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Taylor Wimpey TW With profit before tax surging by 46.8% during the six months to the first of July Taylor Wimpey saw demand for its homes remain strong in the first half despite some wider macroeconomic uncertainty.The interim ordinary dividend is to be increased from 2.3p per share to 2.44p. The number of homes completed fell slightly by 151 to 6,497 due mainly to bad weather during the first quarter and the average selling price rose at a more modest rate than in the recent past, from 287,000 to 295,000. Profit before tax rose from 205m. to 301m. A special dividend for 2019 of £350 million is re confirmed.
Rentokil plc RTO claims continued positive momentum during the first half to the 30th June and is increasing its interim dividend by 15%. Profit before tax fell by 81.5% and basic earnings per share by 85.2%, unless you prefer your statistics on an adjusted basis in which case the figures were a more acceptable 1.5 and 1.9% respectively. Full tear guidance remains unchanged.
Greggs plc GRG claims to have delivered a resilient performance despite challenging market conditions during the six months to the 30th June. The ordinary interim dividend is to be increased by 3.9% but it is anticipated that underlying profits before exceptional costs for the full year will only be at a similar level to 2017.
Thomas Cook Group plc TCG produced strong revenue growth in the third quarter whilst for the year as a whole so far, growth in both new and retained customers has been strong, at 12% and 5% respectively. Bookings for this summer have risen by 11%. The company anticipates that growth in full year underlying operating profit will be at the lower end of market expectations as continued margin pressure in the UK and continued aggressive pricing in the Spanish Islands from the competition plus bed cost inflation from hoteliers, will impact results..
Just Eat plc JE. Has produced a strong first half performance, with revenue for the six months to the 30th June rising by 45 %, orders by 30% and adjusted basic earnings per share by 13%. Despite these figures, profit before tax fell by 3% because of the additional costs incurred in the acquisition of Hungry House. Revenue guidance is raised for for the full year to between £740 – £770 million, up from £660 – £700 million.
Weir Group plc WEIR performed strongly in its main markets and first quarter orders grew by 22%, with minerals up by 13%. Oil and gas led the way with a 50% rise after strong drilling and completion activity in North American onshore. Further success was encountered as it became the preferred provider to major shale pressure pumpers. Weir has also announced the acquisition of ESCO which has a world-class team and will add another leading global brand.to its porfolio. It also intends to start the process of selling Flow Control with the aim of reallocating capital to build further on its core platforms.
Unilever ULVR made a good start to he year with first quarter sales growth of 3.4% and emerging markets doing even better with 5.1%. The quarterly dividend is to be increased by 8% after what the company describes as a good volume driven performance across all three divisions. Markets in Europe remained challenging as a resut of weak consummer demand, prie deflation and a challenging retail environment, especially in France. A triple whammy if ever there was one.
Rentokil Initial RTO has started the year well with ongoing revenue up by 15.7% at constant exchange rates. although on an organic basis revenue growth of 3.2% was down on last years 3.7%. Another year of successful growth is expected for 2018 despite unseasonably cold weather in March having delayed the onset of the US pest season.
Telecom Plus TEP produced record levels of revenue, profit and dividends during the year to the end of March. The final dividend is to increased by 4.2% from 48p. per share to 50p.The success was achieved despite a challenging environment created by record industry levels of domestic customers switching suppliers which TEP managed to keep below the industry average with its own customers. Profit before tax for 2019 is expected to be in the region of 55 to 60m.
Essentra plc ESNT proclains that it is continuing to “drive its stability agenda”. That must mean something when translated into Engish and I will try and discover exactly what before the end of the morning. It is possible that it may have something to do with its expectations of a return to like-for-like revenue growth and margin expansion in 2018.
Aveva Group AVV enjoyed strong trading for the year to the end of March. After revenue growth of 5.9% in the first half, .growth accelerated in the second half leading to a comfortable double digit rate for the year as a whole.
WPP plc WPP “Not a pretty year” says Sir Martin Sorrell about his companies performance in 2017.Top line growth was flat and operating margins and profits were either flat or only marginally up. To add to the gloom, 2018 has had a slow start which managed to be above budget but in January like for like revenue was flat.On a like for like basis 2017 billings were down by 5.4% or 3.9% at constant exchange rates, although revenue at constant exchange rates did show a rise of 1.6% but on a like for like basis it fell by 0.3% On a happier note profit before tax rose by 11.6% (7.7% constant currency) and the dividend is to be increased by 6%.
Rentokil RTO had a good year in 2017 and its strong performance exceeded its medium term financial targets. After a rise of 13.8% in adjusted profit before tax the final dividend is to be increased by 15.1% to 2.74p per share.On a constant exchange rate basis adjusted profit before tax rose by 6.2% and adjusted earnings per share by 5.2%. Pest control performed particularly well and the company was very active in the mergers and acquisitions field, where it acquired 33 pest control companies. The policy of expansion by acquisition is to continue.
National Express NEX delivered strong performances both internationally and in the UK during the year to the 31st December with significant increases inr evenue, profit and cash. This is recognised in the final dividend which is to be increased by 10%. Like for like profit before tax at constant exchange rates grew by 11.7% and group revenue by 6.1%. The UK bus and coach businesses delivered a strong second half after the declines experienced during the first half of the year. A good start has been made to 2018 with profit and revenue both showing rises in January.
Bovis Homes BVS is pleased with what it describes as its operational progress in 2017. This progress saw profit before tax fall by 26% and earnings per share by 25%. and there are not many companies which dare call that, progress. The ordinary dividend is to be increased by 6% after strong increases in the average selling price, up by 7% during the year. The company also expresses itself as being excited by the future which is not surprising if it can get away with price rises like that.
Unilever plc ULVR Reports that emerging markets drove third quarter sales growth with underlying sales up by 2.6% and, over nine months, by 2.8%. Total third quarter turnover however was down by 1.6% after a 5.1 % currency impact. Developed markets were a problem and remained challenging, with turnover, led by of all things, ice cream in Europe, down by 2.3%. Emerging markets saved the day with volume up by 1.8% and turnover by 6.3%.
Rentokil Initial RTO obtained growth in its third quarter, from acquisitions which produced a total rise in company revenue of 10.10% but on an organic basis growth at 3%, was much lower. Strong performances came from Asa Pacific, Latin America and the target market of North America. Five further aquisitions were made in quarter 3 and prospects for the rest of the year remain good.
Stobart Group STOB is to increase its interim dividend by 50% for the half year to 31st August from last years 3p to 4.5p per share this year. Profit before tax came in at £111.6m compared to last years £10.8m and underlying EBITDA rose from £20.2m last year to £131.8m this year but after taking into account £123.9m of profit from the partial sale of its investment in Eddie Stobart Logistics, which appears to mean that excluding that one off bonus real EBITDA fell somewhat.
Travis Perkins TPK enjoyed continued strong third quarter growth across all its contract businesses and a significant improvement in sales in Plumbing & Heating. Group sales rose by 3.5% for the quarter rising to 4.1% on a like for like basis.
Tristel plc TSTL Sales and profitability in the year to the 30th June exceeded both market expectations and the company’s own internal plan,enabling the standard full year dividend to be increased by by 21%. Turnover for the year rose by 19% which included a 43% rise in oversea sale and earnings per share increased from 5.01p. per share to 8.06p
Lloyds Banking Group LLOY claims it is transforming its Key Customer Journey and if you look at the additional billion pound or so compensation which it is being forced to cough up to customers whom it cheated over the years, it certainly needed transforming. In the second quarter it had to make additional provision of 700m as PPI claims against it rose above previous expectations. Then in the same quarter came a further hit of 340m. as it was forced to reimburse mortgage arrears fees which it had illegally charged to customers. And this is not some fly by night hole in the wall operation, its a bank for god’s sake which claims it wants customers to trust it with their money.
As for its half years results Lloyds claims to have produced another strong set, with the UK economy in resilient mode. The interim dividend is being increased by 18%. Underlying profit for the six months to the 30th June rose by 8% whilst statutory profit before tax was up by 4% and operating costs were down by 1%.
Diageo DGE reports operating profit up by 25% and net sales up 15% for the year to 30th June. On a like for like basis operating profit rose by 5.6%. With basic earnings per share up by 18%, the final dividend is being increased by5% and a share buy back program is announced of up to 1.5 billion pounds.
Weir Group WEIR North America has produced what it describes as a great set of results for the half year to 30th June, with both main businesses moving from an intense downturn into a recovery and growth phase. Revenue growth in North America reached 69% and generally growth overall accelerated, enabling an upgrade to be made to full year guidelines. Growth in orders of 11%has put Weir in a position where it can deliver strong constant currency revenue and profit growth for the full year. Despite that profit before tax on a constant currency basis is still down by 8%, although on a reported basis, there is a rise of 12%. The interim dividend remains unchanged at 15p per share.
Rentokil RTO is increasing its interim dividend by 15.2% for the half year to the 30th June afte a 12.5% rise in adjusted profit before tax and 10.9% in adjusted earnings per share. On a like for like basis revenue grew by 4.2%. The CEO i pleased with the continued momentum of the business.
Tate & Lyle TATE has made an encouraging start to the year with first quarter profits in constant currency terms, and volume both ahead of last year. Volume growth was strong in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.Only North America was soft, with modest volume growth.
Travis Perkins TPK The real truth about the state of the UK economy is beginning to bite. With like for like third quarter sales growth falling to 2% and an uncertain UK outlook, TPK is to close over 30 branches and 10 distribution and fabrication centres. In addition challenging market conditions led to Plumbing & Heating sales falling by 3.9%, a performance which management regards as unsatisfactory. Like for like sales growth for the nine months of the year to date stands at 2.7% which adds emphasis to the 3rd quarter decline.
Reckitt Benckiser RB has been impacted by expected third quarter headwinds and other challenges which reduced the quarter’s like for like growth to 2% which became 17% if you take into account sterling devaluation. RB looks like yet another company whose day has been saved by the benefits provided by collapse of sterling. India and China produced strong growth but Brazil proved challenging. The target for full year like for like growth still remains at 4%.
Rentokil RTO is pleased with its 3rd quarter performance which produced like for like growth of 3.1%which was increased to 16.6% by contributions from acquisitions and compares to 2.7% for the year to date. Pest control had an excellent quarter with like for like growth of 5.9% whilst emerging markets shot up by 20.4% and growth markets by an even higher 26.3%. Europe on the other hand was tough in parts and particularly France.
Foxtons FOXT reduced activity in the London property sales market hit Foxtons hard in its third quarter with sales revenue down by a third. It believes that the London market remains very attractive and presents a huge opportunity for growth but it can not quite bring itself to provide any facts to justify its belief.
Hotel Chocolat Group HOTC which was admitted to AIM in May almost doubled last years statutory pre tax profit from £2.9m to £5.6m and expects a strong Christmas with what it describes as its “more cocoa, less sugar” policy.
OMG plc OMG expects revenues for the year to the end of September to reach £29m., ahead of market expectations after what it describes as a successful close to the year
GKN plc GKN The collapse of sterling was to bring a new dawn for what was left of British Industry, lied Diddy David and the rest of his old Etonian clique of rulers. Well the truth is that it hasnt, at least not yet. All it has done is help companies to mask performances which are downright unacceptable. Thus for its first quarter, sales are up by 12%, trumpets GKN. Looks great that, dunnit, until you see that two thirds of that came from acquisitions and a quarter of it from beneficial currency movements. A mere 1% came from like for like growth which means that GKN just failed to take advantage of the opportunities which a collapsing pound were supposed to bring. GKN land systems led the decline with like for like sales down 6% even after taking into account a 3% currency benefit. Headmaster comments – can do better, must do better.
Travis Perkins TPK produced good 1st quarter growth in all businesses with total sales rising by 5% and like for like sales by 4.2% or 9.5% over two years, which at least shows some long term consistency. And it is all due to the company having a clear focus on driving the maturity of the heavyside range centre network. Presumably they know what they mean, even if nobody else does.
Rentokil Initial RTO First quarter revenue grew by 11% but 9% came from acquisition and only 2.8% from like for like growth. Pest control in North America had a great three months with 54% growth but, wait a minute, most of this so called growth came from acquisitions and only 6.4% from like for like growth. Not surprisingly the company does not offer any hope of beating expectations for the full year. Management seems to think it best not to give any reasons for this.
Punch Taverns PUB The big Punch pub sale has continued apace during the 28 weeks to 5th March and it is so beneficial to the company that it is ahead of target on this front. What is a welcome change is that underlying retail profits and sales are also ahead of expectations. EBITDA is down by some 10% following 18 months of strategic disposals but average profit per pub is up by 3%. Amazing really that what was one of the countries largest pub owners was so bad at managing its estate that it had to sell a lot of it off in the hope that it could make a profit out of what was left. Obviously the buyers of all these pubs, thought they could make a better job of running them, than Punch had.
ARM Holdings ARM Poor old sterling. It can’t do right for doing wrong. Now ARM claims its first quarter results have been impacted by the weakness of sterling, whereas nearly everybody else has been cursing the pound for its continued strength over the past year or so. First quarter revenue rose by 14% in US$ terms or 22% in pounds. There was strong demand for the company;s most advanced technology and the number of chips shipped rose by 10% to 4.1 billion