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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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Sainsbury Slashes Price of Eggs As Sales Fall.

Sainsbury J. SBRY When a major supermarket group has to describe a 0.8% fall in like for like retail sales excluding fuel,  as a solid start to the year, then you know that the industry’s problems are massive and that this particular company and its management  are troubled.  But it has permanently slashed the price of eggs in an attempt to win back market share. Total retail sales for the 12 weeks to 4th June rose by 0.3%.

With Walmart about to start a major price war in its attempts to save ASDA and beat off Lidl, the future looks bleak for all UK supermarkets.

Domino’s Pizza DOM  has gone on the takeover path with the acquisition of a 49% stake in Domino’s Iceland and 45% in Domino’s in Sweden and Norway. Local management is described as strong and will be retained whilst the deal is expected to be income enhancing in 2017. Domino’s has the right to acquire all the remaining shares in the three groups between 2020 and 2023

Sanderson Group SND
is raising its interim dividend by 11% as confidence is boosted by a continued improvement in the general economic environment and by a very strong order book.  Revenue for the 6 months to 31st March rose by 8% and basic earnings per share by 13%. The order book jumped from £2.35m at 30th September 2015 to £3.2m at the end of March.

Workspace Group WKP Claims a very strong financial performance for the year to the end of March, driven by both income and capital growth. Preliminary results show an 8.7% rise in profit before tax and and a proposed 25% increase in the final dividend. Like for like rent per sq. ft rose by 16.4%, leading to a rise of over 28% in net rental income.  The underlying property valuation is up by 20.9%. Net occupancy is down slightly to 90.7%

After repeated promises from ASDA boss Andy Clark that he was here to stay, ASDA has announced that he is in fact stepping down. ASDA owner Walmart has got fed up of ASDA’s poor performance impacting its profits and leading it into a situation where annualised losses exceed £1 billion. The price war to come is expected to create havoc amongst the UKs major supermarket groups, with Sainsbury likely to be one of the two main victims.

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