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Corporate news review Friday 13th October 2017

Angus Energy ANGS says it has successfully completed the drilling of the Lidsey-X2 production well. Angus will produce from a “net oil pay” section of 443 metres from the Great Oolite limestone reservoir. MD Paul Vonk said he was “encouraged the site offers further scope for development.”

Ashmore Group ASHM updates on trading for Q1 and says AuM increased by $6.3bn while gross redemptions continued to fall quarter-on-quarter, delivering the highest net inflows for four years. Performance of the Group’s funds against benchmarks continues to be very strong over one, three and five years.

GKN GKN updates on trading and says it has been made aware of two commercially sensitive claims for GKN Aerospace and GKN Driveline which are expected to result in a charge of around £40m in Q4 2017. Overall in Q3, GKN achieved good organic sales growth, with GKN Driveline continuing to outperform the market and GKN Aerospace delivering sales slightly up on the prior year.

Man Group EMG updates on Q3 trading and says FuM grew 28% year to date to $103.5bn at 30 Sept 2017. Net inflows in the quarter of $2.8bn were driven by strong inflows into alternative risk premia and emerging market debt strategies.


Provident Financial PFG updates on trading, and says a home credit business recovery plan has been developed under new leadership to re-establish relationships with customers, stabilise the operation of the business and improve collections performance. Progress to date is in line with the recovery plan and is consistent with the guidance provided on 22 Aug 2017 of a pre-exceptional loss for the Consumer Credit Division (CCD) in a range of between £80m-£120m for 2017 as a whole. The search for a new CEO is underway.

Debenhams offers a fun social time as profits slide

Debenhams DEB Where shall we take the kids today, darling ? What about Debenhams for a fun social time? Daddy. daddy yes, pleeease ! There used to be only one reason to go to Debenhams and management appears to have completely forgotten what that was.  It was to shop and buy things, you dunderheads. If Debenhams customers are going for and having, a fun social time they are not buying and Debenhams is not selling. No wonder UK EBITDA is down by 6% No wonder its online performance has been strong and it is trying to make progress in non clothing categories and no wonder that for the half year to the 14th March group profit before tax fell by 6.4%.

Unilever plc ULVR is raising its quarterly dividend by 12% as first quarter turnover rose by 6.1% after a positive currency impact of 2.4%. Underlying sales growth for 2017 is now expected to rise by between 3% and 5%. Market conditions remained challenging with negative volume growth in Europe and North America. India did show some recovery from the effects of removal of currency notes but Brazil was adversely impacted by its economic crisis.

MAN Group EMG The first quarter of 2017 was a strong one for Man with funds under management rising by 10%, with growth in each of its investment engines. MAN now looks forward to the” alpha” opportunities being created by the global environment – Nothing like jargon when you are stuck for words – alpha opportunities indeed !

Paragon Entertainment Ltd PEL claims to have succeeded in doing what it set out to do in 2016, with revenue up by 70% to £14.4m and gross profit up by 91% to £3.76m. Projects completed included Coronation street, Fountains Abbey and Rolling Stones. With new projects in the pipeline, the company claims it is excited about its future

Amerisur Resources AMER Platanillo – 22 well has now been tested at 613 barrels of oil per day which is materially ahead of pre test expectations of between 300 and 400 bopd. The well has been placed on commercial production.

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film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2002 trailer

Victoria Piling On The Profits

Victoria plc VCP announced in April that full year pre tax profits were likely to be ahead of market expectations and the shares immediately went into reverse, losing a third of their value with a fall from 1600p in mid May to 1050p by the beginning of July. In July 2013 the sp stood at 200p, so that even after the recent fall, it has still risen 500% in three years – three years during which it has received 12 profit upgrades from equity research analysts.

The company boasts that its business plan is on an A4 sheet of paper, without a single annexe or attachment and that this is one of the reasons why it continues year after year to run rings round its competitors, claiming that it is half way round the track before they have even got their running shoes on.

Preliminary results for the year to 2nd April show a surge of over 130% in profit before tax with a rise from £7.9m to £18.2m and a rise in basic earnings per share of 232%.

Much of the growth, it admits, came from the acquisition of Quest Group and Interfloor Group but their like for like performances were significantly enhanced by Victoria’s management which overall produced a rise of 100% in group revenue and claims that the performance has continued with a strong start being made to the current year..

BP plc (BP.) Claims its second quarter results have been hit by lower oil and gas prices and significantly reduced refining margins but it has at last drawn a line under the Deepwater Horizon disaster at a cost of over $61 billion. This enables it to start looking to the future again and by the end of next year BP expects to be able to add new production of 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The dividend for the quarter remains unchanged.

Man Group EMG is losing its Chief Executive who is doing his own personal Brexit on the 1st September and taking his family back to the US, after the company has been forced to cut its interim dividend. First half results to the 30th June are fairly disastrous with net revenue down to $389m from $624m and statutory profit before tax collapsing by two thirds from $163m to $55m. The interim dividend is reduced  from 5.4 cents per share to 4.5 cents.

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