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Ian Pollard – Halford #HFD management challenged by Retail environment

Halfords Group plc HFD found itself facing a challenging retail environment in the year to 30th. March which is Boardspeak for “we lost the plot a bit”. Like for like revenue rose by 2% and total revenue by 3.7%. but profit before tax fell by 5% and basic earnings per share wee down by 2.3% which was not sufficient to prevent a 3% rise in the full year ordinary dividend. As for the current year, the motoring market is expected to remain robust and there are good growth prospects for cycllng.

Cranswick plc CWK delivered a strong financial performance across each of its four product categories in the year to 31st March and the full year dividend is to be increased by 21.8% to 53.7p. Like for like revenue rose by 12.7% and export sales surged by 30.2%. Statutory profit before tax increased by 13.5% and like for like earnings per share  by 11%.

Pets at home Grp PETS claims to be back on a better footing after a drop of 16.6% in statutory profit before tax for the year to 29th March. . Group like for like revenue grew by 5,5% as against 1.5% for 2017. The total dividend is maintined at 7.5% and the new Chief Executive is both proud and excited to be taking over and sees a bright future ahead.

Entertainment One Ltd eOne reports another year of double digit growth in profits and earnings..Despite a 4% drop in revenue for the year to 31st March, adjusted profit before tax was up by 11%  (or 116% on a reported basis) and  the full year dividend is being increased from 1.3p per share to 1.4p. eOne claims that its market has now changed and customers, with the exception of sports vents, want to watch what they want, where they want and when they want. It believes that its three pronged strategy of connect, create and deliver, will drive rvenue and ABITDA growth.

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Ian Pollard – easyJet benefits from collapse of competition & Ryanair disruption

easyJet plc EZJ produced a strong first quarter performance thanks in part at least to the collapse of a number its competitors such as Al Italia, Monarch and Air Berlin, which it has now bought and the disruption suffered by its main competitor Ryanair. On time performance rose by 2 percentage points to 81% despite increased disruption. Total revenue for the quarter rose by 14% and passenger numbers by 8%. Constant currency revenue is expected to rise by mid to high single digits in the first half of 2018. Passenger numbers are expected to rise from 80 million to 90 million, again helped by the lack of competition.

IG Group Holdings IGG produced new records in revenue and profit before tax in the half year to the 30th November. Profit before tax rose by 29%, diluted earnings per share by 30% and operating expenses fell by 7%. Own funds generated by operations rose by 38%.The interim dividend is being increased a tad to 9.69p per share compared to 9.42 pence in 2017

Pets at Home Group PETS The third quarter to the 4th January produced group revenue growth of 9.6% or 7.2% on a like for like basis after a strong customer response following the launch of a low price initiative.

Marstons MARS suffered disruption from ice and snow  both at the beginning of December and between Christmas and the New Year which cost it nearly £1m in lost profits. Despite that  Santa looked kindly  on the brewer on Xmas day itself which produced record retail sales  of nearly £4m., 5.4% up on last year. Market conditions are tough but 2018 will still see the opening of 15 new restaurants and pubs and 6 lodges.

Elecosoft ELCO Profit before tax and revenue for the year to 31st December are expected to be significantly higher than in 2016. Following strong conversion of operating profits into cash, net borowings were eliminated at the 30th June. Staff are praised for the development of a number of significant award winning technical innovations which have pleased customers.

Ideagen IDEA saw revenue rise by 43% and adjusted profit before tax by 56% after a strong performance during the half year to the 31st October. Sales momentum was strong in the USA, Europe and in the Asia Pacific region. Current trading is described as robust and the interim dividend is to be increased by 15%.

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Ian Pollard – Sanderson Group – No Major Loss Of Confidence “Yet”

Sanderson Group SND claims strong trading momentum and further profitable growth in the year to the 30th September so despite only tiny rises in revenue and operating profit, it is increasing its final dividend by 11% as part of its progressive dividend policy. It is however carefully monitoring market conditions and then comes out with the rather strange statement that it has not “yet” detected any major loss of confidence from existing or prospective customers. So a major loss of confidence appears to be expected, the only question being the time of its arrival.

Pets At Home PETS produced strong growth in the veterinary business with income up 16.1% for the half year to the 12th October and omnichannel also put in a strong performance with with revenue up 6.24%. is being held at last years level. Despite that, statutory profit before tax fell by 11.3% and the dividend. The company claims that it is satisfied that it s taking the right decisions. The CEO is departing, as is a non executive director.

Greencore Group GNC has been substantially transformed during the year to the 29th October and it admits that the transformation has not been without its challenges, although it believes that it is now set up for further progress. Group revenue rose by 56% but profit before tax dived by 74.3% and basic earnings per share by 80%. On an adjusted basis profit before tax was up by 35.9% and earnings per share down by 3.8%. The dividend remains unchanged.

Cranswick CNW is increasing its interim dividend by 15.3% for the half year to the 30th September, which also saw record investment of 29m. to increase capacity, capability and efficiency. Revenue rosen23% or 18% on a like for like basis, whilst profit before tax rose by 17.2% and earnings per share  by 20.1%. Net debt rose strongly from 2.9m. to 16.7m.

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Countrywide blames Brexit for woes

COUNTRYWIDE CWD blames the EU referendum in June for a fall in what it calls transactional activity in the quarter to the end of September. Not a fall in activity you will note, not a fall in transactions but a fall in transactional activity, whatever that is supposed to mean when you translate it into basic English. Transactions for the quarter were significantly below 2015 and for the full year a fall of some 12% is expected with a further decline to come in 2017, in what the company describes as a fst changing market

HORNBY HRN is pleased with progress in the half year to the end of September and does not seem at all bothered by the fact that the second half will produce a significant decline in revenue 

SEVERN TRENT SVT claims to be the most trusted water company and to have the largest reduction in complaints of all water and sewage companies. In addition it claims to be winners in a world of incentivisation. Perhaps it should stick to sewage. Interim turnover to the 30th September rose by 3.9% and reported profit before interest and tax by 0.8%, whilst reported earnings per share surged by 39.7%

PETS AT HOME GROUP PETS is increasing its interim dividend by 25% after what ir describes as robust like for like growth of 2.5%. Perhaps some peoples idea of robustivity is more robust than others. Group revenue for the 28 weeks to 14th October rose by 9.1%. but recent trading has been softer than in the first half.

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