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Ian Pollard – Persimmon – Strong Growth As Sales Decline

NEXT plc NXT first quarter trading to the 27th April was saved only  by online sales which rose by 11% and are forecast to continue to grow at the same rate for the remainder of the year. Full price retail sales for the quarter fell by 3.6%. The picture for the remainder of the year is even bleaker with the forecast decline more than doubling to 8.6%. Group profit before tax for the year to January 2020 is expected to show a fall of 1.1%

Persimmon plc PSN  Claims that since the start of the year the new build housing market has proved resilient with high levels of employment, and low interest rates, freely available and attractive mortgages, continuing to support consumer confidence. The Group’s current forward sales position is described as being strong with total forward sales revenue, taken to date in 2019, of £2,698 million down from £2,798 million in 2018. Most companies take the view that a rise in sales is a better test of performance.

Rank Group plc RNK experienced flat like-for-like revenue for the quarter ended 31 March 2019, with total revenue up 1%. The poor start to the year with declines of 6% at Grosvenor and Mecca, improving to 0% and !% respectively and leaving group revenue for quarter 3 level, up from a 5% fall in the first quarter.

IWG plc IWG Growth remained strong during the quarter to the 31st March with Group revenue increasing  by 10.6% at constant currency rates. The improvement was  driven by double digit revenue growth in the Americas, Asia Pacific and EMEA. France, Germany and Spain, also contributed very strongly.

Redhall Group plc RHL the Board anticipates that the full year trading performance for the Group will be materially below its previous expectations. . These were based on the group winning a number of  new contracts, which would deliver a strong trading performance in the second half of the year but delays in the award of a number of these projects and a reduction, in the value of Jordan Manufacturing’s contract for a major nuclear infrastructure programme have impacted those expectations. The groups pipeline of opportunities remains strong and the Board anticipates that it will be able to deliver steady growth into 2020.

Sainsbury J. plc SBRY announces underlying profits up 7.8 per cent, ahead of target and final dividend up 11.3% making a total increase for the year of 7.8 per cent.

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Ian Pollard – Whitbread #WTB UK Decline Turned Into “Growth”

Whitbread plc WTB tries to put a brave face on its first quarter results by headlining sales growth and expansion and ignoring the unhappy reality. The truth is that growth  is due to investment in new hotels and new Costa stores. On a like for like basis the quarter has been, to put it politely, uncomfortable, with falls in every division led believe it or not by Costa the former  jewel in the  crown, now looking a bit tarnished with a fall of 2%. Total group “UK growth” should be renamed total UK decline with the like for like group total down by 1.3%. Fortunately the  fairly blatantly misleading headlines are unlikely to mislead many.

Ultra Electronics ULE expects that the half year performance and revenue will be broadly in line with the exception of Herley which management  appears to have allowed to be impacted by cost overruns on development contracts.  Although some recovery is expected in the second half and the order book at the end of May was strong it is expected that the problems at Herley will result in full year operating profit being reduced by £4m to £6m. The new CEO says he is excited by what he has seen presumably referring to the fact that the brakes have been taken off US defence spending, a matter which outside his and the company’s control.

IWG plc IWG There is not mny sign of excitement at IWG where group operating profit for 2018 is expected to be £15. to £20m. below management expectations.  The UK business is not performing as management was expecting despite strong trends in global sales activity. In order to strengthen its position IWG proposes to increase new space by 45% which as is usual in these circumstances, will bring with it extra short term losses

1pm plc OPM Results for the year are expected to show record year on year increases in revenue and profits. Revenue has risen by 0ver 75% of which more than 30% was organic and basic earnings per share rose by more than 20%. The CEO claims that the figures illustrate the success of the company’ buy and build strategy over the past three years during which it has completed seven acquisitions which has

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Ian Pollard – IWG Receives An Approach

IWG plc IWG confirms that it has received an approach from Terra Firma Investments Ltd regarding a possible cash offer for its entire share capital.  This being considered by the Board and there is no certainty that an offer will be made.

Marlowe plc produced another strong financial performance in the year to the 31st March,  its second year of trading as Marlowe plc and one in which it completed nine acquisitions. Adjusted revenue rose by 72%, EBITDA by 81%, profit before tax by 74% and earnings per share by 35%. The current years trading is in line with expectations.

Pebble Beach Systems PEB Despite challenging market conditions which coincided with a period of technology changes, PEB’s performance in the year to 31st December was steady. The loss making hardware division was disposed of and adjusted operating profit for the continuing business came in at £0.5m compared to a loss of £1.1m in 2016. Net debt was also reduced from £14.5m to £10.3m

Pelatro plc PTRO which joined AIM just over six months ago updates that it is delighted with progress as it attracts new customers and contracts as well as building revenue from existing customers. It views the future with considerable optimism

AIM Shares which topped the charts at the close on Friday, were led by Edenville Energy and Seeing Machines and also included;

Edenville Energy 0.33 +38.30%
Seeing Machines 13.57 +18.04%
Feedback 2.00 +17.65%
Vast Resources 0.58 +13.73%
Nuformix Ord 0.1p 3.35 +13.56%

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