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Ian Pollard – If Tha Can Only Talk Nonsense, Shut thi Gob

Rolls Royce Holdings plc RR. is confident that Trent 7000 production and delivery volumes will increase significantly to meet customer commitment in 2019s. Growth in strong large engine flying hours  reported in the first half has also continued into the second half of the year. Rolls is however forced to admit that the number of aircraft on the ground remains at a high level. It has had to placate its customers by sincerely regretting the disruption that this has caused them. Sad also to see the management of Rolls allowing a company which was once the pride of British engineering, to damage its own reputation to such an extent. A fall of 10% in large engine deliveries since the March estimate is expected for 2018 and blamed by management on early stage production ramp-up challenges on the new Trent 7000 engine – challenges which that self same management was incapable of dealing with – ramp up challenges indeed.

J Sainsbury plc SBRY and Asda Group Ltd will today seek a Judicial Review of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Phase Two investigation into their proposed merger. The current timetable does not apparantly give the Parties sufficient time, with it being Xmas time. Nor does it take account  of the fact that it has suddenly been realised that the real aim of the merger is to improve range, quality and customer service, while lowering prices and reducing the cost of living for millions of UK households. Well isn’t that kind of them, especially at Xmas. Its nothing to do with economics and challenging conditions on the high street. It is just that left on their own, the two companies and their customers would be in a bit of a mess.

British Am. Tobacco BATS updates that the business continues to perform well and is exceeding its high single figure constant currency adjusted diluted EPS growth target – you may pause here to take breath and try and analyse what that sentence actually means. Further good news, they would have you believe, is that full year adjusted EPS growth is expected to be impacted by a currency translation headwind, of around 6% for FY18, at current exchange rates. .Some big executives never learn – if you can only talk nonsense, shut up and let somebody else make a fool of themselves.

Marshalls plc MSLH expects to exceed full year expectations. Better second half revenue growth, will lead to revenue for the 11 months ended 30 November rising by 14 per cent.


Superdry plc SDRY Interim results for the 26 weeks to the 27 October reflected a difficult trading period forcing the company to intensify its comprehensive transformation programme. The blame is firmly placed on the weather which was too warm in November and so far, into December as well. Reliance on cold weather related products continues and a lack of innovation in some of its core categories is also blamed, as sales have remained under pressure.  This has resulted in an adverse profit impact of around £11m in November and similar damage is expected in December if trading conditions (i.e. the weather) does not improve. Blame is also allocated to the changing shape of consumer behaviour in the peak trading period, the impact of wider economic and political uncertainty and, even before the wrong sort of weather has arrived, further uncertainty in terms of the outlook for it. Now there’s a management which knows how to keep itself warm and superdry. 

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Ian Pollard – Rolls Royce impacted by engine issues.

Rolls Royce Holdings RR 2017 was a year of strong recovery, with financial result ahead of expectations. Underlying organic revenue for the year to the 31st December rose by 6%, profit before tax by 25% and earnings per share by 27%. The results were however impacted by the challenge and cost of managing what it describes as significant in service engine issues which  are likely to continue for several years. 2018 is expected to be a year of significant operational progress despite the fact that it will take a few years to implement solutions for customers, to the engine problems which Rolls is currently experiencing and the costs of which are and will continue to be, significant.

Legal & General LGEN continued to perform strongly in 2017 with operating profit rising to a record £2.1bn. Profit before tax was up by 32% and profit after tax by 50%. Growth in earnings per share is described as terrific and the full year dividend is to be increased by 7% to 15.3p. per share.Confidence is expressed of further growth in 2018 and beyond.

Paddy Power Betfair PPB produced good growth in 2017 with a final dividend of 135p. per share promised, making a total rise of 21% for the year. Preliminary results for the year to 31st December show a rise in underlying revenue  of 13%, EBITDA up by 18%, earnings per share by 20% and operating profit by 19%. The Chief Executive describes it as as an exceptional business with market leading positions in key online and retail markets which will continue to generate shareholder returns in the long term.

Page Group PAGE 2017 was a year of many records  with 22 counties producing record performances. Revenue at constant exchange rates rose by 9.8% for the year to 31st December and the final dividend is to be increased by a modest 4.3% to 12.5p per share on top of the special dividend of 12.73p. announced in October.

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Brand CEO Alan Green talks Valentines Day, markets, Tlou Energy (TLOU) and Rolls Royce (RR.) on TipTV

Brand CEO Alan Green talks Valentines Day, markets, Tlou Energy (TLOU) and Rolls Royce (RR.) with Zak Mir and Matt Brown on TipTV.

Rolls Royce Wants to Become Trusted

Rolls Royce Holdings RR is to try and become a more trusted company with high standards of business conduct in an attempt to remedy past misbehaviour which produced disastrous  2016 results including a 49% fall in underlying profit before tax at constant exchange rates.  On a reported basis that became a loss of £4.6b after taking into account penalties of 0,7 billion. Despite these appalling figures Rolls claims it performed ahead of expectations for the year as a whole and has managed to avoid cutting 2016’s  final dividend. A modest performance improvement is expected for 2017.

Image result for pendragon logoPendragon 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.

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Curates Eggs For Breakfast Today

Morrisons MRW brings good news for the consumer if not for itself, with price deflation in the  quarter to 1st May reaching 2.6% and expected to continue. Compared to quarter 1 2015 Morrisons has done well. Like for like sales this year were up by 0.7% or 1.2% including fuel  compared to last years falls of 2.9% and 6.6% respectively, although this years like for like figures have been helped by store and convenience shop closures. What is not a good sign is that items per basket fell by 2.8%.

Rolls Royce RR expects first half results to to be close to breakeven but does not enlighten us as to whether that will be positive or negative.  Better things  however, are promised for the second half.

Smith & Nephew SN  has had a mixed first quarter, with Established Markets growing by 6%, led by by its largest market, the US with 8%. Emerging markets on the other hand fell by 6%. Weakness was felt in China and in the Gulf states there was a significant slow down. Sports joint repairs were up by 11% and knee implants  proved as popular as ever, as the medical profession throughout mainland Europe continued happily on the gravy train of advising its unwitting patients to undergo unnecessary knee replacement surgery.  Latest figures show that half of such operations in the US are completely unnecessary and are of benefit only to the medical profession.

IMI plc IMI expects first half revenue to decline at the same rate as in 2015 with a pick up promised for the second half. Revenue for the quarter to 31st March fell by 4% despite the favourable impact of exchange rate movements. In Critical Engineering Markets were challenging during the quarter and orders from some customers were delayed..  Precision Engineering did even worse with a fall of 7% but Hydronic Engineering prospered by comparison with good revenue growth, due to new products having a notable impact.

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Rolls Royce Transformation – Dividends Halved

2015 was all change year for Rolls Royce (RR.) Management, market conditions and the near term outlook all changed as the company set about trying to transform itself but the biggest transformation of all is to the final dividend which is today slashed by half. And that is not the end of the transformation. Rolls promises that the next interim dividend will also be transformed in similar fashion.

Shareholders have had a raw deal from the (mis)management of the company.  Two years ago in January 2014 the shares stood at an all time high of 1275p since when they have been in virtually continuous decline until last nights close at 530p. So not only have shareholders lost half of their income, they had over the past two years also lost 60% of their capital.

In fact so dire were the expectations as to how badly Rolls had performed in 2015, that todays results, disastrous as they are, have come as something of a relief and the shares jumped this morning by over 10% to 590p.

How well or how badly Rolls has performed depends on whether you like your results fried or boiled, or in more technical terms, reported or underlying. Reported profit before tax is up by 140%.  On an underlying basis it is down12%. Earnings per share are similarly , either up by 215% or down by 10%. Perfectly sensible contradictions for the number crunchers.

The order book has grown by 4%, due mainly to strong market share growth in Civil Aerospace and that just about brings the good news to an end except for something called the quality of its mission critical technology, whatever that is supposed to mean. The trading outlook for 2016 is unchanged.

Fear not however, for the company is to be transformed, (just like Hornby, another collapsing British icon) and here Rolls unwittingly provides a list of its failings (ie. the things which need transforming by the new transformation team)

Pace and simplicity are to be added, presumably to replace existing slowness and confusion. Annual cost reductions of £ 150m to £200m are to be made, without any explanation as to why management allowed costs to get so out of hand. Senior management has been reduced by 20%, again without any explanation as to why such costly overstaffing was permitted in the first place. A return is needed to profitable growth, clearly implying that previous growth has been loss making.

Even worse, although market conditions are now steady, Rolls admits that 2016 will still be a challenging year.

Meanwhile sterling continues to tumble.  And one wonders why.

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