numbers. Full year profit will be broadly in line with last year which means little or no growth there. which will not be a surprise having regard to the 1% decline in total external revenue. ITV’s Family share of viewing has risen by 2% and non advertising revenue grew strongly, whilst Online and Pay saw a 41% increase in online viewing. ITV studios delivered a strong performance.
Smiths Group plc SMIN Underlying revenue fell by 2% for the quarter to the 31st October and the only explanation they are going to give you is that primarily this was due to order timing, which can mean many things. No further enlightenment is forthcoming save that full year expectations remain unchanged and there will be a return to growth for 2018.
Vodafone Group VOD produced a strong financial performance in the half year to the end of September, with operating profit rising by 32.5% to 2 bn Euro despite a fall in Group total revenue of 4.1%. The interim dividend is to be increase by 2.1%. Organic adjusted EBITDA rose by 13.5% enabling guidance for he full year to be increased to 10%. India was a bit of a disaster area due to intense competition which led to a fall in revenue of 15.8% and adjusted EBITDA slumping by 39.2%
Meggitt MGGT has suffered from a fall of 5% in military revenue as the armed forces reduced its expenditure on spares. That however can not go on for ever and a strong performance is expected in quarter 4. Civil aerospace grew by 4% partly offsetting the decline in military spending. Overall the company is on track to meet its guidance for organic revenue growth for the full year.
News In Brief FTSE 100
Compass Group CPG is continuing to have a good year with like for like revenue up 3.9% in the third quarter and accelerating. North America is producing strong new business and the business environment in the Rest of the World, is improving.
ITV plc ITV Total external revenue for the half year to 30th June fell by 3.0% but the broadcast business remains robust and full year 2017 guidance remain unchanged. The interim dividend is to be increased by 5%
GKN plc GKN Sales rose by 15% in the half year to 30th June and both profit before tax and earnings per share were up by 14%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 5%. Investment in technology is continuing.
Hammerson plc HMSO joins its FTSE friends with a 5% increase in its interim dividend after a strong set of results for the half year to the 30th June. Net rental income rose by 9.7% and basic earnings per share by 74.9%
3i Group III had a busy first quarter with a good portfolio performance and a total return of 4.!%. The economic back ground is improving and the weakness of sterling added a 68m foreign exchange gain during the quarter.
Unite Group UTG had a highly active and successful first half resulting in the interim dividend being hiked by 22%, after a strong financial performance. Profit before tax fell from 122.8m to 83.9m due to a lower revaluation surplus.
Minoan Group MIN claims it is about to enter the most rewarding period in its history. It has successfully fought the appeal against the grant of planning permission for its major project in Crete and in Travel and Leisure group profit has risen by 35% at EBITDA level for the six months to the 30th June..
Compass Group CPG received a big helping hand from the weakness of sterling which added an extra 15% to revenue, operating profit and earnings per share for the first half year to 31st March. The result is that the company can afford to celebrate with a proposal to pay a special dividend of £1bn, as well as raising the interim dividend by another 5.7%. Well done sterling.
Revenue for the half year rose by 20.3% but on an organic basis this was reduced to a more realistic figure of 3.6%, North America leading the way with a rise of 7% and the board remains excited about the long term prospects of the company. Let us hope that sterling does not wipe the smile off their faces by reverting to a more realistic valuation.
Barratt Developments BDEV is firing on all cylinders and expects house completions for the year to the end of June will be the highest for nine years. It displays no signs of the ills which have begun to afflict some of its competitors and appears to be going from strnegth to strength. Profits are expected to be at the top end of current analysts estimates. Total forward sales as at the 7th May were at record levels after a rise of 12.7%. Market conditions remain good and attractive mortgage finance is widely available. Private average selling prices have shown upward momentum, as the company euphemistically puts it and the net cash position at the year end will be ahead of expectations at £600m.
ITV PLC ITV saw total revenue fall by 1% in the quarter to the end of March whilst total external revenue was down by 3% and family NAR fell by 6% over the 4 months to the end of April, with a forecast ofr further declines of 8% in May and 15-20% in June, making a total first half decline of 9%. One good sign among the statistics was a rise of 4% in viewing share for the quarter and guidance for the full year remains unchanged.
Marshalls MSLH. Group revenue rose by 6% compared to last year, in the 4 months to the 30th April, whilst sales in the domestic end market increased by 13%. Order books are at their highest ever and the board is becoming increasingly encourage about the groups overall performance for the current year.
Sainsbury J. SBRY slashes its final dividend by 18.5% for the year to 11th March, sees profit before tax fall by 8.2% and basic earnings per share by 26.8%. And the CEO has the cheek to trumpet it as a pivotal year with a clear growth strategy which has made significant progress. If it did have a clear growth strategy then it was one which obviously failed and management should have the courage to admit it.
Imperial Brands IMB at least remains on planet earth with its first half results, is raising its interim dividend by 10% and has a CEO who has found the time to invent a new language even if is is one which is unlikely to be understood by most of her employees, shareholders and board members. She appears pleased that it has a Market Repeatable Model deployed in e-vapour, and, best news of all, this is going to be used to drive growth in other “adjacencies”. As if that is not enough they are developing their footprint and “building blu” through investment.
As for the figures themselves, on a constant currency basis, total adjusted operating profit and earnings per share fell fell by 7.6% and 5.9% respectively. Obviously growth of adjacencies may be some time away.
ITV plc ITV announces that Adam Crozier is stepping down both from the board and as CEO, on the 30th June. No explanation is given for the suddenness of the departure. Indeed ITV seems to be pretending that just short of two month is not sudden at all but is long enough for it put in force its well developed succession plan, which is so well developed that they are having to take interim measures to fill the gap. Only “in due course” will a longer term successor be announced.
At least Paddy Power Betfair PPB has come out with figures, comment and details which make sense and are not hidden in obfuscation. First quarter revenue to the of March rose by 15% in constant currency terms, whilst underlying EBITDA was up by 83% and underlying operating profit by 117%. For a change punters at Cheltenham did not do at all well and were responsible for most of the quarters growth, although their fortunes changed for the better at other major sporting events in April.
Talk Talk Telecom TALK wins today’s prize for gibberish with a claim that on-net adds flat. RGU growth + 148k . Quarterly churn ( presumably from the dairy division) is the lowest ever at 1.3% and the company is now a trusted value champion. Presumably it was previously either untrusted or not a champion. When will these people who run some of Britains best known companies wake up to how much damage they do to themselves and their companies with this sort of tripe. ( at least for those of us from the North of England who recognise a good piece of tripe when we see one.)
As for the understandable bit of the preliminary results, TALK enjoyed a strong bounce back in quarter 4 and there are strong opportunities for growth across all products. Corporate revenue for the year to 31st March fell back by 2.9% whilst Data revenue rose by 40%. Statutory profit before tax fell from £32m to £14m because of exceptionals and earnings per share plummeted from 7.8p to a miserly 0.2p. Obviously after a bit of a nightmare year the shareholders have to be persuaded not to ask too many questions and the dividend is being increased by 15%.
ITV plc ITV has made a good start to the year with external revenue up by 14% and ITV Studios revenue surging by 44% in the first quarter to the end of March. Viewing share was up by 3% and good group profit growth is expected for the first half.
Stobart Group STOB appears to have turned the corner in the year to the end of February, with a rise of 98% in underlying profit before tax and last years loss of £9.4m having been turned into a profit of £10m on a like for like basis. Basic earnings per share have nearly doubled from 2.6p to 5p and like for like revenue has risen by 8.6%. All five divisions produced improved profitability. The final dividend is held at 4p.
Southend airport which is still misleadingly named as London Southend airport was named by Which as Britain’s best airport.
Supergroup SGP enjoyed robust trading during its 4th quarter, helping full year group sales to rise by 21% and retail sales by 24.5%. Wholesale revenue was up by 13.7% for the full year but the strength of the second half was sown with a rise of 19.6%
Watch the TipTV Daily Market Roundup with Brand CEO Alan Green & Zak Mir. Stocks discussed include ASOS (ASC), Michael Page Intl (MPI), British American Tobaccos (BATS), Just Eat (JE.), ITV (ITV) plus the outlook for Gold.