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Ian Pollard – On The Beach #OTB hit by heatwave

On the Beach Group PLC OTB Revenue was heavily impacted by the unprecedented hot summer in Scandinavia leading to lower demand for holidays and widespread discounting of distressed product by Sweden’s leading tour operators. Nonetheless revenue at On the Beach Group for the year to the 30th September rose by 24.5%, profit before tax  by 23.5% and adjusted earnings per share by 20.5%. The World Cup also suppressed holiday demand. The dividend is to be increased by 17.9% to 3.3p per share but.the consumer environment continues to remain challenging.

RPC Group plc RPC Enjoyed significant organic growth in China and US in the six months to the 30th September due to higher added value products. Revenue growth of 7% to £1,892m reflected continuing organic growth of 3.2%. Adjusted profit before tax fell by 2% or 5% on a statutory basis whilst adjusted basic earnings per share rose by 2% . The Interim dividend is increased by 4% to 8.1p per share representing the 26th consecutive year of dividend growth.

Telford Homes PLC TEF increased revenue by 31% in the six months to the 30th September Total profit before tax  was up by16.1 per cent to £10.1m  and the interim dividend is to be increased by 6.3% as the company made what it describes as pleasing progress, with a pipeline of 5,000 homes.

Senior plc SNR has issued a trading update for the ten months to the end of October and expects good progress to be made in 2018.

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Ian Pollard – Primark Like For Like Sales Fall

Associated British Foods ABF updates that the outlook for the year to the 15th September remain unchanged. Strong profit performances from Primark, Grocery, Agriculture and Ingredients are expected to more than offset the adverse effect of lower EU sugar prices. Grocery revenues are expected to be ahead of last year and adjusted operating profitshould be well ahead. At Allied Bakeries, some progress has been made in reducing the operating loss.It looks like the glory days at Primark  may be coming to an end with a 2% fall in like for like sales expected, although in the UK full year sales  are expected to be 5.5% ahead at constant currency rates or 6% at actual  rates following a significant increase in market share.

RPC group plc RPC has announed that it notes the recent media speculation and confirms that preliminary discussions are taking place with each of Apollo Global Management and Bain Capital which may or may not result in an offer for the Company.

HydroDec Group plc HYR The introduction of a new senior management team came too late to stop losses escalating for the six months for the 30th June:  The overall loss for the period increased to US$3.3 million compared to last years US$2.6 million due to under performance from discontinued Australian operation. There has however been a strong start to the second half and the new management is excited bout what lies ahead.

ABCAM PLC ABC is increasing its annual dividend by 17.9% after revenue for the year to the 30th June increased by 7.4% on a reported basis and 10.7% on a constant exchange rate basis.Reported  profit before tax rose by  grew 33.1% to £69.1m and whilst on an adjusted basis the increase was 26.3% to £81.6m. The company met all its strategic targets during the year and says that the long-term market outlook remains positive with good momentum across the business.

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Ian Pollard – DX Group Begins To Deliver

DX (Group) plc DX The half year results for the six months to the 31st December reflected what the company describes as ” another challenging period” but the new management team has set the business on the road to recovery and long term profitable growth. Net new business in the last two months has been at a higher level than at any point in the last 12 months. The reported loss for the half year more than halved from £29.3m to £14.1m

Parkmead Group PMG Excellent progress was made in the half year to the 31st December with gross profits doubling from £0.7m to £1.4m. Oil and gas reserves increased by 67% and after maintaining strict financial discipline the company became debt free.

RPC Group RPC updates that the positive trend experienced in quarter 3 has continued and full year revenue since 1st April 2017 is expected to have grown significantly, both organically and by acquisition and with the help of foreign exchange tailwinds. The financial position remains robust.

3i Infrastructure plc 3IN claims that in the period from 1st October to 28th March its investment advisor has delivered outstanding value to shareholders. Stakes in Elenia and Anglian Water have been disposed of generating £1,120,000m. and enabling £425m to be returned to shareholders in cash by way of a special dividend. Four new investments have been made totalling £345m.

Ingenta plc ING proposes to increase its dividend for the year to 31st December by 50% taking it from 1p to 1.5p per share, after further progress was made in 2017, following on the successes of 2016.Operating profit rose by 29% and adjusted EBITDA by 8%. In the second half of the year results from the joint venture in China, showed considerable improvement.

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Ian Pollard – Telford Benefit From London Homes Shortage

Telford Homes TEF Profit before tax for the half year to 30th September fell slightly to £8.7m. compared to last years £9m.due to development timing  but a profit before tax of over £40m. is expected for the full year. The interim dividend is increased by 11%. Longer term growth plans are underpinned by the structural shortage of homes, both to buy and rent, in non prime areas of London. Telford plans to deliver 4,200 homes worth over £1.5b to what it describes as an undersupplied London market.

RPC Group RPC saw record profit levels and strong cash generation during the half year to the 31st September. Revenue grew by 53% and statutory profit before tax rose by 129% and earnings per share by 94% in what is now the company’s 25th consecutive year of growth, with the interim dividend being increased by 28%. The second half year has also started well.

Britvic BVIC claims another strong performance for the year to the 1st October, with revenue rising by 7.7% or 2.5% on a like for like basis. Basic earnings per share were down by 3.2% and profit after tax by8 2.5% but the shareholders are looked after with an increase of 8.2% in the years dividends. At present there is sme uncertainty about the future with the introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy due in April.

Softcat plc SCT has made a good start to the year, with strong customer demand across all segments in the quarter to the 31st October and further profitable growth again delivered.

eve Sleep plc EVE The strong trading momentum seen in the first half has continued into the second half and it is expected that group revenue for the year will have risen by 130%. The UK has been stronger than expected with revenue up by 105% whilst international revenue is up by 180%. The company is on track to reach profitability in the UK in the fourth quarter of 2018 and for the group overall in 2019

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Severn Trent Drowns In Jargon

Severn Trent SVT  is so mired in jargon that it has started creating new  words which are so obscure and meaningless that it has had to add a little dictionary at the end of today’s update. What is wrong with plain English ? Even HMCR now uses it to good effect. Is it beyond the wit and intelligence of Severn Trents senior management to do the same.

Can they not really do better than ODI outperformances, totex efficiencies, business plans for AMP7 and methodology consultations for PR19. In fact  senior management seems so besotted with this nonsense that it had difficulty in finding anything about which it could update us.

Drax Group DRX managed to turn last years interim profit before tax of £184m into a thumping loss of £83m, and saw underlying earnings per share collapse from 4.2p to 2.2p. so not surprisingly management is taking action. Firstly it is claiming that this transformation is due to the maintenance of operational excellence across the group. Secondly it is more than doubling dividends for the 6 months to the 30th June from last years 2.1p per share to 4.9p. To be fair the figures do include unrealised losses of £65m due to foreign exchange hedging – so that’s alright init ?? Just as a sideline net debt surged from £85m  to £372m. Never mind, that dividend increase should ensure that jobs are safe.

RPC Group RPC will announce at todays AGM that the current share price of the company significantly undervalues its performance to date  and its future prospects. Revenues for the quarter to 30th June have been well ahead of the same period last year and have also exceeded management expectations. An inaugural share buy back program of up to £100m. is to be launched.

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ has produced a record first quarter performance with profits rising by 50% to a record £58m, as passenger numbers rose by 25%. There is however some caution expressed about prospects for the second half of the year.


Cello Group CLL enjoyed a good first half with strong overall and like for like growth from Cello Health in the 6 months to 30th June. Expectations are that full year results will also be strong.


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First Sales for Scottish Gold

Scotgold Resources SGZ has signed its first ever agreements for the sale of Scottish gold. This agreement covers the first refining batch (approximately 16oz) of Scottish Gold made available for jewellery (and only the second refining batch produced to date) from Scotgold’s Bulk Processing Trial (BPT) at the Cononish Gold and Silver Mine. The buyers are two of Scotland’s leading jewellery manufacturers.

Workspace Grp WKP is proposing a 40% increase in total dividends to 21.07p. per share after producing strong preliminary financial results for the year to 31st March led by growth in net rental income of 6.9%. Profit before tax was down on the previous year because of a smaller uplift in the property valuation. Recently completed projects have produced a strong letting performance and the total rent roll on like for like properties has grown by 14.5%. Demand for lettings remains healthy and there is a strong pipeline of refurbishments and redevelopments. Over the next three years delivery of over 1 million s.ft. of new and upgraded space is expected.

RPC Group plc RPC  is to increase total dividends by 50% after a good trading performance  saw revenue profit and cash flow all reach record levels for the year to the end of March, Revenue rose by 67%, adjusted operating profit by 77% and earnings per share by 54%. The proposed final dividend of 17.0p will make  a total of 24p for the year.

Distil plc DIS saw 2016-17 turnover rise by 40% leading to its first ever profit, £10,000 compared to last years loss of £97,000. Growth in own brands was strong and further sustained growth is now expected.

AudioBoom BOOM The operational momentum from 2016 is now translating into rapidly improving financial results and the strong performance in the first quarter of 2017 has continued through to the second quarter, leading to a 447% revenue rise for the first half year.

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Polypipe Dividend Up By 29.5%

Polypipe PLP Excellent like for like UK revenue growth of 10.5% for the year to 31st December, led to a record performance by the group as a whole, with exports adding to the happy picture with a rise of 28.7%. The final dividend is to be increased by 29.5%, after profits before tax rose by 31.1% and earnings per share by 29.2%

DFS Furniture Group DFS Following good sales growth and strong cash generation in the half year to 30th January, DFS is increasing its interim dividend  by 5.7% and paying a first ever special dividend og 9.5p per share. Revenue over the six months grew by 6.8% and profit before tax by 3.1%. Online traffic showed  double digit growth and the company believes it has excellent prospects for long term growth.

SCISYS SSY produced a very healthy performance and strong organic growth in the year to 31st December and the momentum seen in the second half of the year has continued into 2017. Revenue for the year rose by 27%, leading to a fourfold rise to £3.2m in adjusted operating profit and a leap in basic earnings per share from 1.3p to 9.2p. The full year dividend is to be increased by 10%

Booker Group BOK If the planned merger with Tesco actually takes place the fourth quarter and full year sales to the 24th March will only be of historical interest. Fourth quarter non tobacco like for like sales rose by 4.7%, whilst like for like tobacco sales fell by 7.5%  as the government tried to stop people killing themselves. Internet sales rose by 8%. Total sales for the full year rose by 6.7%.

RPC Group RPC expects revenue for the year to 31st March will be significantly ahead of the previous year and adjusted operating profit will exceed management expectations. Acqusitions made in March and August 2016 are both performing ahead of expectations and have been successfully integrated.

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Sterlings Decline and Fall Is Helpful – So Far

RPC Group RPC claims an encouraging overall performance for the quarter to 30th June. Revenue was significantly higher and adjusted operating profit was significantly ahead of management expectations, plus the added bonus of favorable currency movements, resulting from our politicians successful attempts to destroy the value of our currency.

Amino Technologies AMO Revenue for the half year to 31st May surged by 58% and adjusted profit before tax by 40%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 10%. Last years first half statutory profit of £3.6m. was turned into a stautory loss of £0.5m after taking into account £3.5m of exceptionals and a further £1.1m amortisation of acquired intangibles.

Pinewood Group PWS is increasing its final dividend by 14.3%, after what it claims is another strong set of results. Revenue for the year to 31st March rose by 10.9% and profit after tax was up by 51.6%. The fall in the value of sterling was a positive factor.

Iofina IOF has performed well during the first half of 2016, achieving its production targets and increasing revenue, despite a fall in the price of iodine, which it appears has now stabilised.

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Fastjet Survived After All

Fastjet FJET Claims 2015 was a year of change and challenge but contrary to the hopes of some pundits who enjoy making a living out of predicting and helping to create, doom and disaster, it survived. Passenger numbers for the year to the end of December rose by 32% but the load factor for Tanzania fell 6.6% following the woes of the Tanzanian economy.

Year end cash rocketed from $1.4m to $28.9m and like for like revenue was up by 21%, helping to bring the loss for the year down from $58.5m to $16.9m and the loss per share down from 3.38 cents to 0.71 cents. Short term targets include continuing to reduce costs and to match capacity to the reduced demand,

Johnson Matthey JMAT  The usual story from a company which has not had a good year and feels that it needs to explain away, if it can, a 22% fall in profit before tax. It does not need much guesswork to expect that a dividend increase is on the way, and it is.  As soon as it claims a robust performance and that some markets have been particularly challenging, you can guess  the news is not too good and that one way or another the board will be seeking shelter.

So for the year to 31st March Johnson Matthey’s revenue rose by 7%,  and the dividend is to be raised by 5%. It suffered from falls in 3 out of its 4 main markets, precious metals being especially hard hit. To be fair improvement is expected for the current year, with strong growth drivers leading the way.

RPC Group RPC is raising its dividend for the year to 31st March by 20% after revenue rose by 34%. The company claims that the year produced good underlying growth and a strong business performance. Like for like net profit before tax was up from 67.1m to 75.6m and adjusted earnings per share rose by 14%.

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