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Unilever Ice Cream Sales Melt In Europe

Unilever plc ULVR Reports that emerging markets drove third quarter sales growth with underlying sales up by 2.6% and, over nine months, by 2.8%. Total third quarter turnover however was down by 1.6% after a 5.1 % currency impact. Developed markets were a problem and remained challenging, with turnover, led by of all things, ice cream in Europe, down by 2.3%. Emerging markets saved the day with volume up by 1.8% and turnover by 6.3%.

Rentokil Initial RTO obtained growth in its third quarter, from acquisitions which produced a total rise in company revenue of 10.10% but on an organic basis growth at 3%, was much lower. Strong performances came from Asa Pacific, Latin America and the target market of North America. Five further aquisitions were made in quarter 3 and prospects for the rest of the year remain good.

Stobart Group STOB is to increase its interim dividend by 50% for the half year to 31st August from last years  3p to 4.5p per share this year. Profit before tax came in at £111.6m compared to last years £10.8m and underlying EBITDA rose from £20.2m last year to £131.8m this year but after taking into account £123.9m of profit from the partial sale of its investment in Eddie Stobart Logistics, which appears to mean that excluding that one off bonus real EBITDA fell somewhat.

Travis Perkins TPK enjoyed continued strong third quarter growth across all its contract businesses and a significant improvement in sales in Plumbing & Heating. Group sales rose by 3.5% for the quarter rising to 4.1% on a like for like basis.

Tristel plc TSTL Sales and profitability in the year to the 30th June exceeded both market expectations and the company’s own internal plan,enabling the standard full year dividend to be increased by by 21%. Turnover for the year rose by 19% which included a 43% rise in oversea sale and earnings per share increased from 5.01p. per share to 8.06p

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Pearson Gives Notification of Exit & Other Nonsense

Pearson PSON has brought out a new literacy programme which management has obviously not read.  Had it done so they could have written their 9 month interim management statement in something like English instead of nonsense such as “some 3,600 Full Time Equivalent employees have been notified of exit.” – and this from a purveyor of higher education products, who seems to be surprised that its nine month sales have declined by7% although this is glossed over as due to retailer inventory corrections. Come off it. A slump in sales is still a slump in sales however you dress it up in fancy language. Pearson even  claims that this is a good competitive performance even though sales are continuing to suffer from a further 3% fall and sales are trending lower than expected in North American higher education..

Fortunately the declining pound is there to rescue management to the extent that if current exchange rates persist, earnings per share are expected to increase by about 4.5p or some 8%. Saving weak management is not supposed to be the reason for allowing the pound to collapse.

Lok’n Store Group LOK  claims that the year to 31st July was an exciting one which produced an impressive performance with more to come. Document storage more than doubled its profits and self storage performed strongly. The annual dividend is to be increased by 12.5%

Mortice Limited MORT has enjoyed another strong period of growth with year on year revenue for the first half, up by 57%, including contributions from its two acquisitions which have been performing well.


Image Scan Holdings IGE Sales for the year to the end of September have almost doubled with a rise from £1.7m to £3.3m and margins rising from 38% to 42%. Pretax trading profit for the year is expected to have risen over sixfold to £0.64m. As a sign of continuing success the outstanding year end order book has almost tripled from a year ago and now stands at £1.7m.

Tristel TSTL results for the year to the end of June are ahead of market expectations and the full year dividend is to be increased by 11%. Overseas sales rose by 22% and total turnover by 12%. Pretax profit and EBITDA before share based payments rose by 27% and 26% respectively. Tristel has no debt and there is £5.7m in the bank.

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Taxpayer Subsidy Keeps Barratt Shareholders Happy

Barratt Developments (BDEV) admits, that like all the house builders, one of the two main factors keeping its shareholders happy, is the government subsidy to first time buyers. But elections have to be won one way or another, so the government is hardly likely to try and restore a bit of sense to the market, by ending it.

The interim dividend for the half year to 30th December is to be increased by 25% after a 19% rise in revenue and surges of over 40% in both profit before tax and basic earnings per share. One calming factor is that net private reservations per active site at 0.71, are flat on a year ago.

Tristel (TSTL) is raising its interim dividend by 95% to 1.14p after a 36% rise in profit before tax and a modest 8% rise in revenue. The company produces infection prevention and contamination control products for both humans and animals. Its shares have more than doubled in the past 9 months having risen from 70p to 145p

Grafenia (GRA) fears that its full year results will be significantly below current market expectations. Trading has become more challenging, its markets have never been more competitive and prices are suffering from downward pressure ( i.e. falling, to you and me) The downward pressure was not just on its prices as its share price went into freefall yesterday, collapsing 29% to 6.75p and having been over 20p as recently as the end of September

Gooch & Housego (GHH) expects first half profits will be materially below last years record level because of mixed market conditions

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Tristel (TSTL) Fourteen Fold Dividend Increase in Two Years

Tristel shares yesterday rose a further 10p to 115p after publication of annual results, which pleased the markets. The results had partly been anticipated as the shares had already risen over 10% from 95p, since the 5th October. Two years ago the shares could be bought for 25p.

In 2014 dividends rose fourfold from 0.4p to 1.62p and this year they have been increased by a further 350% to 5.72p.  That is a fourteenfold increase in two years.

Tristel, which listed on AIM in 2005, manufactures products for infection and contamination control and clean rooms, based on its own chlorine dioxide formula and which replaced the main existing product which was toxic.

Results for the last three years show rapid growth, helped by strong overseas demand. Overseas sales rose by 21% in 2014-15 and now account for 35% of total sales. Turnover rose by 14% over last year, EBITDA by 25% and basic earnings per share by 67%.



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