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Lighthouse Group plc LGT claims an excellent set of results for 2018 despite softening market conditions in the second half of the year. With an Interim dividend of 0.20p. per share already paid, a final dividend of 0.50p. per share is now proposed compared to 30p per share in 2017, making a 67% increase for the full year. Further growth is expected for 2019 notwithstanding current market uncertainty.
Travis Perkins plc TPK saw like for like revenue growth of 4.9% in the year to the 31st December, after a strong second half. in which adjusted operating profit, excluding property profits, grew by 10.7%. helped by successful cost reductions. Despite that, adjusted operating profit for the year as a whole fell by 1.3% and the rise in the yearly dividend was limited to 2.2%. Uncertain market conditions are expected to continue in the near future and adjusted operating profit for 2019 is expected to be similar to 2018 at 375m.
Meggitt PLC MGGT Organic revenue growth of 9% reflected a strong performance in growing end-markets for 2018, with 7% growth in civil aerospace, 10% in defence and 19% in energy. On an organic order basis growth came in at 12%. Recommended final dividend of 11.35p gives a full year increase of 5%. The Chief Executive regards it as a landmark year and further good progress is expected for 2019.
Augean PLC AUG is currently experiencing strong initial trading for the start of 2019 after a pleasing 2018 in which adjusted profit before tax increased by 69% and basic earnings per share by 56%. Cost savings exceeded their target. Trading in the first months of 2019 is well ahead of last year. Further growth is targeted in the core key markets of Energy from Waste and North Sea Decommissioning.
Hotel Chocolat Group HOTC Enjoyed strong sales growth across retail, digital & wholesale channels in the six months to the end of December. Revenue rose by 13% and both reported profit before tax and profit after tax rose by 7%. The interim dividend remains unchanged at 6p per share.Christmas was again successful, with the launch of the new Velvetiser Hot Chocolate maker which exceeded initial expectations six-fold.
HSBC Holdings HSBA claims that 2017 produced good results which demonstrate the strength and potential of HSBC and, believe it or not, it is simpler, stronger and more secure than it was in 2011.If that is the best it can find to say about itself that is not a rosy picture. Adjusted profit before tax rose by 11% and reported profit before tax by 141 %. The final dividend has been maintained and the group has benefited from 1% of positive adjusted jaws which should please everyone who enjoys jargon. Significantly I can not find in the report a single mention of service or customer care, although plaudit upon plaudit is heaped on senior management for the sterling work it is said to have done during the year. HSBC has also agreed to pay over $100m dollars by way of settlement of a US criminal investigation into rigged currency transactions in which its excellent senior management involved it.
Dunelm Group DNLM is increasing its interim dividend by 7.7% for the half year to the 31st December, after like for like sales growth of 6% and total growth of 18%. Online sales grew by 50% or 36.8% on a like for like basis. Underlying basic earnings per share fell by 6.6% as against a rise of 1.8% on a reported basis, whilst underlying profit before tax fell by 8% compared to a tiny rise of 0.7% on a reported basis. The company is pleased that it continued to gain market share in a static homeware market.
Tracsis Group TRCS trading across all parts of the business was strong in the six months to the 31st January and comfortably ahead of the previous year. Revenue rose from £15.6m to £18m and EBITDA was up by 25%. The completion of two acquisitions on the 1st February are expected to lead to further growth
Lighthouse Group LGT delivered an excellent set of results for 2017 with profit before tax rising by 32%, in celebration of which it is increasing the final dividend from 18p per share to 30p.representing an increase of 55% for the full year after taking into account the increase in the interim dividend from 9p. to 12p. Revenue for the year grew by 13% and EBITDA by 27%.
Synectics plc SNX is increasing its final dividend by 50% to match the rise in profit before tax also up by 50%, despite revenue for the year to 30th November remaining static and a fall in the year end order book.
Stobart Group STOB The new CEO who has only been in post for two months has issued a surprise warning that the company faces short term risks in both energy and aviation and that there will be short term delays in the company’s value creation potential although the long term potential remains unaffected. Despite the popularity of Southend airport where passenger numbers rose by 22% in the 5 months to the 31st July, more airlines need to be persuaded to use it. In energy, problems have been caused by delays in commissioning new power stations and in the take up of agreed bio mass volumes, with only 40,000 tonnes being supplied out of a notified 190 tonnes. The second half should see some amelioration in the position with expectations that deliveries will reach 330 tonnes.
Halfords HFD Like for like revenue for the 20 weeks to the 18th August rose by 2.7% with retail growing by 3.5% and auto centres down by 2% “as planned”. No explanation is given as to how or why the decline was planned (editor has a good idea – sic). The strongest areas were travel solutions with growth of 8.2% and cycling which was up by 5.2%.
Redrow RDW has delivered record financial results for the fourth consecutive year and a final dividend of 11p per share makes a 70% increase for the year to 30th June. And that is nothing compared to what the future three years will bring, with expectations that 2017’s 17p total will in 2020 have nearly doubled to 32p per share. As for 2017 legal completions rose by 15%, revenue by 20%, profit before tax by 26% and earnings per share by 27%. Sales in the first 9 weeks of the new financial year are up 8% on a year ago.
Mattioli Woods MTW enjoyed strong new business flows during the year to the 31st May leading to a 17.4% rise in revenue, 18% in EBITDA and 18.7% in basic earnings per share. The final dividend is to be increased by 12.8%. The company;s financial position is described as strong with net cash of £23m
Lighthouse Group LTG made further progress in the 6 months to the 30th June with revenue rising by 8% leading to rises in EBITDA and basic earnings per share of 26% and 35% respectively. The interim dividend is to be increased by 33% to 12p per share.
Trakm8 Holdings TRAK Route Monkey is in a trend to move to SaaS revenues. Once you get extreme jargon like that in a company’s trading update you know it has been having a fairly bad time and Trakm8 is no exception. It witters on about its pipelines and how strong they are as if nobody is aware that company’s only start talking about pipelines when things have got bad. In good or even normal times, they are referred to as orders and order books but in bad times the company wants to pretend it is a big oil major so it begins to warble on about pipelines.
The Executive Chairman claims to be frustrated because the company is having to substantially reduce its expectations for this year, despite having such a “strong pipeline”. Looking at the list of woes which the company has produced, it is surprising that his frustrations have only surfaced now just before the year end on the 31st March.
Firstly the growth of installed base units has been lower than expected. Then new revenues are being delayed, some into the next financial year. Short term revenue and cash generation are being suppressed. A reduction in contract manufacturing for third parties has led to a specific revenue loss of £2.5m. The adjusted operating profit for the year will be significantly below that of 2016 and will impact both indebtedness and cash flow. Annualised overheads are being reduced by £1.5m to try and reduce the damage.
The signs were all there at half time when profit before tax for the 6 months to 30th September collapsed by 90%
Interco, Hotels Group IHG is increasing the total dividend for the year to the end of December by 11%, after a rise of 4.6% in revenue, 9.5% in underlying operating profit and 23.1% in adjusted earnings per share. The Chief executive claims that the results demonstrate the strong operational performance of the Group and its long term strategy. At the same time the fundamentals for the hospitality industry remain compelling, he adds.
Lighthouse Group LGT saw profit before tax surge by 119% to £1.9m for the year to 31st December and the final dividend is to be raised from 16p per share to 18p. EBITDA rose by 37%. Revenue rose slightly by 2% but operating costs were kept in check falling by 7%. That plus an increase in the annualised average revenue per advisor led to the substantial increase in earnings.