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Kingfisher plc KGF claims that its engine has now been largely rebuilt and it is confident in delivering significant financial benefits but only over time. And looking at results for the year to the 31st January, that time sees nowhere near having arrived. Growth in sales, margin and returns is being targeted but only over the medium term which appears to indicate that there is not much promise for the short term. Underperformance in France and other parts of the business needs addressing which is an admission that it has not not been so far. The closure is being considered of 15 poorly performing stores across the business over the next 2 years; as well as the closure of 19 Screwfix outlets in Germany, where the heart of industrial Europe is alleged to beat strong. As for the recent past, there is little wonder that the immediate future looks grim.
Total sales for the year fell by 1.6% on a like for like basis, Uunderlying profit before tax was down 13% or 52.6% on a statutory basis. Underlying basic earnings per share fell by 6.%. Mercifully the dividend remained unchanged.
TI Fluid Systems plc TIFS had a great year in 2018 with strong organic growth and solid profit margins. Final results for the year to the 31st December showed profits growing by €24.9m. to €140.1m.. whilst a final dividend is proposed of 5.94 euro cents per share. The groups approach to continued and disciplined organic growth has, it says, positioned it well for 2019 and beyond.
SDL plc SDL reports a solid improvement in the Group’s financial performance compared to 2017, with all divisions performing well. Revenue for the year to 31st December rose by 12.6% and on an adjusted basis, basic earnings per share gre by 23.7% and operating profit by 20.8%. The company believes that Brexit brings risks and opportunities which it can manage.
Tasty plc TAST Revenue fell by 6% to £47.28m in the year to the 30th December due to site closures and like-for-like decline. Three restaurants were sold and one closed in 2018. There is no intention to open any new restaurants in 2019 and management claims it will be focused on restructuring and improving profitability from the existing portfolio.
Ten Entertainment Group TEG has had another good year and is facing excellent future growth prospects. Sales in the first 11 weeks of the current year have started positively, with like-for-like sales up 5.1%. to date. Total sales in 2018 rose by 7.5%, adjusted EBITDA by 8% and earnings per share by 16.6%. A final dividend is announced of 7.7p per share making 11p per share for the full year
Blockchain venture builder Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that RIF Labs is acquiring RSK Labs, where Coinsilium owns 65,000 series Seed-1 preferred shares. The cost of the investment was $83,750. The acquisition is a share for token swap and Coinsilium will end up with 1.95 million RIF tokens, which is the equivalent of 139.4 bitcoins, currently valued at $773,000. However, an initial 12.5% of the consideration will be released six months after the deal is completed and then 2.5% each month for 42 months.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has entered into an additional marketing and off-take agreement with Traxys Europe. The deal covers the production from the Hellyer project in Tasmania for the first five years. This includes a facility for prepayment.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that its Australian subsidiary has received a A$590,000 tax rebate from the Australian government. A 43.5% rebate is due on qualifying technical expenditure and so far more than A$2m has been received. Spending continues.
Gowin New Energy Group Ltd (GWIN) chief executive Chen Chih-Lung is lending £40,000 to the company for 12 months at an annual interest rate of 2%.
Music and audio equipment supplier Focusrite (TUNE) is continuing to grow internationally although Asia is growing at the fastest rate. Full year revenues grew by 14% to £75.1m, while pre-tax profit improved from £9.51m to £11.3m. The dividend is 22% higher at 3.3p a share. There is £22.8m of cash in the bank and this could be used for add-on acquisitions. Tariffs on Chinese exports are being used as a way of testing out price rises for the US market. Forecast profit growth is modest but there is potential for outperformance.
Tristel (TSTL) is buying its distributor in Benelux and France and this will enhance earnings. The maximum payment for Ecomed will be €6.8m (£6m) with €5m paid up front. The deal also provides an additional warehouse in Europe. A full year contribution in 2019-20 will increase pre-tax profit by £700,000 to £6.5m.
Sustainable timber supplier Accsys Technologies (AXS) has increased its capacity for Accoya production by 50% and this will help production in the second half. Demand for Accoya is strong and sales increased from €28.3m to €31.1m in the six months to September 2018. The development of the Tricoya plant in Hull is progressing. Construction could be completed in the middle of 2019 and it will breakeven at 40% of capacity. Tricoya, which is used in MDF-type panels, is currently produced from Accoya and this plant will free up Accoya production for other customers. Numis forecasts a rise in full year revenues from €60.9m to €73.1m and a decline in loss to €5.1m. Net debt is expected to be €46m at the end of March 2019 and it will continue to rise because of the capital investment programmes. If partners can be secured in the USA and Asia then this could provide a significant boost to the company.
Initial drilling results at the Havieron licence area in Western Australia provided good news for Greatland Gold (GGP) with two wide zones of gold and copper mineralisation intersected. This significantly extends the known mineralisation.
Immunodiagnostic System Holdings (IDH) is up to its old tricks. The interim figures were published at 5.04pm on Friday 23 November. To be fair this is 14 minutes earlier than the half year trading statement so maybe the company is improving. Here’s hoping. Interim revenues were flat at £18.5m but the company fell into loss. There was £27.8m of cash in the bank (net cash of £26.5m) at the end of September 2018. Maybe some of this should be spent on an alarm clock so management can get up in the morning to release its results.
Chris Jagusz has stood down as chief executive of Redcentric (RCN) as revenue growth has been hard to come by. The latest interims have sparked downgrades for 2018-19 with revenues cut by 5% to £94.2m.
SIMEC AtlantisEnergy (SAE) has singed a joint venture with AD Normandie Developpement and this will enable the commencement of tidal energy projects between France and Alderney. A capacity of 3,000MW is being targeted and there is potential for EU grants.
Innovation software provider Imaginatik (IMTK) has achieved annualised cost savings of £1.2m, but the strategic review held back revenues and new orders in the first half. The cash outflow declined. Trading levels are picking up.
There are no competition concerns about the Ebiquity (EBQ) disposal of its advertising intelligence business to Neilsen Media Research. The business has been underperforming because of the uncertainty and this will enable the deal to go ahead. Ebiquity says that 2018 operating profit will be lower than expected.
Positive news about the Wressle oil project, where the planning officer for North Lincolnshire has recommended approval. The original application was refused two years ago. Operator Egdon Resources (EDR) owns a 30% interest in Wressle, Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) has a 30% interest and Union Jack Oil (UJO) has a 27.5% interest. Humber Oil and Gas owns the other 12.5%.
Integumen (SKIN) has raised £355,000 from a placing at 0.44p a share. This cash will support the development and commercialisation of Labskin. Integumen is paying €40,000 and six million shares to former chief executive Declan Service.
Sutton Harbour (SUH) returned to profit in the six months to September 2018, although the corresponding period had a hefty asset write-down, and it is raising cash for pre-construction funding. An open offer of 77-for-786 at 29p a share will raise up to £3m and close on 6 December. Planning approvals have been received for the Sugar Quay and Harbour Arch Quay schemes in Plymouth.
Electronic and battery products supplier Solid State (SOLI) is starting to improve its performance, although there may still be a decline in full year profit. In the six months to September 2018, revenues were 5% ahead at £23.6m and pre-tax profit improved from £1.55m to £1.66m. The interim dividend was 5% higher at 4.2p a share. The order book was worth £29.6m at the end of September 2018.
TomCo Energy (TOM) has appointed Turner Pope to replace SVS as broker and trading in the shares has recommenced.
SEC (SECG) is acquiring France-based public and corporate affairs business CLAI. An initial 10% stake, but with 50.1% of voting rights, will cost €490,000 in cash. A further stake of 40.01% will be acquired in the second half of 2020 and another 10% in the second half of 2023. The shareholders can ask SEC to buy the remaining shares between 30 July 2025 and 30 November 2025. The final payments are based on an earnout although the maximum will be €8.8m. In 2017, CLAI made a pre-tax profit of €551,000 on revenues of €4.49m. The acquisition could be earnings enhancing. CLAI will continue to be run by existing management.
Majestic Wine (WINE) is finding the UK market tough and margins are coming under pressure. Peel Hunt has reduced its 2018-19 pre-tax profit forecast by £2m to £12.8m, partly due to increased investment in Naked.
Kestrel has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) to 22.2%.
Another disappointing trading statement from Fire Angel Safety (FA.) has led to a 2018 profit downgrade. Stock problems and delays to orders have hit the smoke alarms supplier. Scottish legislation due to be passed next year should provide a boost to demand. Fire Angel will be loss-making in 2018 but should make a small second half profit.
Legal services firm Knights Group (KGH) says that interim figures will be in line with expectations with double digit organic revenue growth. The interims will be announced on 15 January.
Maritime identification systems developer SRT Marine (SRT) had already flagged its 9% increase in interim revenues to £3.2m and increased underlying loss of £1.3m. There was little contribution from the GeoVS analytics system. There are expected to be significant deliveries in the second half, but timing cannot be guaranteed. A full year profit of around £3m is expected if the deliveries do take place. SRT is no longer considering investing in its own satellite constellation for this business.
FIH Group (FIH) reported flat interim profit, although there was a sharp improvement in contribution by the Momart art and museum logistics business. There was a decline in the performance of the Gosport ferry and Falkland Islands activities.
Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) says interim revenues will be one-fifth higher at £46.4m with around 50% of this organic growth. Full year revenues should be at least £102m. EBITDA margins should be maintained suggesting full year EBITDA of more than £19m. That is slightly higher than previous consensus.
Argentina-focused oil and gas producer and explorer President Energy (PPC) says the first Puesto Flores development well is producing at 600 bopd, having peaked at 1,000 bopd. This is as much as was anticipated from all three development wells. The results from the second development well appear positive and testing is about to commence. finnCap believes that the first well could have a post-tax NPV of $20m.
Pallett developer and manufacturer RM2 International (RM2) is raising £13m at 105p a share, following a 200-for-one share consolidation. This replaces the second tranche of a previously announced placing which would have happened at 1p a share (200p a share equivalent) but RM2 did not meet the performance requirements to spark the other placing. All but one of the investors set to buy shares previously will subscribe to the new placing. The cash will be used to fit track and trace devices to existing pallets, produce new pallets and cover admin costs. The cash will last until next April.
finnCap has sharply downgraded its pre-tax profit forecasts for telecoms services provider Maintel Holdings (MAI) due to project delays. The 2018 figure has been cut from £12.9m to £9.8m and the 2019 figure from £16.1m to £12.7m. The 2018 dividend is still expected to be 34.5p a share, although the cover will fall to 1.6 times. There is a move towards recurring revenues which will have a longer-term benefit for Maintel.
Restaurants operator Tasty (TAST) has revised its £7m term loan facility, which will be extended until March 2022. Quarterly repayments will be reduced from July 2019, by which time the amount draw down will be reduced by £1.1m. Net debt is currently £4.3m.
The NAV of value-focused investment vehicle Gresham House Strategic (GHS) has held up well considering the stockmarket decline. It grew to 1264p a share at the end of September 2018 and it was still 1243.2p a share on 16 November. The stake in IMImobile (IMO) has been reduced but it remains a strong performer. Cloud communications software supplier IMImobile improved its interim revenues by one-quarter and organic growth was 15%. The growth came from the European and American operations. Established customers are buying more services from the company and acquisitions are supplementing growth. Liontrust has increased its IMImobile stake to 21.4% but Kestrel has cut its to below 3%.
Payment protection software provider PCI-PAL (PCIP) is paying former boss William Catchpole his contracted entitlements plus £100,100 in settlement of his claims. The board unanimously asked Catchpole to leave in October. The final loan note repayment of £250,000 has been received from the buyer of the contact centre business.
Digital and media recruiter Nakama Group (NAK) reported flat interim net fees of £2.7m, but it managed to return to profit thanks to reduced costs. Further cost cutting is underway. There was a £558,00 cash inflow from operations and net debt was £488,000.
Antennas developer MTI Wireless Edge (LSE: MWE) has completed its merger with Israel-quoted majority shareholder MTI Computers and the initial benefits will show through in the second half. The interim figures show organic growth in revenues of 2%, but that growth should accelerate in the second half. Water management technology provider Mottech is winning new business and there are good prospects for the other divisions. The NAV is 17.8p a share and the full year dividend could be 1.25p a share.
Two directors have invested nearly £230,000 in shares in Condor Gold (CNR) at 22pa share. Non-executive Jim Mellon took his stake to 7%, while executive chairman Mark Child has reached 6%. Condor has been granted an important environmental permit for the development of a processing plant at its La India project in Nicaragua. SRK Consultants is preparing an updated mineral resource.
Juridica Investments Ltd (JIL) plans to leave AIM as part of the process of winding-up the company. The quotation will be cancelled on 21 December after liquidators from KPMG Channel Islands are appointed. Management fees will be reduced.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) continues to build up its sales, having been trading for two years, and they reached £1.84m in the six months to September 2018. The loss was nearly £2m. Returns were 52% but that was put down to a high level of dress sales in the period and it can be more difficult to get the right fit. The benefits of the move to the Magento 2 ecommerce platform and the investment in the website are showing through in the second half. October was a record month. A placing raised £3m after the balance sheet date so pro forma cash is £5.56m.
600 Group (SIXH) has rationalised its UK business and sorted out its pension problems. Interim revenues were slightly ahead but underlying margins improved from 5.1% to 6%. The machine tools and laser marking equipment supplier is expected to improve its full year pre-tax profit from $3.05m to $3.9m.
Motor dealer Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) has performed well considering the dip in the new car market. Used vehicles and aftersales offset some of the decline. There was a 2% decline in revenues to £630m and underlying pre-tax profit fell by 13% to £9.8m. The capital investment programme for new sites has peaked and the benefits of that investment are still to come.
Veltyco Group (VLTY) is still finding it difficult to collect the money it is owed. This means that its cash is running low and this will impact its ability to promote its own brands.
Graphene materials supplier Directa Plus (DCTA) is confident that it will achieve 2018 revenues of €2.3m and this figure could double in 2019. Growth is coming from textiles, environmental and elastomers customers.
Ubisense Group (UBI) is selling RTLS SmartSpace for up to £35m, which is around two-thirds of the software company’s current market value. The group had cash of £6.8m in the middle of November 2018. Funds managed by Investcorp Technology Partners will pay an initial £30m. Liabilities of £3.1m and a loan of £1.75m will have to be paid out of the proceeds. The company’s name will be changed to IQGeo and it will focus on the myWorld product, which helps telecom companies to integrate their technology ecosystem. The myWorld business generated interim revenues of £5.7m but £3.2m was geospatial services from third party products. Some of the cash will be distributed to shareholders.
The decline in annual pre-tax profit at Stride Gaming (STR) from £18.9m to £14.8m was no surprise given the impact of regulation and tax. The online bingo and gaming company is likely to report a further fall in profit this year. A special dividend of 8p a share has been announced and in future 50% of net earnings will be paid in dividends.
Packaging and labels supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) continues to grow revenues organically, supplemented by recent acquisitions. Organic growth has been 5% and overall growth is 13%. The fourth quarter is important, though. Full year pre-tax profit is forecast to improve by 47% to £13.6m and earnings per share by one-third to 7p. Acquisition payments should be offset by cash generated in the second half.
S and U (SUS) has increased its investment in Aspen Bridging from £20m to £30m. Aspen has been trading for less than two years and is already in profit.
Creightons (CRL) increased its interim profit by 44% to £1.38m on revenues one-third ahead at £22.3m. The main growth in sales has come from retailer own brands, while Creightons own brands raised their sales by 11%.
David Brown has sold his 4.55% stake in Associated British Engineering (ASBE).
Sealand Capital (SCGL) has formed a new subsidiary called ePurse (HK) Ltd, which is generating commissions from WeChat Pay activities in Hong Kong. Licences have been obtained in the UK and Dubai.
Antofagasta plc ANTO benefited from the rise in the copper price during 2017 and is increasing its total dividends for the year by 177% with a recommendation for a final dividend of 40.6 cents per share, which brings the total payout for the year to 50.9 cents. EBITDA rose by 59% to $2.6 billion and the EBITDA margin rose to 54%, the highest since 2012 when the copper price was 30% higher. Like for like earnings per share increased by 119%.
Computacenter CCC is increasing it 2017 dividends by 17.6% after breaking records on all fronts. Group revenue rose by 16.9%, adjusted profit before tax rose to record levels with a rise of 22.9% (28.2% on a statutory basis) and adjusted earnings per share broke another record with a rise of 65.1%. France again performed ahead of management expectations,with an 80% rise in adjusted operating profit whilst Germany delivered another record performance and the UK re-established positive sales momentum with a rise of 8.8% in full year revenue.
Close Bros. Grp CBG is increasing its interim dividend by 5% to 21p. per share after a good first half performance which produced a 6% increase in adjusted operating profit. The company says that it is well positioned for the full year with all sectors of its business having performed well in the six months to the 31st January.
Fevertree Drinks FEVR is recommending a final dividend of 7.64 p. per share for the year to 31st January, bringing the total for the year to 10.65p compared to last years 6.25p., an increase of some 50%. 2017produced continued strong growth across all regions, channels, flavours and formats, with the UK delivering an exceptional performance and group revenue rising by 66% with a gross profit margin of 53.5%.
Tasty plc TAST continues to suffer the same fate as the rest of the UK restaurant industry and despite a 9.7% increase in revenue for the year to 31st December it has continued to close more restaurants since the start of the new financial year and does not have any plans to open any new ones in 2018.
H&T Group HAT 2017 was a milestone year which produced a strong trading performance. The final dividend is to be increased by 14.1% after a 45% increase in profit before tax and a 32.1% rise in EBITDA, all of which is enabling the company to look to the future with confidence.
Morrison W. MRW has by modern retail and high street standards had a bumper Christmas with group like for like sales up by 2.8% or 3% including fuel. Sales over Christmas and New Year were particularly strong with group like for like sales over the 6 weeks to 7th January up by 3.7%. Morrisons puts its success down to various factors including being more competitive, being more friendly to its shoppers and having more tills open and shorter queues. It will be interesting to see whether other major supermarkets have also shared in an unexpectedly better festive season or whether Morrisons has come out tops.
Persimmon plc PSN provides an update for the year to the 31st December which indicates that the housing boom has continued to moderate compared to the glory days of years gone by but growth is still there aplenty. Revenue for the year rose by 9%, legal completions by 6% and the increase in the average selling price was limited to 3%. Pre tax profits for the year are expected to be modestly ahead of market consensus.
Safestore Holdings SAFE is increasing its final dividend by 21.4% to 9.8p per share for the year to 31st October after a strong operational performance coupled with a combination of both organic and acquisitive growth. Group revenue for the year rose by 12.6% or 3.3% on a like for like basis at constant exchange rates. Strong potential growth for the new year is seen in the integration of Allied Self Storage and in the development of three new sites.
Tasty plc TAST claims that 2018 is expected to produce further deterioration in the difficult trading environment facing the restaurant sector. Progress has been made in the disposal of four under performing sites and two further sites are now under offer.
Dechra Pharma plc DPH enjoyed strong trading during he half year to the 31st December with group revenue up by 10% at constant exchange rates or 11.5% at actual rates.
JD Sports (JD.) has produced yet another record set of half year results, with strong growth in the six months to 29th July producing a 41% rise in revenue. Profit before tax was up by 33% and the interim dividend is to be increased by 4%. Sales in the second half have continued at the same level and it is anticipated that year end figures will be towards the upper end of market expectations.
1PM plc OPM The year to 31st May was one of strong organic and strategic growth, continuing the trend of recent years. Revenue rose by 35% and profit before tax and exceptionals by 17%. Basic earnings per share were up by 4%. Robust levels of demand were experienced in all the company’s trading subsidiaries. A proposed dividend of 5% is proposed on the 83.8m shares currently issued compared to last years 52.5m.
Ashtead Group AHT produced another strong set of results for the first quarter to 31st July with revenue at constant exchange rates rising by 17% and both profit before tax and earnings per share by 21%.
Futura Medical FUM claims that excellent progress was made with MED 2002 in the first half of 2017 and a phase III study is now expected to start in the first half of 2018. Discussions with potential licensees have have already started. CSD500 has been successfully launched in the Middle East. First half losses fell from £1.89m to £1.5m as R&D expenditure on MED2002 was reduced.
AA plc (AA.) has admitted that yesterdays speculation was correct and that in early summer it did have preliminary discussions with Hastings about combining its insurance business with that of Hastings.
Tasty plc TAST experienced a weak trading environment in the 6 months to the 2nd July, with pressure on sales and margins forcing it to to take decisive action to improve its position. Despite an 11.8% rise in half year revenue, like for like sales actually declined and profit before tax slumped from £1,615,000 in 2016 to just £210,000. Challenging conditions, it claims, have been recognised, under performing sites have been identified, some are in the process of being disposed of and others placed on the market.
Legal & General LGEN heaps praise upon itself for its resilient and consistently improving financial performance, as it raises its interim dividend from 4p per share to 4.3p per share. The figures are certainly impressive with half year profit before tax and earnings per share each up by 41% and it is all due to excellent management execution. Of course when Brexit or other clouds, gather on the financial horizon, it will probably all become the fault of the politicians but we can leave that for another day.
G4Splc GFS is yet another company whose Chief Executive witters on about its “pipeline” with new products and services strengthening its sales operations. For the six months to the 30th June revenue rose by 6.2% and earnings per share at constant rates were up by 7.8%. The company’s investment proposition is to deliver sustainable growth in earnings, cash flow and dividends – hands up anyone who can name a company which admits to different aims. Despite pipelines and investment propositions, the interim dividend remains unchanged.
Telit Communications plc TCM The Chief Executive, Oozie Cats has requested and been granted leave of absence following speculation about his possible indictment in the US in respect of matters which are entirely unconnected with the company.
Tasty plc TAST has had to admit that despite a full review of its operations, management has been unable to take any action which is likely to bring about the expected improvement in the company’s fortunes during the course of the current year. Instead it falls back on the forecast made at the end of March that the trading environment would be challenging and so it has proved to be. Profit after tax for the 27 weeks to the 2nd July collapsed from last years 1,283,000 to a mere 200,000 pounds.. Disposals and closure to take place. The full story should be released with the interim results in September.
Nanoco Group NANO welcomes as much needed, the decision by the European commission to ban the use of Cadmium in TVs lighting and other displays. Nanoco is a world leader in the development and manufacture of cadmium-free quantum dots and other nanomaterials.