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Ian Pollard – Plus 500 #PLUS Benefits From Trump Tariffs

Plus 500 Ltd  PLUS has again, after a strong second quarter, performed strongly in the first half and materially increased its expectations for the Group’s financial performance for the year to the end of  December. What it describes as geopolitical events particularly with regard to US import tariffs have resulted in higher than expected levels of market volatility, resulting in the strong second quarter.

Meggitt MGGT Trading in quarter two has been stronger than expected with good growth across its Civil aftermarket and the military and energy markets. Organic revenue growth for the year in Military is now expected to between 6% – 8%, up from 3-5%whilst total oganic revenue growth is expected to rise to between 4 -6% instead of 2-4%

Trakm8 Holdings plc TRAK reports very strong progress during the year to the end of March with revenue up by 12% and profit before tax by 69%. However revenue and profit for the first half of the current year are expected to be below those for the first half of 2018  the second half figures will be considerably better than last year leading to  higher figures for the full year.

Kromek Group KMK had another good year of growth in the 12 months to the 30th April,with revenue rising by 32% and the loss before tax falling from £3.8m to £2.5m. The customer base was developed and becoming EBITDA positive for the first time, making it a  milestone year on the way to reaching cash flow break even and pre-tax profits.. The momentum has continued into the current financial year

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Ian Pollard – Sage revises margins from 27.5% to 27.5%

Sage Group plc SGE The update for the half year to 31st March indicates that all is not well and makes for some   peculiar reading .Full year guidance for 2018 organic operating margins has been revised from 27.5% to believe it or not, 27.5%. For the first half year organic revenue growth of 6.3% is below management expectations and management  does not pull its punches in the blame game. The fall is due it admits quite openly, to inconsistent operational execution and then it goes on to contradict itself by further claiming that operational execution has been robust in most of what it calls its Geographies. A Geography is the new  buzz word in company speak for those who have not yet learnt what a country or a region are. Beware when you see senior executives of a major company reduced to displaying their inability  to speak proper ! (sic). Northern Europe and Africa Middle East did fit the pattern by coming in below expectations.

Trakm8 Holdings TRAK Produced 26% growth in its core business during the year to the 31st March.Year on year headline revenue growth was 13% taking the total to over £30m. growth. All activities outside the provision of Telematic Services as part of the aim to streamline the company’s activities. After a strong first half, continued progress has been made in the second half and positive momentum is expected for the future in the core business, especially having regard to robust demand from existing customers.

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Real Good Food – Profits Eaten By A Litany of Errors

Real Good Food plc RGD appears to have continued to suffer from serious management problems and is having to admit at today’s AGM that whilst sales have been doing well, that wil not translate into the expected profitability. For the year to 31st March 2018 EBITDA of about £6.5m had been expected but this will now be materially reduced in the second half and for the year as a whole  the company will make a loss.

Total like for like sales growth in the first half year was 13% compared to the previous year and 20% including Brighter Foods but profitability has been disappointing compared to the Boards expectations. The  litany of reasons for the failures are numerous ranging from margins being considerably below expectations, cost increases, labour inefficiencies and materials wastage and all these at just one division, Premium Bakery. Cake Decorations & Food Ingredients was also below expectations in September and group and head office costs are still too high. The amount of the expected loss for the year either remains a secret or the Board does not yet have a clue but an update will be provided in due course.

Spire Healthcare SPI has unanimously rejected a conditional proposal which it has received from Mediclinic International. The offer of 150p in cash plus 0.232 new Mediclinic share values each Spire share at 298.6p which the Board says is a significant undervaluation. Shareholders are advised to take no action.

Trakm8 Holdings plc TRAK has regained good momentum in growing first half revenues organically. On a like for like basis growth was 12% which represent a 24% increase on the continuing business activities.

Renewi plc RWI has produced a particularly strong performance in September with the result that it has had to update the announcement made less than a month ago and results for the year to the end of March 2018 are now expected to be significantly above previous expectations.

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Severn Trent Pleased to Escape North America

Severn Trent plc SVT Not every company admits to being pleased at having to announce the sale of part of its business especially if that business is a strong one but Severn Trent is an exception as it announces the sale of its North American business. Even more strange the Chief Eexecutive admits that under Severn Trent’s management the North American business would not have been able to grow and flourish as it will under new management. Do I detect a great cheer from Severn Trents long suffering users, that at last the message may have begun to get home.

SuperGroup plc SGP enjoyed a super year for the 12 months to the 29th April with like for like retail sales growing by 12.7% and revenue up by 27.4%. Underlying profit before tax rose by 18.4% and the full year ordinary dividend is to be increased by 20.7% to 28p. For 2018 underlying profit before tax is expected to be in line with market expectations.

Trakm8 Holdings TRAK with new orders up by 37% on a year ago, shareholders may have something to look forward to after a dismal year to the end of March which saw profit before tax plummet by 77%, basic earnings per share by 66% and the disappearance of the final dividend. As is usual in these circumstances management seeks refuge and comfort in jargon, with strong new contract and extensions momentum and pipeline and opportunity. Back on planet earth revenues in the first two months of of the new financial year are up 10% on the first two months of last year. The Executive Chairman is confident of achieving a much improved performance in the current year

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Trakm8 Chairmans’ Frustration Comes Too Late

Trakm8 Holdings TRAK Route Monkey is in a trend to move to SaaS revenues. Once you get extreme jargon like that in a company’s trading update you know it has been having a fairly bad time and Trakm8 is no exception. It witters on about its pipelines and how strong they are as if nobody is aware that company’s only start talking about pipelines when things have got bad. In good or even normal times, they are referred to as orders and order books but in bad times the company wants to pretend it is a big oil major so it begins to warble on about pipelines.

The Executive Chairman claims to be frustrated because the company is having to substantially reduce its expectations for this year, despite having such a “strong pipeline”. Looking at the list of woes which the company has produced, it is surprising that his frustrations have only surfaced now just before the year end on the 31st March.

Firstly the growth of installed base units has been lower than expected. Then new revenues are being delayed, some into the next financial year. Short term revenue and cash generation are being suppressed. A reduction in contract manufacturing for third parties has led to a specific revenue loss of £2.5m. The adjusted operating profit for the year will be significantly below that of 2016 and will impact both indebtedness and cash flow. Annualised overheads are being reduced by £1.5m to try and reduce the damage.

The signs were all there at half time when profit before tax for the 6 months to 30th September collapsed by 90%

Interco, Hotels Group IHG is increasing the total dividend for the year to the end of December by 11%, after a rise of 4.6% in revenue, 9.5% in underlying operating profit and 23.1% in adjusted earnings per share. The Chief executive claims that the results demonstrate the strong operational performance of the Group and its long term strategy. At the same time the fundamentals for the hospitality industry remain compelling, he adds.

Lighthouse Group LGT saw profit before tax surge by 119% to £1.9m for the year to 31st December and the final dividend is to be raised from 16p per share to 18p. EBITDA rose by 37%. Revenue rose slightly by 2% but operating costs were kept in check falling by 7%. That plus an increase in the annualised average revenue  per advisor led to the substantial increase in earnings.

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Trakm8; First Half Slump = Another Period of Growth

Trakm8 Holdings TRAK has the audacity to describe its first half results as another period of growth, rather than the disaster which they really are. Profit before tax for the 6 months to the end of September is down by 77%, basic earnings per share by 69% and cash generated from operating activities by 90%. Some people have a funny idea of growth unless you look at the net debt position which has grown In fact it has doubled and to be fair recurring revenue is up by 18% . Seasonality it explains has hit profitability “as expected”, as if last years first half was in a completely different season to this years. Increased investment in sales, marketing and engineering  also get the blame for impacting the results but, surprise, surprise no detail whatsoever, not a single fact or figure to justify this claim, is provided. However shareholders will no doubt be pleased to learn that a strong contract pipeline provides visibility, a statement which, without translation into a reasonably modern language, seems meaningless to the uninitiated.

The share price  does not reflect the growth claimed by management. In fact it is already down by over 27% this morning. Since December it has fallen from 400p to its present 134p. Some “growth”

Draper Esprit GROW has enjoyed a transformational first half with profit after tax of 26m in the 6 months to 30th September in its first year as a public company.  Portfolio value has risen by 36% and NAV per share stands at 352p. Net cash on deposit and available for investment amounts to 48m. The company’s aim is to become a significant European venture capital leader.

Nanoco Group NANO has acquired a group of patents from Kodak relating to the use of quantum dots in electroluminescent displays. The acquisition forms part of the company’s policy of building a commercial position in quantum dot technology and its future applications.

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Futura Medical Hardens on Erectile Disfunction News

Futura Medical FUM  has for years been limping along trying to combat erectile disfunction with its MED 2002 product but this morning the share price has opened with a 30% rise as the company announced that it had at last achieved its “primary endpoint” following tests on over 200 randomised males, The company claims that MED2002 is now a breakthrough product and is excited about the commercial potential. Further details are to be released on the 13th September together with the half year results.

Barratt Developments BDEV Heaps praise on itself for its full year performance to the 30th June as if it was in any way responsible for the continuing housing boom which has enabled it to raise private average selling prices during the year by a mind boggling 10.4%. Perhaps they have forgotten but should remember that well worn phrase – “it’s the economy, stupid”. Profit before tax rose by 20.7%, revenue by 12.7% but completions were up by a comparatively meagre 5.3% and forward sales are up by an even smaller 4.1%. Shareholders do well out of the bonanza with a 19.1% increase in the final dividend.

Ashtead Group AHT enjoyed a strong first quarter with a 12% rise in revenue leading to a 4% increase in profit before tax.  It also benefited to the tune of £17m from the collapse in the pound.


Trakm8 Holdings TRAK New orders have risen by 37% since the 1st April, of which 27% is organic growth. First half profits however are expected to be down on last year, with the decline being recouped in the traditionally stronger, second half.

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Trakm8 Holdings to Pay Maiden Dividend

Trakm8 Holdings TRAK is proposing a maiden dividend of 2p per share after profit before tax for the year to 31st March surged by 77%. Revenue rose by 44% and basic earnings per share by 91%.  Both of the acquisitions which it made during the year became earnings enhancing and units reporting to its server were up by 50%.  Its order book remains strong.

Clarksons CKN expects that profits for 2016 will be materially lower than in 2015. The Baltic Dry Index has continued to fall sharply and reached all time lows in the first quarter of 2016. The Clarksea Index has fallen a further 10% since the AGM and the average in the first half of this year was down 30% on the first half of 2015.

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Whitbread Worries – Costa Goes Ex Growth

WHITBREAD WTB claims good all round growth for the 53 weeks to the 3rd March and is raising its final dividend by 10% but somehow the excitement and the buzz at Premier Inns and Costa seems to have disappeared. Underlying profit  growth at Costa slumped to15.8% from 28% for the first half. On a like for like basis Costa sales rose by only 2.9% compared to 4.4% at half time and 3% for the group as a whole, figures which show that Costa is no longer the great engine of growth as in previous years and has clearly fallen or been knocked off its perch.

Basic earnings per share for the group rose by 5.3% and profit by 5.8%.  Net debt nearly doubled  to £909 million compared to the previous years £583m.

BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO BATS saw momentum continuing and market share rising during the 3 months to the end of March. Revenue rose by 7.5% and cigarette volume by 3.6% or 2.4% on a like for like basis. The trading environment was challenging because of the impact of adverse exchange rates.  A bit strange that from a company which trades all over the world.

BP plc. BP. expects robust demand plus weak supply growth will lead oil markets to be more in balance by the end of the year i.e. the market will continue to be manipulated by the producers to keep the price over $40 per barrel.First quarter underlying replacement cost profit came in at $532m compared to $2.6 billion for the first quarter of 2015. Cost reductions have saved BP $4.4billion over the past two years.

Trakm8 Holdings TRAK announces a proposed maiden dividend of 2p for the year to the end of March after strong trading saw revenue up by 44% or 28% on a like for like basis. Orders rose by 29% and net debt fell to just under £1 million. The shares have opened 25p up following the good news.

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TrakM8 (TRAK) – 3 Years of Outstanding Growth

This is TrakM8’s third year of outstanding growth.  Three years which have seen the share price rise from 20p at the end of 2013 to Fridays closing price of 266p.

Todays interim results for the 6 months to the end of September show another strong period of growth and are again, ahead of expectations.  Adjusted profit before tax has risen by 89% on revenue up by 38% and EBITDA  is up by 70%.

TRAK is a leader in the provision of Fleet Management and Vehicle Tracking Systems and claims to be at the cutting edge of the Telematics Industry.

Results for the year to 31st March 2015 were excellent with revenue rising by 95% and profit before tax more than quadrupling to £1.7m.

At the end of 2014 the share price stood at 89p, having more than quadrupled in the year. This year it has tripled.

The company will need to be on its toes to maintain this sort of growth.  The market response this week will give a good indication as to its view. A good sign is that the order pipeline is still strong.

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