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Ladbrokes Doesn’t Like Losing – Come On Leicester!

Ladbrokes LAD complains that at Cheltenham bookmaking principles were abandoned because of intense competition and that until then results had been favourable, At least that tells us that one of the main principles of the betting industry is that the bookie always wins and something has gone seriously wrong if they don’t. Similarly Ladbrokes is not looking forward to the end of the football season because it stands to lose 3 million pounds  if Leicester wins the Premiership.  So come on Leicester, do your best please.

Despite the unwelcome success of the punters, Ladbrokes had an encouraging start to the year with 3rd quarter net revenue up by 10.6% and digital net revenue by over 35%.

SKYplc SKY enjoyed a strong third quarter with strong demand from new customers producing excellent financial results Group revenue rose by 5% and operating profit by 12%. Germany and Austria led the way with a rise of 10% but Italy switched off with a 2% decline in revenue and 49% collapse in profitability.

Sky claims it is building Europe’s leading entertainment business. Looking at the rubbish on offer throughout most of Europe that should not be a particularly challenging task. Presumably “leading” will turn out to mean pandering to the lowest possible audience.

United Carpets UCG Final results will be ahead of expectations and it’s not often you hear that from the carpet industry. The improved trading seen in the first half has continued into the second half with like for like sales up by 6.4%


Go Ahead Group GOG keeps repeating in today’s update that 3rd quarter trading has been satisfactory. In fact it seems to have been a bit better than that with rail revenue up by 5.5%, 9.5% and 3% in its three rail divisions and passenger numbers up by 2.5%, 5% and 3% respectively. Regional and London buses were in line with expectations.

Computacenter CCC Revenue for the quarter to 31st March was flat. Uk revenue was down 4% due to the ending of a large contract.

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Stanley Gibbons Leads Corporate Cock Up Day

sglogoAs recently as mid January Stanley Gibbons (SGI) said that it would be comparatively unattractive to raise by way of new equity the 10m funding, which it desperately needed. So here we are less than 6 weeks later and guess what? The funding is being raised by way of new equity. Otherwise it would be unable to repay its additional overdraft facility of 6m., by the end of March.

The nonsense does not end there. The company now expects to make a full year loss of between 1 and 2m. due to lower revenues and failing to achieve the planned cost savings.

The auditors have resigned because the risks and uncertainties of doing the audit, exceed what they regard as acceptable.  Unfortunately the board still seems to be in situ and senior management is still clinging on but for what purpose, one can only guess.

Ladbrokes (LAD) has slashed its 2015 dividend by 66.3% as profit before tax plummets by 46.4% and group operating profit by 35.7%.  It claims that this is a good start to the delivery of its new strategy.

Drax (DRX) has decimated its final dividend with a cut from 7.2p to 0.6p meaning that 2015 total dividends have halved from 11.9p to 5.7p.  Earnings per share are down 52% from 23.7p to 11.3p. The disastrous performance is all due to severe market deterioration and believe it or not, difficult regulatory challenges.

As on every bad day, there is some good news and of course it comes from the property sector, where else? Unite Group (UTG) which now has 46,000 operational student beds is raising its full year dividend by 34% to15p after profit before tax soared from 108.4m. to 388.4m and earnings per share rose by 66%

Croda International (CRDA) also delivers good news with record sales and pre tax profits. The full year dividend is being increased by 5.3% in addition to which a special dividend of 100p has already been paid. The company made strong progress, driven by innovation and by sales growth in all four divisions and in all its geographical regions.

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