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Ian Pollard – Next #NXT Saved By Online Growth

Next NXT Full price sales for the 14 weeks to the 7th May have risen by 5% compared to last years figures mainly due to online sales jumping by 18.1% whilst retail fell foul of the high street malaise with a fall of 4.8%. First quarter sales were better than expected helped by the recent unusually warm weather. Sales for the remainder of the year howeverare not expected to be as strong as they were in quarter 1 but they are still expected to show a jump in earnings per share growth from 1.4% to 3.7%. The decline in group profit before tax at 1.3% is also expected to be less than previous guidance of 2.9%

Morrison W. MRW has made a strong start to the year with like for like sales for the 13 weeks to 6th May showing a rise of 3.6% and total sales up by3.8% excluding fuels. The quarter also saw the commencement of wholesale supplies to McColls. The Chief Executive is confident of a strong year ahead.

Barratt Developments BDEV Trading has been strong since the beginning of the year and is inline with expectations, driven by strong customer demand across the country. Total forward sales have risen by 2.5% and the outlook for the full year is also in line with expectations.

ITV plc ITV has delivered a strong first quarter performance on and off scree. Total external revenue rose by 5% with ITV studios up by 11% and online revenue growing by 41%. The Chief executive claims that they are having a strategic refreh whatever that is and claims that it is going well. Good organic growth is expected in Studios for the full year, with double digit revenue growth projected for Online.

BT Group plc BT.A claims it delivered solid results for the 4th quarter to to the 31st March. Reported revenue is expected to be down more than expected at 1% for the year and 3% for the quarter. On an adjusted basis EBITDA and profit before tax for the quarter are each up by 1% and basic earnings per share by 5%. Dividends for the year remain unchanged.

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Ian Pollard – Morrisons Bumper Christmas & New Year

Morrison W. MRW has by modern retail and high street standards had a bumper Christmas with group like for like sales up by 2.8% or 3% including fuel. Sales over Christmas and New Year were particularly strong with group like for like sales over the 6 weeks to 7th January up by 3.7%. Morrisons puts its success down to various factors including being more competitive, being more friendly to its shoppers and having more tills open and shorter queues. It will be interesting to see whether other major supermarkets have also shared in an unexpectedly better festive season or whether Morrisons has come out tops.

Persimmon plc PSN provides an update for the year to the 31st December which indicates that the housing boom has continued to moderate compared to the glory days of years gone by but growth is still there aplenty. Revenue for the year rose by 9%, legal completions by 6% and  the increase in the average selling price was limited to 3%. Pre tax profits for the year are expected to be modestly ahead of market consensus.

Safestore Holdings SAFE is increasing its final dividend by 21.4% to 9.8p per share for the year to 31st October after a strong operational performance coupled with a combination of both organic and acquisitive growth. Group revenue for the year rose by 12.6% or 3.3% on a like for like basis at constant exchange rates. Strong potential growth for the new year is seen in the integration of Allied Self Storage and in the development of three new sites.

Tasty plc TAST claims that 2018 is expected to produce further deterioration in the difficult trading environment facing the restaurant sector. Progress has been made in the disposal of four under performing sites and  two further sites are now under offer.

Dechra Pharma plc DPH enjoyed strong trading during he half year to the 31st December with group revenue up by 10% at constant exchange rates or 11.5% at actual rates.

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Curates Eggs For Breakfast Today

Morrisons MRW brings good news for the consumer if not for itself, with price deflation in the  quarter to 1st May reaching 2.6% and expected to continue. Compared to quarter 1 2015 Morrisons has done well. Like for like sales this year were up by 0.7% or 1.2% including fuel  compared to last years falls of 2.9% and 6.6% respectively, although this years like for like figures have been helped by store and convenience shop closures. What is not a good sign is that items per basket fell by 2.8%.

Rolls Royce RR expects first half results to to be close to breakeven but does not enlighten us as to whether that will be positive or negative.  Better things  however, are promised for the second half.

Smith & Nephew SN  has had a mixed first quarter, with Established Markets growing by 6%, led by by its largest market, the US with 8%. Emerging markets on the other hand fell by 6%. Weakness was felt in China and in the Gulf states there was a significant slow down. Sports joint repairs were up by 11% and knee implants  proved as popular as ever, as the medical profession throughout mainland Europe continued happily on the gravy train of advising its unwitting patients to undergo unnecessary knee replacement surgery.  Latest figures show that half of such operations in the US are completely unnecessary and are of benefit only to the medical profession.

IMI plc IMI expects first half revenue to decline at the same rate as in 2015 with a pick up promised for the second half. Revenue for the quarter to 31st March fell by 4% despite the favourable impact of exchange rate movements. In Critical Engineering Markets were challenging during the quarter and orders from some customers were delayed..  Precision Engineering did even worse with a fall of 7% but Hydronic Engineering prospered by comparison with good revenue growth, due to new products having a notable impact.

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Alan Green discusses Morrisons (MRW), Debenhams (DEB) & Greggs (GRG) on TipTV

Alan Green discusses Morrisons (MRW), Debenhams (DEB) & Greggs (GRG) on TipTV with Nick ‘Moose’ Batsford.

Debenhams & Morrisons delighted but Greggs leads the way

Morrisons MRW claims to have benefited over the 9 weeks to the 3rd January from what it repeatedly describes as an improved shopping trip for its customers. Like for like sales, excluding fuel rose by 0.2%  which may be seen as a good result against a background of the closure of 140 local stores plus further supermarket closures.

Xmas online sales surged by 100%.

Price deflation, especially to someone brought up in an inflationary world, seems to be staggering. Over one year Morrisons prices have fallen by 3.2 % and over 2 years by 7%.

Second half profits are now expected to be greater than first half.

Debenhams DEB is one of the few retailers who can claim to have got its planning right.  Firstly it got its stock levels right and even more importantly it planned for the weather which we actually got rather than the weather which all the other retailers expected. The result is that it was not left with a huge overhang of  unsold outdoor wear.

It claims to have experienced strong multi channel sales growth over the 7 week Xmas period to the 9th January but despite that, growth at 2.9% was down on 2014’s 3.3%. Reported like for like sales growth fell from 2.4% to 1.8%.

Over the 19 week period to 9th January Debenhams experienced a substantial all round improvement over the previous year, with gross transactions up by 2.5% and reported like for like sales up by 1.9%.

But the real Xmas winner so far appears to be cheeky little Greggs (GRG). 2015 was a year of excellent progress and its seasonal favourites, mince pies and Festive Bake, made a strong contribution to Xmas sales. With 122 new shops as against only 74 closures in 2015, total sales rose by 5.2% and like for like sales in company managed shops were up by 4.7%.

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TipTV Daily Market Roundup – Nick ‘Moose’ Batsford, Zak Mir and Alan Green

Nick Batsford, CEO of Tip TV, was joined by Zak Mir, technical analyst for Zak’s Traders Café, and Alan Green, CEO of Brand Communications, on the Tip TV Finance Show to discuss the Chinese import and export data, the falling commodity prices, an outlook for Centrica and Hornby and a view on global producers.

Weak Chinese imports trigger risk-off

Batsford highlighted FX Street, who noted that exports in China dropped 6.8%, whilst imports fell 8.7%. Weak exports is not surprising with global demand being relatively low, but falling imports is a more serious issue for China as it highlights weak consumption. They continued that the global economy is to continue to face aggregate demand deficiency, and interest rates are likely to stay closer to zero, the new normal, so long as Chinese consumption does indeed remain weak.

Commodity melt down threatening the Santa rally

Mir outlined that we don’t know where commodities are going or how bad the situation is going to get, but with oil now falling as well there is certainly a chance for this melt down to impact the potential Santa rally. Green agreed with this, and commented that commodities may well put the brakes on a Santa rally.

Outlook for Centrica and Hornby

When concerning Centrica, Green believed that it shares have opened this morning lower, and with a trading update on Thursday unlikely to change the situation, he expected more downside for the stock.

In terms of Hornby, he expressed that we are seeing a convergence of the 50 and 200 day moving averages, and their upcoming trading statement may spark a recovery heading into next year. Green added that this is a pivotal time for Hornby.

Incredibly low prices impacting producers

Batsford highlighted Elliott, who commented that heavily weighted to both energy and precious metals, both Bloomberg’s Commodity Index and the older Commodity Research Bureau’s Index of basic materials and food are down at the sort of levels not seen in this century. Trading approximately 22% below 2009’s lows, and 65% below 2008’s record high, its impact is being felt by producers all over the world.

– See more at: http://www.tiptv.co.uk/finance/daily-market-roundup-commodities-applying-the-brakes-on-a-santa-rally-outlook-for-centrica-and-hornby/#sthash.gpvAqMDE.dpuf

Unexpected Lifeline for Tesco (TSCO) & Morrisons (MRW)

“Government guidelines are responsible for all major banks, many supermarkets and pub companies suffering colossal business and financial problems” – Tim Martin, chairman of Wetherspoon (JDW)
Neither Tesco nor Morrisons have ever been so out of touch with reality that they thought they could get away with blaming the government for their huge self imposed problems but that didn’t stop Wetherspoon Chairman, Tim Martin opening his mouth and putting his foot in it last week with that amazing comment on his company’s preliminary results. Things must be fairly desperate at Wetherspoons if that is the best he can do. He even continued to pursue his illogical campaign to get VAT on supermarket food sales raised to 20% on the basis that they are same as and like for like as pub grub.
Tim Martin is not alone. Every day risible and inane comments In RNSs, from CEOs and company chairmen seem to be de rigeur. Many of them virually lose the ability to speak plain English and company news items and trading updates have now developed their own specialist language as desperate CEOs try to shift responsibility for their companies failings.
“Impacted” was one of the first RNS buzz words and it is still going strong, often linked to “challenging” markets or trading conditions. As soon as you see a company claiming it has been impacted you know it has had a fairly disastrous year, half year or whatever and management is determined to absolve themselves from any responsibility. Impacts can be good or bad but in company speak it is always bad CEOs are to clueless ever to claim that their brilliant management has impacted their beloved company.
Appalling use of Engish is another requirement for company results and trading updates.” Sectorial diversity,” undershooting market expectations” and “market place transitional activity model” were more of last weeks prize winners.
Home Retail Group spoke of poor performance in sales of some electrical product categories. What  on earth is wrong with “electrical products”
The other favourite which signifies that disaster has befallen a company  is “currency headwinds”, regularly trotted out by executives eager to find an excuse for their mismanagement.. The fact that a stronger pound has brought benefits to companies relying on imported goods, commodities for example, never gets a mention. There the benefits are entirely down to the skills of the management team. Did the Germans ever complain about currency headwinds when the Deutschmark was the strongest currency in the world. They just got on with making and selling more Merceds, VWs, Porsches, Bosch etc etc., instead of wasting their time whingeing
One of the newer buzz phases is misuse of the word “pipeline”. Companies no longer have an order book, or even better, just “orders” – no, they have an “order pipeline”
I am just waiting for the day when  a pipeline sector activity company announces that it has a good “pipeline pipeline despite being sectorially disadvanted by unexpected challenges.”
So if you really want to know about the quality of a company’s management forget the profit & loss account – just look for the jargon and the excuses.

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