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Ian Pollard – Smith & Nephew; Knee Implants Stand Out !

Smith & Nephew SN is increasing its final dividend by 14% for the year to 31st December after revenue growth of 2% in the final quarter confirmed full year growth at 3%. Knee implants produced what it euphemistically describes as a standout performance driving growth for the whole group, plus double digit growth in emerging markets. Interestingly enough statistics did show not all that long ago that some 50% of knee implant surgery in the States was completely unnecessary and carried out solely for the purpose of increasing the wealth of the surgeons.

Compass Group CPG produced a strong performance in the quarter to the 31st December with organic revenue growth of 5.9% led by North America with 8.2% but Europe down at only 2.1%. Currency movements caused a £24m profit loss during the quarter and if the present spot rate continues for the rest of the year, the impact on profits will amount to £97m.

Sophos Goup SOPH Billings for the first 9 months of the year rose by 21% with growth continuing to accelerate in the third quarter to to 23%. Despite this last years third quarter operating profit of £1.7m was this year turned into  a loss of 2.8%.

Tate & Lyle TATE Speciality Food Ingredients delivered good volume growth in the 3 months to 31st December. Helped by  growth in sweetener volumes in North America, robust profit growth is expected in Bulk Ingredients for the year to 31st March

Bellway BWY updates that housing revenue for the 6 months to the 31st January is expected to rise by 14% and the average selling price is expected to have risen by almost 7.8% to record levels with the average price now standing at £276,000  due, the company hastens to add to investment in higher value locations throughout the country. Customer demand is strong and the forward order book is up by 15.7%. Operating margins for the first half are expected to be about 22% and should remain at about that level for the rest of the year.

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Lloyds Banking – Another Billion Pounds of Dirty Washing

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.

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Smith & Nephew Raises Dividend 20% as Growth Slips

Smith & Nephew plc SN. proposes to increase its full year dividend by about 20% at current exchange rates following  a fourth quarter fall in reported revenue of 3%. The CEO admits that 2016 growth of 1% in reported revenue was lower than the company wanted and blames market conditions in China & the Gulf States with headwinds and foreign exchange movements also getting their fair share of criticism. 2017 is expected to produce stronger growth, with  reported revenue anticipated to rise by between 1.2% and 2.2%.

Thomas Cook Group TCG describes its first quarter performance to 31st December as solid, with revenue up 1% helped by growth in holidays to Spain and long haul destinations and Greece showing particular strength with a rise of 40%. Summer bookings are 9% ahead of last year with 31% already sold and digital is spurting ahead with growth of 20%. There is however some caution about the uncertain economic and political outlook for the rest of the year.

Boohoo.com BOO has agreed to acquire he assets of Nasty Gal, who/which, it says offers exciting opportunities to accelerate its international offering. The deal is due to be concluded on the 28th February.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Enterprise Inns ETI is to change its name by removing the Enterprise and becoming plain Ei Group which sounds like it was dreamed up by a committee of accountants who hadn’t a clue as to the importance of enterprise in a company. In the 18 weeks to the 4th February, like for like net income rose by 1.6%

Tate & Lyle plc TATE Expects that its full year performance in constant currency will be modestly ahead of expectations at the half year mark. The quarter to 31st December saw profit in both divisions ahead of the previous year.

DFS Furniture DFS Gross sales rose by 7% in the half year to 28th January as the good times continued. The company expects to be able to announce a  a proposed special dividend at the end of March but warns that the furniture industry faces increased risk of a market slowdown in 2017 because of the uncertain outlook for consumer confidence.

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Daily Mail Ups Divi After Profits Slide

Daily Mail & General DMGT After a dismal half year the Daily Mail is increasing its interim dividend by 3%, justified no doubt by an 11% fall in both profit before tax and earnings per share for the six months to 31st March.  The big impact came from weak print advertising, with no explanation provided as to why. Perhaps the board doesn’t have one and is hoping that shareholders will not bother to ask. Statutory profit before tax did rise by £68m. after some of the family silver was sold off and the Chief Executive is to retire next month after 27 years with the company.

Tate & Lyle TATE claims a solid financial performance and strong project delivery for the year to the end of March, with a five fold rise in profit before tax and almost sixfold in diluted earnings per share. The adjusted results show more modest growth of 5% and 8% respectively but let it not be denied credit for its long awaited success. The total dividend for the year  remains unchanged at 28p per share.

Ibstock IBST expects another year of progress after good trading momentum  continued during the first four months of 2016. Demand for new housing was robust, even the weather was favourable and a housing recovery in the US got under way. Full year results are due on the 5th August.

Henry Boot BHY has found that trading has been encouraging since the beginning of the year despite some uncertainty caused by the referendum Activity in Land development has been particularly strong.



Paypoint PAY After a fall of 83.6% in profit before tax PAY is raising its ordinary dividend by 10% and making a special payment of 21p following the sales of parts of the business which have been completed. It claims to have been severely impacted to the tune of £72m by the sale of online and the non sale of its mobile payments business, a double whammy if ever there was one. The company is confident that its strategy is correct and appears to have stopped making any more boardroom changes because of the large number of changes already carried out.

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In Line & Boring Day Saved by Card Factory & Koovs

Rarely have so many companies had so little to say about themselves. Not a single boast this morning.

One of the few hints of excitement comes from Card Factory CARD which is increasing it’s final dividend by 33%, making a 25% increase for the year as a whole. Profit before tax rose by 96.2%, fifty net new stores were opened during the year and online revenue rose by 22.8%.

Cranswick CWK  expects trading performance for the full year to be in line, despite growth in sales volume of 12% for the year to 31st March. Exports rose strongly in the final quarter with robust demand for pork products from the Far East. In quarter 4 it moved into a net funds position compared to borrowings of £18m at the end of quarter 3.

Park Group PKG anticipates results will be broadly in line for the year to 31st March. The first half’s good performance continued through the second half and pre Christmas trading was encouraging across all the company’s operations.  Consumer sales rose by 7% but total billings for Corporate business are expected to have fallen by £2 m.

KOOVS KOOV does produce some real excitement with sales growth of 189% and ahead of target at £10m. volume growth was strong andalso ahead of target. The year to the end of March also saw a rise of 110% in website visitors which are now running at over one million per week.

No sweetener from Mr. Cube as Tate & Lyle TATE says nothing other than the year to 31st March was in line.

Shanks Group SKS boldly announces that its expectations for the year remain unchanged.

Blinkx BLNX main claim is that it has built out a highly salable hybrid cloud infrastructure. Bravo for that, whatever it is.

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