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Ian Pollard – Gear4Music #GFM rocking to the tune

Gear4music  G4M Enjoyed strong growth during the four months to the 31st December with total sales up by 41%. Further sales growth in excess of expectations was constrained by the York distribution centre reaching maximum capacity during the peak trading period between Black Friday and Christmas. As a result full year EBITDA for 2019 is expected to be slightly below 2018 levels. UK sales during the four month rose by 36% and Europe and the Rest of The World by 47%. The total 41% sales rise shows a further gain over the 36% rise shown in the first half

LightwaveRF plc LWRF saw revenue rise by 156% during the first quarter to the 31st December with Telesales up by 46%  and E-commerce by 506%. The momentum from the last quarter of 2018 continued into the first quarter of 2019, which produced a rise of 156% compared to the first quarter of 2018.

Johnson Service Group JSG continued to trade well during the half year to the 31st December. The Stalbridge Linen unit in London has now been successfully completed on time and on budget and the recent acquisition of South West Laundry made at the end of August 2018 is being successfully integrated within the Brand. A contract has now been signed  with a developer for the building and subsequent lease of a new laundry in the North of England.

Ian Pollard: Smith & Nephew Impacted By Weak First Quarter

 Smith & Nephew SN has produced a mixed performance for the quarter to the 31st March with revenue rising by 5% including currency benefits of 5%. Softer markets and a slowdown in Bioactives were offset by stronger growth in emerging markets which showed a rise of 15% on a reported basis. The trend is expected to improve over the remainder of the year but full year guidance has been impacted by the effects of the weak first quarter and underlying revenue growth is expected to be in the range of 2-3%

Centamin CEY A rise of 23% in first quarter revenue led to a surge of 122% in profit before tax for the quarter compared to a year ago although compared to the previous quarter there was a fall of 17%. Gold sales rose 14% year on year and the results were also helped by a 9% rise in the average price of gold over the year.

James Fisher & Sons plc FSJ Trading for the year so far has been in line with management expectations and offshore oil has been showing signs of recovery. All four divisions appear well set and the outlook for the year is positive.

Johnson Service Group JSG expects full year results will be slightly ahead of current market expectations. Following the substantial growth seen in 2017, trading in the year to date has continued to be strong.

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ April passenger numbers rose by19% and the load factor for April rose to 90.9%. Six new routes were opened and operations were commenced at 2 additional airports. Three brand new Airbus A 320s were added to the fleet bringing it to a total of 96 aircraft. Wizz has also been named European Airline of the year.


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Ian Pollard – Persimmon To Distribute Largesse To The Shareholders

Persimmon PSN describes its 2017 performance as excellent and its continued outperformance as enabling  an  increase in capital return payments of 125p. per share to be made in each of the next three years, to be paid as an interim dividend  in late March / early April of each year, commencing on the 29th March 2018. The scheduled capital return of 110p per share will be paid on the 2nd July as a final dividend for 2017. 2017 was another year of disciplined high quality growth with revenue up by 9%, underlying profit before tax by 25% and earnings per share by 26%. The average selling price rose by 3.2%.

GKN plc GKN claims to be excited about plans for its” fantastic businesses” which include the separation of Aerospace and Driveline into two separate companies in 2019. As for 2017 organic sales rose by 6% and exceeded £10 billion for the first time. Profit before tax on a statutory basis rose by 125% and the final dividend is to be increased by 5%.

Direct Line Insurance Group DLG. 2017 was the fifth consecutive year in which DLG delivered a strong financial performance,and shareholders are getting their just rewards with whopping dividend increases.Profit before tax for the year to the 31st December surged by 52.7% and the final dividend is to be increased by 40.2% to 13.6p on top of the jump in the interim dividend of 38.8%. A special dividend of 15p per share is also to be paid which is an increase of 50% over last years payment.

Johnson Service Group plc JSG Following the disposal of the dry cleaning division in January 2017  Johnson transformed itself into a textile services business and with the help of acquisitions made during the year, delivered a strong financial performance, with revenue rising by 13.3%. Adjusted profit before tax for the year to the 31st December  rose by 17.5% and diluted earnings per share by 14.5%. The final dividend is to be increased by 12% to 2.8p per share.

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Johnson Services – “Exceptional First Half Performance.”

Johnson Service Group JSG produced an exceptional first half performance across all its brands with revenue for the 6 months to the 30th June rising by 19.3% and organic growth at 4.8%. Profit before tax was up by 30.3% and the interim dividend is to be increased by 12.5%. Full year results are expected to be slightly ahead of current expectations

Dechra Pharmaceuticals DPH claims another strong financial performance for the year to the end of June and is raising the final dividend by 16.1%. Acquisitions from the previous year have performed well. Repeated references to pipelines without apparently understanding what they are, spoils the presentation but the figures speak for themselves with revenue growth of 28.3%, underlying EBITDA and profit before tax up by 35.5% and 38.4% respectively but please, no more nonsense like ‘pipeline opportunities’.

Michelmersh Brick MBH Claims it is well positioned to produce a strong operational and financial performance in the second half, with forward orders at the half year end on the 30th June ahead of target at 55 million bricks.  Following the acquisition of Carlton Main Brickworks the company is going through a transformational period. First half profit before tax fell from £2.6 to £2.4m and earnings per share  excluding exceptional items were down from 2.57 to 2.3p per share. An interim dividend of 0.7p. per share is to be paid in January.

Randall & Quilter RQIH produced a very strong first half performance, which was significantly ahead of 2016, with pre tax profits more than quadrupling from £1.2m to £5.4m. and earnings per share rising from 1.5p to 7.9p, including a tax credit of 0.5m. Profit after tax rose from £928,000 to £5.9m. and the outlook beyond the current year is described as looking very promising.

Biome Technologies BIOM  saw revenue for the six months to 30th June rise by 38% and group profit up from £1.1m to£1.5m which it describes as an encouraging performance with the Stanelco division order book strong and lengthening.


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Sainsbury’s Lesson in Retailing

Sainsbury J. SBRY put in a strong performance during the quarter to the 1st July with retail like for like sales growing by 2.3% and grocery sales by an even larger 3%. Online grocery sales surged by 8%. In General merchandising and Clothing, Sainsbury outperformed the market and this was not a one quarter flash in the pan. Clothing sales rose by 7.2% which is enough to make most clothing retailers turn green with envy, especially as this is the third consecutive quarter in which Sainsbury has stormed ahead on clothing sales, the second half of the previous financial year having produced growth of 15.2%.

The secret to the strong overall performance is put down to three simple things, quality, choice and value. Most of the big retailers would claim the same. The difference with Sainsbury is that it is not just more tired old jargon, it is actually giving it to the customers.

Hunting plc HTG expects to remain loss making as a group during the first half but with positive EBITDA. Its Perforating Systems Business has produced results ahead of management expectations, having benefited from the increase in onshore drilling in the US. Elsewhere conditions in Europe and in US offshore drilling remain weak as a result of the continuing law oil price. Hopes for the future hinge at present on US onshore drilling.

Imagination Technologies IMG completed its restructuring in the year to the 30th April and ended up producing a strong set of results. Group revenue rose by 19% and the adjusted loss per share fell from 9.2p to 0.9p whilst on a reported basis the decline was from 29.8p to 10.1p The impact of the dispute with Apple continues.

Apple no doubt, sees no reason why it should seek a resolution. All it has to do is sit tight and wait for the dawn of the new era when it no longer needs the technology provided for  so long by Imagination Technologies. And if Apple is wrong on that, it won’t matter a jot by then. The damage will have been done and were Apple not a completely scrupulous and honest company, it would probably be able to pick up the bits and pieces and buy them for next to nothing. Meanwhile Imagination continues preliminary discussions with potential bidders for the whole Group.

600 Group plc SIXH now conducts over 60% of its activities in the US with only 12% of group sales being made to the EU in the year to the 1st April. Profits for the year rose by 79% and earnings per share by 50%. Current order books at the year end were 29% up in industrial lasers and 50% in machine tools compared to the same time last year.

Johnson Services Group JSG has traded very well during the half year to the 30th June and expects that results will be slightly ahead of management expectations.

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Persimmon Full Of Optimism

Persimmon PSN ends 2016 full of optimism and  certainly does not share the gloom displayed by many of its competitors. Revenue rose by 8% during the year and average sales prices were increased by a modest 4% which compares favourably with the greed shown by many of the household names in the industry. Competitive mortgage rates remain a key factor behind the strength of the market, Autumn reservations were strong and second half private sales rates were 15% ahead of 2015 and legal completions rose by 10%. Second half margins are also expected to have improved because of cheaper prices for land.

Churchill China CHH also has a smile on its face with its update for 2016. final quarter trading has been ahead of expectations, performance in export markets has been strong and the operating performance for the year to the end of December gas been ahead of market expectations and well ahead of 2015. Preliminary results will be announced on the 28th March.

<img class="alignleft" src="https://upload.wikimedia herbal slimming pills.org/wikipedia/en/d/d4/PureCircle_logo.jpeg” width=”113″ height=”68″ />Pure Circle PURE experienced very strong growth in 2016 in Europe and in Latin America but first half sales are expected to be down 14% on 2016 following the detention of shipments by US Customs which has been large enough to offset growth in the rest of the world. First half group profits are expected to be down by 19% as a direct result of this and for the full year it is anticipated that for the full year last years profit of $5m. will be turned into a loss of $2m. The company has been working with US Customs from whom a final decision is now awaited.

Science in Sport SIS enjoyed strong growth in the year to 31st December with sales rising by 30%. Direct sales for the year doubled and the new Australian operation delivered sales ahead of expectations.  Continuing strong growth is confidently expected for 2017 and beyond.

Johnson Services JSG is disposing of its dry cleaning business to Timpsons for £8.25m. Results for the year to 31st December will be slightly ahead of current market expectations.

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