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ASOS ASC says FY retail sales grew strongly at +34% on a reported basis and +27% on a constant currency basis. Customer engagement remains strong with active customers6 +24%, average basket value +2% and average order frequency +5%. CEO Nick Beighton said the new financial year “shows continuing momentum in the business” and the potential for the company “remains huge.”
Bellway BWY reports another record year with completions rising by 10.6% to a record 9,644 homes. Operating profit rose by 16.2% to £571.6m, with EPS up 12.7% to 370.6p and a 13% rise in the proposed total dividend per share to 122.0p.
Hornby HRN updates on trading and says to maximise the value of its brands over the long term, it will no longer offer for sale large quantities of stock at a discount. Hornby warns that current year revenues will be lower and, consequently, there will be a material impact on profitability in the current financial year. Interim Chairman David Adams has indicated his intention to step down to take up another appointment.
Merlin Entertainments MERL updates on trading and reports 12.4% revenue growth driven by continued strong New Business Development, including the successful opening of LEGOLAND Japan, five new Midway attractions, and 381 new accommodation rooms. Trading in recent weeks has remained mixed and Group like for like revenue growth for 2017 is therefore expected to be approximately flat on 2016. EBITDA is expected to be in the range of £470 – £480m.
Moneysupermarket.com MONY updates on trading and says it is on track for another record year.
Virgin Money Holdings VM. updates on trading and confirms profitability, earnings and underlying RoTE are in line with expectations.
Pearson PSON updates on trading and reports a good competitive performance year to date, while plans to complete the digital transformation and simplify the company are on track. Nine-month revenues are in line with expectations.
Ascent Resources AST updates on progress with its Petišovci project in Slovenia, and says the installation of the necessary infrastructure to accommodate export production has now been completed. As a result, recertification on the Croatian side of the border is moving towards a positive conclusion.
Merlin Entertainments MERL reports a 0.7% increase in H1 PBT to £50m, on revenues up 19.4%. As the company approaches the peak trading period, it is making good progress across most businesses, but remains cautious on the near term outlook for UK attractions, reflecting the recent terror attacks. Despite this trading uncertainty, Merlin anticipates delivering FY profits in line with current expectations.
Millennium & Copthorne MLC says half-year revenues increased by 16% to £485m, but cautions that there is continuing pressure on the profitability of hotel operations, particularly in North Asia and New York.
Pearson PSON reports a 1% increase in half-year sales to £2,047m, with a statutory operating profit of £16m (H1 2016: £286m loss. The group declared an interim dividend of 5p (2016: 18p) and plans a share buyback of £300m following the announced reduction and recapitalisation of the stake in PRH.
RPS Group RPS reports a 35% hike in interim pre-tax profits to £27.2m, with an equivalent increase in adjusted EPS to 8.71p (2016: 6.44p). Net bank borrowings reduced slightly to £93.4m (June 2016: £95m), and RPS declared a 3% increase in the dividend to 4.80p. CEO Alan Hearne said the strong first half results “enable us to anticipate modestly exceeding market expectations for the full year”.
Royal Bank of Scotland RBS reports H1 operating profit before tax of £1,951m. Adjusted return on equity across PBB, CPB and NatWest Markets was 14.1% compared with 10.9% in H1 2016. Common Equity Tier 1 ratio increased by 70 basis points in the quarter to 14.8%, and remains ahead of the stated RBS target of 13%. RBS retains 2017 FY financial guidance and medium term financial outlook as provided in 2016 Annual Results document.
S & U SUS says trading at motor finance subsidiary Advantage continues at record levels, while Aspen Bridging is proceeding cautiously and gradually establishing itself in the bridging market.
YouGov YOU says trading for the year ended 31 July 2017 is now expected to be ahead of the Board’s previous expectations. YouGov reports another year of revenue growth well ahead of the global market research sector and has maintained the performance trends reported in the first half of the current financial year.
TipTV Market Roundup: FTSE 100 needs a break above 6450, Carney encouraged by resilient UK banks. Nick ‘Moose’ Batsford is joined by Zak Mir and Alan Green to discuss today’s developments. Stocks discussed include Merlin Entertainments (MERL), Imperial Tobacco (IMT), Randgold Resources (RRS), Playtech (PTEC).