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Ian Pollard – Access Intelligence – A Little Acorn ?

Access Intelligence ACC has in the last five months produced growth of £450,000 in net annual contract value compared to £0.2m in the the whole of the first half. October alone produced growth of £130,000. The success follows a decision to concentrate on establishing Vuelio as a flagship brand. New clients include household names such as Dyson, BMW, Thomson Reuters, Sellafield and Lloyds, on top of which, it has also captured over 50% of UK councils and universities and 85% of police authorities.

William Hill WMH updates that it has delivered a good financial performance so far during the second half. Net revenue from 28th June to the 24th October rose by 4%. The US led the way  with a rise of 28% and UK online wagering came in with a 14% rose.

Mitie Group MTO has been busy transforming itself and building foundations during the half year to the 30th September but could not do anything to stop a large cut in the interim dividend which has been reduced to 1.33p per share, compared to last years 4p. Adusted basic earnings per share was down by 60% and reported operating profit fell by 38%.

Diploma plc DPLM Produced double digit growth in revenue and earnings in the year to he 30th September. Revenue rose by 18% and both profit before tax and basic earnings per share were up by 24%. Shareholders received their reward with a 15% rise in the interim dividend  to 23p. per share. The CEO described it as another strong performance with contributions from all sectors of the group.

NEX Group NXG has, despite a 13% rise in revenue (7% on a constant currency basis) been forced to slash its interim dividend from 11.5p to 3.5p. per share after statutory operating profit for the half year to the 30th September fell by 29% and statutory earnings per share by 45%. The CEO says it is an agile company, with market leading products, investing in innovation and led by an experienced management team.

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Stanley Gibbons Throws in the Towel

Stanley Gibbons SGI has completed a restructuring programme which included a complete overhaul of the board and the executive leadership, costs have been reduced by some £10m and parts of one division have already been sold off but in the end  it looks like things are so bad that value for shareholders can only be unlocked if the company puts itself up for sale and that is what it has now done, announcing this morning a formal sales process which could result in a sale of the company. Interested parties are invited to contact the company.

Mitie Group MTO is not paying a final dividend meaning a slump of 66% in dividends for the year and all the Chief Executive can say by way of explanation is that it has been a challenging year. In fact it was so challenging that the company managed to turn last years profit of £107.6m into an operating loss of of £42.9m. Basic earnings per share of 20.1p in 2016 were turned into a loss of 14.7p. Revenue for the year to 31st March fell by 1%.

Accounting adjustments are said to be responsible but why is the Chief Executive so tight lipped with his excuses. What were the challenges, shareholders may ask, which management failed to meet. The share price has stood up fairly well during the course of the year. After a sudden drop to 180p last September it recovered to 245p. and has jumped another 30p on opening this morning.

Eckoh ECK revenue rose by 30% and gross profit by 21% for the year to 31st March, making it the fourth consecutive year of double digit growth in both revenue and gross profit. In what the company describes as a breakthrough year, revenuei n the US jumped by 145%. The final dividend is to be increased from 0.45p to 0.48p per share. A strong start has been made to the new financial year, with monthly revenue averaging £2m.

Northern Bear NTBR claims excellent results which will be ahead of prior year results and management expectations for continuing operations in the year to 31st March. The order book for the new financial year is particularly strong and it is proposed to increase the final dividend from last years 2p. per share.

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Pearson Abandons Profit Goal After Unprecedented Collapse in North America

Pearson PSON failed to stop the rot as its year end approached and Quarter 4 produced further unprecedented decline in its North American higher education business. Net revenue fell by 30% leading to an annual decline of 18% for the full year, again an unprecedented collapse. Despite this profits for 2016 are still expected to be in line but the operating profit goal for 2018 has been abandoned because of the continuing challenges and uncertainty in the North American market. From 2017 dividends are to be rebased.

MITIE Group MTO warns of underperformance in the cleaning division, a board meeting this week which lasted for two days whilst it considered the company’s problems and management changes which are now being implemented. Delays and deferrals by clients have added to the problems and means that income expected early in the year, will now be deferred until quarter 2017. Underlying operating profit for the year to 31st March is expected to fall to between 60 – 70m. pounds

Premier Foods PFD has been forced to issue a profit warning after weak third quarter sales which were down by 1% even after a strong December which saw a rise of 4.5%. Mince pies led the way with a 17% surge. With quarter 4 expected to see sales below expectations as a result of the continuance of challenging conditions, trading profit for the full year is now expected to be down by 10%.

FDM Group FDM Anticipates that results for the year to the end of December will be ahead of expectations, following a strong second half, combined with favourable exchange rates. 2016 revenue grew by over 34% on a constant currency basis.

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Ryanair – The Success Story Continues

Ryanair RYA The Ryanair success story continues with a 43% rise in profit after tax following a 16% rise in revenue and 18% in passengers, whilst the opening of over 100 new routes saw it become the first airline to carry over 100 million passengers in a calendar year.

Basic earnings per share rose by 48%, average fares were cut by 1% and unit costs fell by 6%. Load factor has risen from 83% to 93% in two years. 2017 full year net profit is expected to rise by 13% subject to the strength of sterling.

Michael O’ Leary has both feet planted firmly in the Remain camp, reminding us quite rightly that it was the EU which forced airline deregulation on the high fare cartel of Europe’s national carriers, thus ushering in the era of budget airlines and cheap fares. That though, was in the eighties and the EU 30 years on is quite a different beast to what it was then. Now it would probably be giving national carriers all the protection they asked for and doing all it could to ensure that Ryanair never flew a single plane. He also warns that exit from the EU will be a long drawn out process, creating a lot of uncertainty.

MITIE Group MTO despite a 1.8% fall in revenue, Mitie claims to have had a good year, with strong profit and margin growth. Preliminary results for the year to the end of March show profit before tax surging by 133% to £11.25m and basic earnings per share up by 119.6%. The final dividend is being raised by 3.4% to 12.1p. per share, the 27th consecutive increase.

Stride Gaming STR is to pay a maiden interim dividend of 1.1p per share for the 6 months to the end of February after a 21% rise in net revenue and 42% in adjusted earnings followed a period of what the company describes as robust growth.


Cerillion CER is also paying a maiden interim dividend of 1.3p for the six months to the end of March. New orders for the half year rose by 50%, revenue by 11%, like for like revenue by 22% and adjusted profit before tax by 19%. The company says that the strong profit growth was in line with management expectations.

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Churchill China Leads Todays Bunch

NEXT (NXT) claims to have had a solid year with total group sales up by an unexciting 3%. Retail sales are the worry with a meagre rise of only 1.1% compared to 8% in online and catalogue. What is even more worrying is that NEXT brand is not doing well. In the UK NEXT brand sales rose by only 2.3% but LABEL (ie. third party brands ) surged by 21.2%

Profit before tax rose by 5% which has enabled full year dividends to to be increased by 5.3%, matching underlying earnings per share which were up by 5.4%.

As one would expect from one of our world beating industries, happier news comes from Churchill China (CHH) which is raising its final dividend by 15% after a 16% jump in profit before tax, thanks CHH says to its excellence in design, quality and customer service. Not many companies even try to claim that.

Adnams (ADB) is raising its final dividend by 5.9% after a good second half helped to make up for the first half’s 3% fall in turnoverand leaving the full year down by just 0.5%. Operating profit rose by 7.3%. Adnams does not envisage selling any more of its pubs, after six last year, 1 this year and one more still to comer.

The beer market is still not good with competition from computer games and in home entertainment plus fast food and casual dining. In fact the take home market is now the strongest part of the beer market and Adnams is trying to take full advantage of this with its own shops and outlets.

Renishaw (RSW) announces that it is unlikely to repeat last years trading levels contrary to what was expected at the time of the half year’s results.

Mitie (MTO) continues the sombre note with news that revenue in the second half will be below current expectations

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