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Ian Pollard – Kingfisher’s #KGF double digit dive

Kingfisher KGF Despite double digit declines in virtually everything for the half year to the 31st July, Kingfisher tries to put a brave face on things and claim that for the third year in a row, it is on track to deliver strategic milestones. That can only be true if it had some very peculiar milestones in mind such as falls of 30.1% and 29.5% in statutory post and pre tax profits and basic earnings per share down by 27.1%.The half year report is littered with words such as tough, challenges, inefficiencies, mixed and difficult, each one a give away as to how bad things really are.

Constant currency sales  fell by 1.1%, adjusted profit before tax was down by 18% and basic earnings per share by 15.4%. The performance in France needs support which does not sound very encouraging and all that is said for the outlook for the rest of the year, is that in its main markets things will continue to be mixed.

Babcock International Group BAB has issued a further update covering the period from the 1st April, confirming that it continues to make significant progress in expanding its international businesses. New offices are being opened in South Korea and Japan. Low single digit underlying organic revenue growth at constant currency is expected for the full year and margins are expected to be stable.


Stagecoach Group SGC provides an update for the financial year to the 27th April which is rather curates eggish. Revenue decreases in London Bus reflected the impact of contracts lost in the previous year but the regions provided like for like growth of 3.2%. Operating costs were higher in the hot weather which sounds like a sort of “wrong type of leaves on the line” sort of excuse. North America failed to impress with a like for like revenue decline of 3.8%.

Science in Sport SIS enjoyed strong growth in the half year to the 30th June with revenue rising by 20% to 9.93m.  In the three months to August growth is described as having been very strong. Core business has been profitable at the half year for the first time with £0.3 million EBITDA. International markets also performed strongly with growth of 53% and international revenue now accounts for 34% of the total compared to 27% in the previous year.

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Kingfisher – Increased Transformation Activity – Profits Fall

Kingfisher plc KGF The jargon filled half year report claims that the six months to 31st July saw a significant increase in the level of transformation activity but it can not hide the fact that sales continued to fall and profits slumped. An increase of 2.5% in the interim dividend will not fool anybody. Sales appear reasonable with a rise of 4.5% until you look at them in constant currency terms which shows a fall of 1.3% Profit figures are given in a variety of guises, all of them bad. In constant currency terms they fell by 4.6%.  On an adjusted basis they were down 5.7% and  basic earnings per share followed suit with a fall of 4.4%  On a statutory basis pre tax profits fell by 5.9% and post tax profits by 8.1%. To add to the misery the company is cautious about what it calls the second half :”backdrop” in France and the UK.

Diageo DGE has issued a trading commentary ahead of its AGM asserting that it is expecting mid single digit top line growth for the current year, relying on the strength of its  marketing, innovation and commercial execution but it expects to be impacted by a late Chinese New Year and an expected motorway ban in India, hardly signs of unbridled confidence.

600 Group plc SIXH updates before todays AGM that its current machine tool order book is up by 60% and industrial lasers by 36%, on the same time last year, which augurs well for trading in the second half of the year.

Cello Group CLL Despite a slight fall in revenue Cello claims an encouraging first half, producing a statutory profit before  tax of £2.7m for the 6 months to the 30th June, compared to a loss of £0.8m last year whilst basic earnings per share came in at 2.16p compared to last years loss of 1.08p per share. The interim dividend is increased by 5%

Science in Sport  SIS experienced continued strong growth in the half year to the 30th June, with revenue rising by 28% and e commerce delivering 87% growth, followed by International with a rise of 55%. Whilst still producing operating losses, profitability at EBITDA level is expected for the full year.

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ABF Expects Good Full Year Growth From Primark

AB Foods ABF Markdowns at Primark have fallen even more since the third quarter, further improving the outlook for the full year to the 16th September. Good growth is now expected in both adjusted operating profit and earnings per share. The weakness of sterling has also played its part and will provide a currency windfall of some £85m.

Restore plc RST has produced strong organic growth across the group for the half year to the 30th June and the interim dividend is to be increased by 26% to 1.67p pr share. Like for like revenue rose by 57%, EBITDA and profit before tax were both up by 59% and earnings per share by 38%. It is anticipated that the full year performance will be slightly ahead of previous expectations.

Pennant Group PEN managed to deliver a pre tax profit for the six months to the 30th June with revenue rising from £6.6m. to £9m. Profit before tax  rose from a lowly £10,582 in the first half of 2016 to £935,353 and earnings per share showed a similar sharp rise from 0.04 to 2.84p per share.  Delays in a major UK contract however, mean that for the full year revenues will be below current market expectations. in the longer term, the company has a strong order book and an encouraging pipeline for the three years to 2020 and beyond.

Seeing Machines Ltd. SEE saw second half sales rise by 250% over the first half and full year Fleet business at A$9.1m almost tripled that of 2016. The Fleet business is described as being a tremendous success with strong growth in the markets in which it participates. The strong momentum is expected to continue in 2018. However continuing major investment has meant that the net loss before tax has soared from last years A$1.6m to A$28.5m.

Science in Sport plc SIS has reached agreement with Team Sky for the renewal of its contract for a further three years.

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Persimmon Full Of Optimism

Persimmon PSN ends 2016 full of optimism and  certainly does not share the gloom displayed by many of its competitors. Revenue rose by 8% during the year and average sales prices were increased by a modest 4% which compares favourably with the greed shown by many of the household names in the industry. Competitive mortgage rates remain a key factor behind the strength of the market, Autumn reservations were strong and second half private sales rates were 15% ahead of 2015 and legal completions rose by 10%. Second half margins are also expected to have improved because of cheaper prices for land.

Churchill China CHH also has a smile on its face with its update for 2016. final quarter trading has been ahead of expectations, performance in export markets has been strong and the operating performance for the year to the end of December gas been ahead of market expectations and well ahead of 2015. Preliminary results will be announced on the 28th March.

<img class="alignleft" src="https://upload.wikimedia herbal slimming pills.org/wikipedia/en/d/d4/PureCircle_logo.jpeg” width=”113″ height=”68″ />Pure Circle PURE experienced very strong growth in 2016 in Europe and in Latin America but first half sales are expected to be down 14% on 2016 following the detention of shipments by US Customs which has been large enough to offset growth in the rest of the world. First half group profits are expected to be down by 19% as a direct result of this and for the full year it is anticipated that for the full year last years profit of $5m. will be turned into a loss of $2m. The company has been working with US Customs from whom a final decision is now awaited.

Science in Sport SIS enjoyed strong growth in the year to 31st December with sales rising by 30%. Direct sales for the year doubled and the new Australian operation delivered sales ahead of expectations.  Continuing strong growth is confidently expected for 2017 and beyond.

Johnson Services JSG is disposing of its dry cleaning business to Timpsons for £8.25m. Results for the year to 31st December will be slightly ahead of current market expectations.

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Naked Wine on Cloud Nine

The CEO of Majestic Wine (WINE) is very excited about Naked Wines record sales of £100 m., already achieved in the year to 31st March 2016. For those who like their wine clothed and in a glass, Naked Wine is an online crowd funding platform and apparantly one of the best things since sliced bread.

Enterprise Inns (ETI) Reinvigoration of leased and tenanted pubs is continuing, leading to like for like net income growth of 1.5% in the 25 weeks to the 19th March.Its quality commercial property portfolio has seen rapid expansion and a new share buy back programme of up to £25 million is being initiated.

Science in Sport (SiS) is still running up losses despite revenue growth of 18% in the 9 months to 31st December. The underlying operating loss came in at £0.25m as against £0.19m for the previous 12 months due to investment in brand awareness and market entry costs in Australia and the US.

888 Holdings (888) has been hit by a triple whammy of Duties, VAT and adverse currency movements. Despite that it puts a brave face on things and claims that 2015 was a very good year with a like for like revenue rise of 12%, casino revenue leading the way with a rise of 18%. Unless one adjusts it, profit before tax has been halved from $67.9m to $32,5m and similarly with earnings per share which are down to 8.3 cents from the previous years 16.1 cents – gain, unless one adjusts it.  Total dividends for the year are being increased from 15 cents to 15.5 cents

Thomas Cook (TCG) claims to be going for margins rather than volume, which is perhaps as good an excuse as any whilst times are hard and summer bookings are falling. Conditions are challenging and volatile and confidence has been affected by disruption in key destinations.

Winter UK bookings are down 3%, continental Eurrope by 8% and only Northern Europe shows a rise.

Summer holidays are 40% sold which is 2% down on last year =, whilst summer bookings are down 5%.

Hang on to those margins Mr Cook at least until you have to start discounting later in the year, if things get worse.

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