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Kingfisher plc KGF claims that its engine has now been largely rebuilt and it is confident in delivering significant financial benefits but only over time. And looking at results for the year to the 31st January, that time sees nowhere near having arrived. Growth in sales, margin and returns is being targeted but only over the medium term which appears to indicate that there is not much promise for the short term. Underperformance in France and other parts of the business needs addressing which is an admission that it has not not been so far. The closure is being considered of 15 poorly performing stores across the business over the next 2 years; as well as the closure of 19 Screwfix outlets in Germany, where the heart of industrial Europe is alleged to beat strong. As for the recent past, there is little wonder that the immediate future looks grim.
Total sales for the year fell by 1.6% on a like for like basis, Uunderlying profit before tax was down 13% or 52.6% on a statutory basis. Underlying basic earnings per share fell by 6.%. Mercifully the dividend remained unchanged.
TI Fluid Systems plc TIFS had a great year in 2018 with strong organic growth and solid profit margins. Final results for the year to the 31st December showed profits growing by €24.9m. to €140.1m.. whilst a final dividend is proposed of 5.94 euro cents per share. The groups approach to continued and disciplined organic growth has, it says, positioned it well for 2019 and beyond.
SDL plc SDL reports a solid improvement in the Group’s financial performance compared to 2017, with all divisions performing well. Revenue for the year to 31st December rose by 12.6% and on an adjusted basis, basic earnings per share gre by 23.7% and operating profit by 20.8%. The company believes that Brexit brings risks and opportunities which it can manage.
Tasty plc TAST Revenue fell by 6% to £47.28m in the year to the 30th December due to site closures and like-for-like decline. Three restaurants were sold and one closed in 2018. There is no intention to open any new restaurants in 2019 and management claims it will be focused on restructuring and improving profitability from the existing portfolio.
Ten Entertainment Group TEG has had another good year and is facing excellent future growth prospects. Sales in the first 11 weeks of the current year have started positively, with like-for-like sales up 5.1%. to date. Total sales in 2018 rose by 7.5%, adjusted EBITDA by 8% and earnings per share by 16.6%. A final dividend is announced of 7.7p per share making 11p per share for the full year
Kingfisher KGF Despite double digit declines in virtually everything for the half year to the 31st July, Kingfisher tries to put a brave face on things and claim that for the third year in a row, it is on track to deliver strategic milestones. That can only be true if it had some very peculiar milestones in mind such as falls of 30.1% and 29.5% in statutory post and pre tax profits and basic earnings per share down by 27.1%.The half year report is littered with words such as tough, challenges, inefficiencies, mixed and difficult, each one a give away as to how bad things really are.
Constant currency sales fell by 1.1%, adjusted profit before tax was down by 18% and basic earnings per share by 15.4%. The performance in France needs support which does not sound very encouraging and all that is said for the outlook for the rest of the year, is that in its main markets things will continue to be mixed.
Babcock International Group BAB has issued a further update covering the period from the 1st April, confirming that it continues to make significant progress in expanding its international businesses. New offices are being opened in South Korea and Japan. Low single digit underlying organic revenue growth at constant currency is expected for the full year and margins are expected to be stable.
Stagecoach Group SGC provides an update for the financial year to the 27th April which is rather curates eggish. Revenue decreases in London Bus reflected the impact of contracts lost in the previous year but the regions provided like for like growth of 3.2%. Operating costs were higher in the hot weather which sounds like a sort of “wrong type of leaves on the line” sort of excuse. North America failed to impress with a like for like revenue decline of 3.8%.
Science in Sport SIS enjoyed strong growth in the half year to the 30th June with revenue rising by 20% to 9.93m. In the three months to August growth is described as having been very strong. Core business has been profitable at the half year for the first time with £0.3 million EBITDA. International markets also performed strongly with growth of 53% and international revenue now accounts for 34% of the total compared to 27% in the previous year.
Rank Group RNK the year to the 30th June was a year of decline and disappointment which for some reason has left the Board full of confidence. The results are in line with the Boards expectations but only expectations which had been revised during the year. For Grosvenor Casinos the year was a challenging one but Mecca’s performance by contrast beat expectations. Profit before tax and earnings per share for the year both fell by 6.3% although on a statutory basis the fall in profit was much steeper at 41.4%. A company-wide transformation programme is only in its development phase but the new Chief Executive says he is moving quickly to identify the key priorities. The disappointment has not been allowed to spread to the final dividend which contrary to the other statistics is to be increased by 2.1%.
Marshalls plc MSLH produced strong revenue growth in the 6 months to the end of June and the interim dividend is to be increased by 18%. Revenue and profit before tax both rose by 12%, basic earnings per share by 10% and EBITDA by 13%. In June and July, however growth became even stronger with revenue rising by 21%.
Kingfisher KGF updates that second quarter group like for like sales to the end of July rose by 1.6% and on a reported basis by 3.4%. The Chief Executive claims that the company is now on track to deliver its strategic milestones for the third year in a row, helped by good recoveries at both B&Q and Screwfix. For once the UK & Ireland is not the laggard with screwfis sales rising by 11.8%, still someway behind Germany with a rise of 26.6%
Filtronic plc FTC experienced another year of strong demand for its products. For the year to the end of May profit before tax rose from 1.2m to 2.2m and basic earnings per share from 0.59p to 1.51p per share after sales revenue rose from £24m. to £35.4m. Two major contracts were secured during the course of the year and the company was also approved as a vendor by a major US mobile network operator.
Tribal Group TRB has completed the first phase of the turnaround started in 2016 and for the half year to the 30th June, despite a small fall in revenue, earnings per share rose by 76% and and statutory profit after tax by 83%. Market share has been gained in its core markets.
Kingfisher KGF claims to have delivered key strategic milestones for the second year in a row as statutory profit before tax fall by 10.1% and basic earnings per share by 18.5%. Definately a milestone of some sort there. Even the CEO joins in claiming this is all good progress.On a reported and adjusted basis earnings per share fell by 10.7% and like for like sales on a constant currency basis were down by 0.7%. Dividends for the full year are to be increased by 4%. The company claims that it is aware of the challenges ahead and is ready for another big year of implementations in 2018-19. The shareholders will perhaps be hoping that the Board learns that falls are a bad thing and in many companies are not regarded as “good progress.”
GKN plc GKN fights back against some of the more dubious claims made by Melrose in an attempt to ensure that GKN shareholders have information which is both complete and correct and that they will not be influenced by Melroses misleading statements. GKN scathingly makes the point that Melrose has failed to disclose any plans for GKN’s aerospace business but at the same time is lambasting GKN for having copied those non existent plans. It points out that Melrose is a novice in automotive, without experience as a tier one supplier, only minimal experience in aerospace and only a minimal track record in both automotive and aerospace.
If words are anything to go by GKN must be winning hands down by the clarity and factual nature of its responses which compare well with the frenzied attitude adopted by Melrose. Unfortunately this battle between behemoths will not be won by words but as is usual in these cicumstances, by greed.
Softcat SCT In the six months to the 31st January Softcat enjoyed strong growth, robust customer demand, strong cash generation and profitable gains in market share. Revenue for the half year rose by 24.9%, operating profit by 19.1% and the interim dividend is to be increased by 13.8% to 3.3p per share.
Kingfisher KGF Third quarter sales illustrate the problems facing many European high streets. The UK & Ireland did reasonably well with a rise of 1.5% on a like for like and constant currency basis although this was only possible because of a 10.2% rise at Screwfix. France, Russia and Spain performed badly and the only bright spot was Poland with a gain of 6% but that was perhaps to be expected now that all those Polish plumbers and plasterers have left the UK and gone back home for a better life. Overall the total result was a decline in sales of 0.5%. Let us hope that this is not a harbinger of things to come as the internet takes over.
CRH plc CRH the 9 months to the end of September saw the continuation of underlying growth in the Americas, although this was impacted by adverse weather. Positive momentum in Europe continued with a 2% rise in sales but Asia was bad news with the first halfs decline in sales rising by 50% in quarter 3 to 12%. Like for like EBITDA in Asia slumped by 45% whilst the rest of the world only managed a tiny rise of 2%. Once again the Poles came up trumps with cement volumes well ahead of 2016.
Entertainment One ETO claims strong and robust first half results with last years loss of 2.5m being wiped out and replaced with a reported profit before tax of 0.8m. Revenue was stable and on an adjusted basis, profit before tax rose by 53%.
Halma HLMA produced record revenue, profits and dividends in the six months to the 30th September, with both statutory profit before tax and earnings per share rising by 18%. Revenue was up by 15% with growth in all major regions and sectors. The interim dividend is to be increased by 7%
Homeserve HSV is increasing its interim dividend by 15% for the half year to the 30th September after good rises of 17% in EBITDA and 13% in adjusted operating profit. Strong momentum continued in North America and there was further growth in France & Spain
Big Yellow Group BYG is increasing its interim dividend by 13% in line with adjusted profit before tax, after a good first half performance and a rise in like for like revenue of 6%
Kingfisher plc KGF The jargon filled half year report claims that the six months to 31st July saw a significant increase in the level of transformation activity but it can not hide the fact that sales continued to fall and profits slumped. An increase of 2.5% in the interim dividend will not fool anybody. Sales appear reasonable with a rise of 4.5% until you look at them in constant currency terms which shows a fall of 1.3% Profit figures are given in a variety of guises, all of them bad. In constant currency terms they fell by 4.6%. On an adjusted basis they were down 5.7% and basic earnings per share followed suit with a fall of 4.4% On a statutory basis pre tax profits fell by 5.9% and post tax profits by 8.1%. To add to the misery the company is cautious about what it calls the second half :”backdrop” in France and the UK.
Diageo DGE has issued a trading commentary ahead of its AGM asserting that it is expecting mid single digit top line growth for the current year, relying on the strength of its marketing, innovation and commercial execution but it expects to be impacted by a late Chinese New Year and an expected motorway ban in India, hardly signs of unbridled confidence.
600 Group plc SIXH updates before todays AGM that its current machine tool order book is up by 60% and industrial lasers by 36%, on the same time last year, which augurs well for trading in the second half of the year.
Cello Group CLL Despite a slight fall in revenue Cello claims an encouraging first half, producing a statutory profit before tax of £2.7m for the 6 months to the 30th June, compared to a loss of £0.8m last year whilst basic earnings per share came in at 2.16p compared to last years loss of 1.08p per share. The interim dividend is increased by 5%
Science in Sport SIS experienced continued strong growth in the half year to the 30th June, with revenue rising by 28% and e commerce delivering 87% growth, followed by International with a rise of 55%. Whilst still producing operating losses, profitability at EBITDA level is expected for the full year.
Kingfisher KGF has no problem finding excuses for its second quarter performance and even includes continued disruptions across the businesses without bothering to enlighten us as to what those may be and whether they are due to management decisions or external forces which management has been unable to cope with. Seasonal swings in both first and second quarters get their share of the blame but there is no let up in the outlook for the second half of the year about which the company remains cautious. However all may be well in the end because the company is on track to deliver its strategic milestones for year 2 of its transformation, which reading between the lines may be the real cause of the poor performance.
B&Q’s seasonal performance in the UK was down 11%, whilst weaker sales in France added to the gloom. Like for like sales during the quarter to 31st July were down 1.9% at constant currency rates. UK & Ireland saw a fall of 1% but B&Q itself was down 4.7%. In France the fall was 3.8% but Russia led the way with drop of 10.1%. Poland on the other hand showed what could be done with a rise of 4% but perhaps that is due to all these Polish plumbers and joiners who had set up in the UK and then decided to return home to Poland for a better life.
Be that as it may this is yet another major UK company which found the need to transform itself and then discovered that the cure was as bad as the illness. Next year should be the year which will tell us whether it has all been worthwhile and whether, in the end, the cure worked.
Rank Group plc enjoyed strong growth in digital which rose by 63% during the year to the end of June but the first half proved to be challenging for the company and despite strong growth in the second half, group like for like revenue grew by only 1%, and actually fell by 1% in the UK. Adjusted earnings per share and profit before tax rose by 4% and 2% respectively. Shareholders are compensated with a rise of 12% in the dividend.
Marshalls MSLH Results for the half year to the 30th June saw both profit before tax and basic earnings per share, rise by 16%, with EBITDA up by 13%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 17%. The company believes that its innovative product range and strong market position will continue to support further growth.