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Alan Green talks Ocado #OCDO, Eddie Stobart #ESL, Katoro Gold #KAT & i3 Energy #I3E on the UK Investor Magazine podcast

Supermarket shares are vulnerable to online entrants

Alan Green joins the UK Investor Magazine Podcast to discuss changes to consumer trends in the UK and a number of UK-listed equites.

As Ocado #OCDO releases a trading statement highlighting significant growth in sales driven by the coronavirus pandemic, we question the longer term impact on traditional bricks and mortar supermarkets listed in London.

Ocado trades at a materially higher price-to-sales ratio than the UK’s supermarkets and we explore whether this premium is due to Ocado’s technology offering or is it investors pricing in disruption to supermarket businesses in the future.

The UK high street has been decimated by the growth of online shopping, particularly for clothes, but will this spread into food and grocery retailing?

We also discuss Eddie Stobart Logistics #ESL, Katoro Gold #KAT and I3 Energy #I3E

Alan Green talks #BT, #HFD, #OCDO, #FLTR, #BRES & #TYM on the UK Investor Mag podcast

I discuss BT Group #BT.A, Halfords #HFD, Ocado #OCDO, Flutter Group #FLTR, Blencowe Resources #BRES & Tertiary Minerals #TYM with Jonathan Roy on the UK Investor Magazine podcast

Ian Pollard – Amino Technologies #AMO – Resilient performance; revenue, profits, EBITDA & earnings down, divi up

Amino Technologies plc AMO claims a resilient performance in challenging markets for the year to the 30th November. The dividend is being increased by 10%, the seventh consecutive year, it claims of dividend increases. That is all very good if it is backed up by the figures which speak for themselves. Revenue fell by 7%, gross profit by 15%. EBITDA by 18%, profit before tax by 26% and earnings per share by 30%

Ocado Group plc OCDO claims that 2018 was its “18-year overnight success”, the result of many years of focus, dedication and perseverance as it continued on its journey of transformation. Group revenue for the year to the 2nd December grew by 12.3% and is expected to grow by a further 10-15% in 2019. The number of active customers rose by 11.8. Gross profit was up by 10.8%, although EBITDA was down by 20.7%.

DCC plc DCC  operating profit for the third quarter to the end of December 2018 was significantly ahead of the prior year, with strong operating profit growth seen on all fronts. Despite a milder winter, it  is expected that operating profit for the  year to the end of March will be significantly ahead of the previous year.

Mattioli Woods MTW is increasing its interim dividend by 15.1% for the six months to the 30th November.another period of sustainable profit growth, achieved against the backdrop of a complex marketRevenue growth was slightly lower than expected. Adjusted profit before tax rose by 8.1%, adjusted EBITDA by 18.5% and adjusted earnings per share by 9.2%

Safestay plc SSTY Total revenue for the year to the 31st December rose by 39% and occupancy improved from 72.8% to 75.6%. A further fifteen cities have been identified for a European roll out. The company is already one of the leading hostel operators in Europe with 2,792 beds and the market is one of the fastest growing segments of the accommodation market with a growth rate of 5%.

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Ian Pollard – Sports Direct #SPD blames falls on past insolvent trading at House of Fraser

Sports Direct Intl SPD saw underlying profit before tax and earnings per share fall by 26.8% and 35.4% respectively in the half year to the 28th October. Never one to be mealy mouthed, Mike Ashley comes out fighting and tries to put the blame fairly and squarely on the previous House of Fraser senior management team for having traded for a long time whilst House of Fraser was insolvent.  This means he claims that they have significant challenges ahead in turning House of Fraser around but nonetheless he  believes it is a fantastic opportunity. Excluding House of Fraser the half year was another successful period producing 15.5% growth in underlying EBITDA. This is impressive he claims in the context of current High Street struggles and proves his strategy is continuing to go from strength to strength.

Ocado Group plc OCDO produced strong retail growth of 12% over the 13 weeks to the 2nd December and double digit growth of 13.1% in average orders per week. The new facilities at Andover and Erith are both performing well. The CEO claims that although 2018 has been a transformative year for Ocado, the story has only just begun.

Bunzl plc BNZL updates that for the year ending 31st December Group revenue is expected to increase by between 8% and 9% at constant exchange rates due to organic growth of more than 4% and a similar impact from net acquisitions.It has recently acquired CM Supply, a food service distributor based in Copenhagen which is forecast to achieve revenue in 2018 of about.£4 million. The proposed acquisition of Volk do Brasil,  has now been cleared by the Brazilian competition authority and is expected to be completed at the beginning of January.

TUI AG TUI Results for the year to 30th September produced the fourth consecutive year of double-digit earnings growth with a 10.9% increase in underlying EBITA1. This was a sustained strong performance in a challenging market, demonstrating, claims TUI, its successful transformation as an integrated provider of holiday experiences. A proposed dividend of 72 cents per share is to be declared, a rise of 10.9% from 2017’s 65 cents per share.

Serco Group plc SRP expects underlying trading profit to grow between 30-40% in 2018 with underlying earnings per share for both 2018 and 2019 likely to be a further 5-10% ahead of current consensus. 2018 is expected to be  another year of strong order intake. Trading in the second half of the year has been better than anticipated and an underlying trading profit within the range of £90-95m. will represent a significant improvement over the £80m which the Board expected at the start of the year,

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Ian Pollard – #BP Firing Strongly On All Fronts

BP plc BP Delivered strong earnings and cash flow as well as a strong third quarter operating performance  Underlying replacement cost profit was $3.8 billion, more than double a year earlier and the highest quarterly result in more than five years. Reliability was very good , with the highest quarterly refining availability for 15 years. Profit for the first nine months was $8,617 million compared to $3,362 million for the same period in 2017.The third quarter dividend is to be increased by 2.5% to 10.25 cents per share. Expansion projects in the Gulf of Mexico and Australia began production in October, both ahead of schedule. They are BP’s fourth and fifth Upstream major projects to start up in 2018. The acquisition from BHP which will transform BP in the US is due to be completed tomorrow.

Reckitt Benckiser RB Reiterates its 2018 target of +14-15% total net revenue growth at constant rates, despite quarter three being impacted by a temporary manufacturing disruption at its European IFCN plant, which affected sales to a number of markets. The disruption was resolved and the company claims it has sufficient momentum and progress in the business to absorb this temporary manufacturing loss..

Proactis Holdings plc PLD reported a rise in revenue of 106% for the year to the 31st July, with adjusted profit before tax up by 186% from 4.2m to 12.0m. On a statutory basis, last years loss of 2.6m was transformed into a profit of 4.9m and the final dividend is to be increased from 1.4p per share to 1.5p The Group’s new business performance is as strong as management had planned, whilst profitability and cash flow generation was impressive.

Ocado Group plc OCDO has signed service and operational terms with Kroger under which Kroger will order Customer Fulfilment Centres which will then be developed and operated by Ocado. Kroger is expected to order 20 CFCs over the first three years of the agreement,  the first three of which will be ordered by the end of 2018.

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Ian Pollard – Ocado #OCDO lifted by new Warehouse facility

Ocado Group plc OCDO produced revenue growth of 11.5% in the quarter to the 2nd September plus double digit growth of 11.4% in the average number of weekly orders.The average size of the orders remained constant at 106. The unique proprietary technology at the new warehouse at Erith enabled Ocado to process over 20,000 customer orders with 14 weeks of opening, compared to the 15 months it took the Andover warehouse to achieve the same throughput.

BBA Aviation BBA announces that it has acquired Firstmark Corp for a consideration of $97m. Firstmark is a leading provider of highly engineered, proprietary components and subsystems for the aerospace and defence industries.The acquisition enhances BBA’s exposure to the commercial and military aerospace markets.

Spire Healthcare Group SPI managed to maintain its interim dividend at 1.3p per share despite a decline in performance for the six months to the 30th June. NHS admissions fell significantly, coupled with lower than anticipated growth in Private admissions and the cost of investment in Clinical quality and Consumer engagement.Whilst revenue only fell by 1.1%, EBITDA was down by 20.6%, adjusted profit after tax  by 52.7% and basic earnings per share by 52.9%. The company admits that the results are disappointing but claims that everybody else is facing similar headwinds and significant business challenges. Nonetheless it has a new strategy, which it claims “is absolutely the right one”, albeit the outlook for the full year has still had to be revised.

Plant Healthcare PHC expects strong revenue growth in the second half which would lead to growth of 30% for the full year. Revenue for the six months to the 30th June was down slightly from $3.1m to $3m.The company also expects to become cash positive in 2020.

Pure Circle Limited PURE showed a return to growth in both revenue and net profit after tax for the year to the 30th June. Sales rose by 10%, with a particularly strong recovery in North America, volume was up by 17% and net profit after tax by 20%.

Smart Metering Systems SMS is increasing its interim dividend by 15% for the half year to the 30th June, after a 27% rise in sales. EBITDA increased by 29% and profit before tax by 9%

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Ian Pollard – Ocado Slumps To Half Year Loss

Ocado OCDO The 26 weeks to the third of June was a transformational period for Ocado, claims the CEO but perhaps not the sort of transformation which every company would welcome. Group EBITDA fell by 13.9% and 2017’s first half profit before tax of £7.7m was transformed into a loss of £9m.for the current year. First half sales growth however was significantly ahead of the market at 11.7% and retail revenue growth of between 10% and 15% is expected for the current year.

My Sale Group MYSL updates that the year to the 30th June produced another record performance with double digit revenue growth of 10% driving EBITDA growth. Results are expected to be at least in line with the top end of market expectations leading to a significant year-on-year increase in profitability. 

Softcat plc SCT expects that  adjusted operating profit for the year to the 31st July will be materially ahead of prior expectations following an exceptionally good performance in the final quarter. Market conditions have been very favourable and growth against last year has accelerated.

Dechra Pharmaceuticals DPH has delivered another year of strong revenue growth, with reported group revenue for the year to the 30th June showing an increase of 14% at constant exchange rates and 13% at actual rates. North America produced what is described as an excellent performance.

Young & Co Brewery plc YNGA Trading in the current year has started well, with managed house sales for the first thirteen weeks up 8.8% in total and  5.2% on a like-for-like basis and the warm weather getting at least some of the credit.

Begbies Traynor BEG   proposes to increase its total dividend for the year, by 9% the first increase since 2011 and whilst this may be good news for shareholders it does not bode well for the economy. Profit before tax for the year to the 30th April rose from last years £0.6m to £2.3m and basic earnings per share increased from £0.2m to £1.3m

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Ian Pollard – Sports Direct Hit By UK High Street Woes

Sports Direct Intl SPD Mike Ashley claims a spectacular trading performance during the half year to the 29th October which is hardly justified by the reality of the situation, namely a fall  of 1% in UK sports retail revenue or 1.2% on a like for like basis. So, he limits his claim to the trading performance in his flagship stores, of which they are going to open more. If his flagship stores are doing so well it makes the the rest of UK retail look even more gloomy. Gross margins in the UK fell by 80bps compared to a rise of 110bps for international retail. Group revenue for the half year rose by 4.7% which again only serves to illustrate how bad trading in UK high streets and shopping malls has become. Underlying profit before tax is, he claims, healthy with a rise of 22.9% although on a reported basis it fell by 67.3%. Underlying earnings per share were up by 32.9% as against a fall of 68.6% on a reported basis.

Ocado Group OCDO Sales growth was impacted during the quarter to the 3rd December, by a lack of capacity and especially a shortage of drivers. Average orders per week rose by 50% during the quarter, whilst the average order size remained stable.

PZ Cussons plc PZC Cautious consumers have created tough conditions and adversely affected performance in the half year to the 30th November with the result that profit for the half year is expected to be 10% lower than in the previous period, despite strong profitability in Asia, which has been offset by Africa and Europe. A robust and innovative pipeline has helped to underpin the first half and it is expected that the out turn for the full year, will be broadly in line .

Advanced Medical Solutions AMS updates on trading to the 31st December and confirms that it is continuing to deliver strong organic growth. Revenue and profit are,anticipated to be in line with current market expectations.

Bunzl BNZL Group revenue for the year to 31st December is expected to have risen by 15%, or 9-10% at constant exchange rates, as expected at the time of the October trading statement.

 

 

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Pure Circle recovering from US Customs Debacle

Image result for pure circle logoPure Circle PURE Final results for the year to the 30th June were severely affected by it being denied access to the US market where it had been producing a third of its revenue, after it was made subject to a Withold Release Order by US Customs & Border Protection. Extensive investigations resulted in it being removed from that list but not until the 30th January and although sales to the US have now resumed, it will take time for it to rebuild the previous momentum which it had acquired in the US market. Operating profit fell by nearly half to US$17.6m. and earnings per share were also halved from 8.49 to 4.16 cents per share. The company claims it has a unique market position with 72 patents granted and a further 200 pending.

OCADO Group OCDO Revenue in the 13 weeks to 27th August continued to grow strongly with an increase of 13.1%, significantly ahead of the industry average. Orders per week increased by 16% but the average order size fell by 1.2%.

Image result for judges scientific logoJudges Scientific JDG has made a robust recovery from a year ago with interim results to the 30th June showing new records being set for revenue, profit before tax, earnings per share and dividends. Revenue rose by 20%, (14% on a like for like basis), adjusted pre tax profit by 48%. and basic earnings per share by 65.1%. The interim dividend is being increased by 11% to 10p per share.

Swallowfield plc SWL reports another very strong performance and excellent progress in the  year to the 24th June with the final dividend being increased by over 50% to 3.5p per share making a total increase for the year of 68%. Helped by the weakness of sterling and acquisitions revenue grew by 36% or 8% excluding acquisitions. On a constant currency basis the figures were 31% and 2% respectively.

Augean AUG Despite a 14.4% rise in revenue for the six months to the 30th June, adjusted profit before tax fell by 7.2% and adjusted earnings per share by 7.4%, following losses in its Industry and Infrastructure businesses which it describes as legacy issues from Colt. To add to its mixed fortunes waste disposed of by its Energy and Construction business declined by 23.7%.

Image result for keyword studios logoKeyword Studios KWS delivered another strong set of results for the half year to the 30th June and the interim dividend is being raised by 10%. Like for like revenue rose by 17% and adjusted profit before tax and earnings per share by 60% and 55% respectively.

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Ocado – English As A Foreign Language

Ocado Group OCDO got so bogged down in jargon in its half year results to the 28th May that one can easily believe they must have done it deliberately purely to show how clever they are compared to those of us who can only speak ordinary English which everybody else understands. Thus the report is stuffed with platforms, channel shift to online advances. store pick capabilities and other nonsense. Perhaps lack of basic English is becoming a requisite for a senior management position.

As for the results themselves they show a 12.5% rise in revenue because of the strength of its customer offer, a 2.7% increase in gross margins and investment in its platform. The result of all this is an 18.1% fall in profit before tax, as a result of higher depreciation. Active customers during the half year rose by 600,000 but significantly the value of their average basket fell by 1.4%. There are signs that price deflation has begun to ease and management sees that as a possible opportunity for increasing profits, a view which explains why Sainsbury took over as King of the High Street with its results yesterday.

Persimmon PSN claims that its trading performance for the half year to 30th June has been excellent, with legal completions up by 8%. The increase in the average selling price was somewhat restrained at only 3.5% but with over £1 billion of cash swilling around in its coffers it can perhaps afford to show a bit more generosity towards its customers as well as to its shareholders. Mortgage interest rates remain compelling and consumer confidence is seen as resilient. as for the second half forward sales are up by 18%

1PM plc OPM has experienced strong levels of demand and trading results for the year to 31st May are expected to show further strong growth with profit before tax up by 28%, marginally ahead of expectations and revenue by 34%, in line with expectations

 

Booker Group BOK enjoyed a good first quarter for th 12 weeks to 1st June with non tobacco like form like sales rising by 9.6% and like for like tobacco sales down 7.9%. The competition process for its proposed merger with Tesco, continues.

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