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Ian Pollard – Reckitt Benckiser #RB Impacted By Weak Cold & Flu Season

Reckitt Benckiser Gp RB. The first quarter got off to a slow start but improving growth is seen for  the remainder of the year, particularly in the second half. Like for like full year net revenue target is expected to show growth of 3-4% compared to 1% in the first quarter. The  health business was impacted by an unusually weak cold and flu season across US and several European markets. First quarter sales of over the counter health products showed a like for like  decline of 9%. The good news is that March saw an increased incidence of cold and flu and coincidentally,  of course, an increased share performance.

Paddy Power Betfair PPB updates that the first quarter to the 31st March was a good one with total revenue up by 17%, led by gaming with a rise of 26%.Online revenue performance at Sports was affected by unfavourable results in both the UK and Ireland. Australia is described as having had a very strong quarter, whilst from the US huge progress is reported.

Smith & Nephew plc SN has made a good start to 2019 across the whole of the company. Underlying revenue growth for the full year is expected to be in the upper half of the guidance range of 2.5% to 3.5%.Mid-teens growth from the Emerging Markets, A strong quarter in China was accompanied by  Mid-teens growth from Emerging Markets. First quarter revenue of $1,202 million saw growth 4.4% and all three global franchises accelerated, with growth ahead of 2018.

Rolls Royce Holdings plc RR  updates for its AGM that it has continued to make progress with its restructuring programme. The market environment is healthy, with strong order intake at Power Systems, good flying hour growth in Civil Aerospace and positive order momentum in Defence. Costs are being brought down and engineering efficiency is being improved

Fisher (James) FSJ reports for its AGM that   its  first quarter financial performance at its Tankships and Offshore Oil divisions in the first quarter. is well ahead of last year. The pipeline of opportunities in its Specialist Technical remains strong.  With a good start to 2019 the outlook for the year remains positive and the company is well placed for further growth.

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Boom Time For London Hotels

Intl. Con. Airlines IAG saw first quarter profit after tax fall by 74% as passenger revenue declined by 4.2% and total revenue by 2.8%. But this did not stop it being a record breaking first quarter if you decide to select operating profit before exceptionals as your measure That comes in at £170m. compared to £155m last year and creates the new first quarter record.

Interco Hotels Grp IHG For once London led the way with first quarter Rev PAR growing by 12% compared to a meagre 1.9% for the US and 2.7% for the group as a whole, which is regarded as a good start to the year. The quarter produced growth in both rates and occupancy leading to a year on year  net system size growth of 3.4%. Confidence is expressed in the outlook for the full year.

Smith & Nephew SN. First quarter revenue grew by 3% with a good performance from Emerging Markets which returned to double digit growth, with China leading the way at 14%. Knee implants in particular did well which is not surprising when US figures show that some 50% of  knee replacement operations in the US are unnecessary. For the full year, underlying revenue growth of between 3 and 4% is expected.

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels MLC reflected very much the trading performance of its big brother above with growth in both rates and occupancy for the quarter to the 31st March. Profit before tax however, fell by 27.8% despite a rise in RevPAR of 4.6% and London steaming ahead with a rise of 14.5% as the lower pound boosted tourism in the capital. Also the US performance was less than impressive and has raised such concerns that the management structure is being reviewed.

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