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Pendragon PDG claims it made significant progress during the year to 31st December despite a patchy performance in some areas. Used vehicle revenue over 5 years grew by 64% at an annual compound rate of 10.4%. In 2016 the rate came in at only 5.6% whilst like for like after sales revenue rose by 7.3% but total new vehicle revenue actually fell by 1.4%. Underlying profit before tax rose by 7.6% but total profit before tax fell by the same amount.
Mucklow (A&J) Group MKLW makes no comment at all on its half time figures for the 6 months to 31st December. Perhaps it prefers to let the figures speak for themselves, which they certainly do. Statutory pre tax profit slumped from £14.4m to £9.1m and basic earnings per share were down from 22.72p to 14.39p. The interim dividend is increased a smidgeon from 9.59p to 9.88p
Electric Word ELE is another company which sought transformation and it claims that by the year end it had succeeded, turning a loss of £2.3m in 2015 to a profit of £9.2m for 2016, including a £10.7m profit from discontinued operations. Like for like revenue rose 16% but continuing operations still doubled its losses over the year, which it ended with a cash pile of nearly £13m.
Braemar Shipping BMS Half year figures to 31st august illustrate the savage decline which has hit the worldwide shipping market. A fall in revenue from £79.6m to £70.2m resulted in earnings per share falling from 13.3p to 0.4p and operating profit declining from £5.3m to £0.3m. Braemar however gives the definite impression that it is fighting back successfully against the challenges which it faces. Shipbroking has produced a resilient performance in volatile conditions. The Technical division has suffered most but is being realigned to current market conditions and the group claims it is well placed to take advantage of any upturn. The interim dividend is unchanged.
GKN plc GKN The collapse in sterling gave GKN a massive bonus in the 9 months to the end of September with a 21% increase in sales. The currency benefit amounted to £ 474m or some 6% of the rise and three times the miserable 2% which came from from organic growth
Whitbread International WTB claims a good set of results with strong growth for the six months to the 1st September and is raising its interim dividend by 4.9%. Powered by Premier Inns and Costa total revenue grew by 8.1% as both divisions increased market share. Premier Inns revenue rose by 8.9% or 2.4% on a like for like basis whilst total sales at Costa were up by `10.7% or 2.3% on a like for like basis
Pendragon PDG Third quarter sales to 30th September have risen by 5.7% and like for like profit is up by 6.3%. Priority is being given to used car sales, which have been particularly strong with revenue growth of 8.3%. The company has not noticed any change in customer attitudes which can be attributed to the referendum.
On The Beach Group OTB Despite terrorist attacks and the slump in the pound OTB delivered a year of highly profitable growth and traded well during the 12 months to the end of September. UK revenue grew by 12% which was less than expected but underlying profit before tax will be marginally ahead of the top end of market expectations. Since the last update in July demand for beach holidays has remained resilient.
Lloyds Bank LLOY claims to have delivered a robust first quarter performance with underlying profit down 6% and statutory profit before tax down by 46% – you can’t get more robust than that. And then just to illustrate how banks are prepared to show their teeth when necessary it does not seek to hide the fact that it achieved positive operating jaws of 1 per cent. Well,from a bank, what else would you expect – once bitten, twice shy.
Taylor Wimpey TW claims it has performed well so far in 2016 with customer demand up by 14%. Average private net reservations per outlet have risen to 0.80 from 0.76 and the total order book is up by 16.6% on a year ago and 21.9% from the beginning of this year. further help has come in the form of a fall in the build cost inflation rate which it is anticipated will be between 3-4% for the rest of the year. As ever the main prop to the market continues to be mortgage availability.
Pendragon PDG on the other hand is not so happy with prospects for the rest of the year. Registrations for year to 31st March grew by 5.1% but that growth rate is expected to halve to 2.5% for the remainder of 2016. Pendragon’s underlying profit before tax rose by 8.7% for the period from 1st January to 27th April. Gross profit from new car sales led the way with like for like rise of 15.2% but this is not expected to continue for the rest of the year as growth in the new vehicle market will moderate.
Harvey Nash HVN is increasing its final dividend by 8.7% for the year to 31st January as preliminary results show an increase of 13% in profit before tax and 18% in earnings per share. revenue for theb year grew by 5%. Strong growth in the USA produced a 25% rise in gross profits there and Germany and Sweden were both good performers, although held back by those currency headwinds (such as the fall in sterling ??). The UK on the other hand was weak with business confidence falling, the economy slowing and Brexit creating those dreadful things called fears.
Despite their best efforts Harold Wilson, Ted Heath, Kinnock, Blair, Old Uncle Tom Cameron and all did not manage to destroy completely the UK’s industrial base.It is still there, even if there were times when it looked like they may succeed and even if it is limited to the Barnsley- Sheffield triangle and a couple of Welsh valleys.
Firstly, Hargreaves Services (HSP) – Hargreaves, a name from the north, a name full of grit and determination. With a name like that it has to be in coal and steel and it is, at least for the next year or two. As with most things from the north it has fallen on hard times and has just slashed its interim dividend by 83% from 10p to a miserable 1.7p.
As if that were not enough, like for like profit before tax for the 6 months to 31st January is down by 94.7% and like for like revenue by 50.2%, all due to the widely reported pressures in the UK coal and steel markets.
Hargreaves however has a cunning plan, or two. Firstly it has built itself a range of exciting opportunities with its extensive property portfolio and over the next eighteen months it will be reducing further its exposure to steel and thermal coal.
The share price has naturally not been well and has lost 75% of its value, from a high of 886p, almost two years ago to the day, to its present 215p, which includes a 9% fall this morning.
Now for the modern. Pendragon (PDG) is not just the UK’s largest automotive retailer, it is its largest online automotive retailer and you can not get more modern than that.
Pendragon’s final dividend for the year to 31st December is being raised by 44% after another record breaking year, in which profit before tax rose by 22.3% and earnings per share by 19.4%. Despite that, its share price is well down, having fallen with some speed from a January high of 49p to 37p which includes a rise of a penny this morning. It just goes to show there is no pleasing those city chaps.
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