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Direct Line Ins. Group DLG claims to have delivered a robust third quarter performance in a competitive market. Robust in this particular case being defined as a fall of 5.6% in gross written premiums, compared to the same quarter in 2017, Perhaps this is a definition which not many outside the company could bring themselves to agree with.
Wm. Morrison Supermarkets MRW The third quarter to the 4th November saw another period of strong growth, with group like for like sales, excluding petrol, rising by 5.6%. Apart from the second quarter this was well above the growth rate for any quarter since the beginning of 2017. Including petrol the rise was 6%. Retail like for like sales for the quarter weakened slightly without the impact of favourable weather and the World Cup in the second quarter.
Imperial Brands IMB Claims strong financial delivery for the year to the 30th September, with revenue and earnings growth and high cash generation. . On a reported basis revenue rose by 0.9% and operating profit by 5.7%. Earnings per share fell by 2.7% but the dividend benefited from a further increase of 10%. The company grits its teeth and claims to be pleased with the progress it is making in creating something better for the world’s smokers despite that meaning a fall of 3.6% in total tobacco volume.
DS Smith plc SMDS updates that it expects return on sales and adjusted operating profit in the half-year to 31st October will be materially ahead of the comparable period. This follows recovery of increased input costs earlier in the year and good volume growth..Good ongoing volume and market share growth is expected for the remainder of the year and the company is quite excited about the prospects for Europac which it is in the process of acquiring and which will lead to further expansion in its Iberian market.
William Hill plc WMH is looking to the US becoming its jewel in what would otherwise begin to look like a somewhat tarnished crown. In the year to date online net revenue rose by 4%, whilst retail net revenue fell by 4%. In the US however existing business revenue surged ahead by 29% following a Supreme Court decision in May. The company has now built on its market leading position in Nevada, to make rapid progress in other states as they legalise sports betting. It has already become the only company to be taking sports bets in the first five states to have regulated sports betting Its goal is to be in every state.
Purplebricks Group plc PURP has continued to make good progress in the six months ended 31 October 2018 with year-on-year revenue growth of approximately 20%. It has continued to win market share against a challenging market backdrop in the UK., whilst in Canada where it only opened on the 18th July the business is performing strongly and in line with the company’s high expectations.
William Hill plc WMH Adjusted operating profit for the year to 26th December is expected to show a rise of 11%, ahead of expectations. In the nine weeks since the last trading statement on the 11th November the UK and the US have shown good momentum, gross win margins have been ahead of expectations and significantly ahead of the previous year.Net revenue has been very strong.
Judges Scientific plc JDG The positive demand for the company’s products which started in the second half of 2016 has continued throughout 2017Organic order intake for the year to 31st December increased by 16% and it is anticipated that earnings per share will be above current market expectations.
Watkin Jones WJG delivered what it describes as another set of impressive results with profit before tax for the year the year to 30th September soaring from £13.3m to £43m., a rise of 326.3%, on revenue up by 13.1%. Both revenue and gross profit showed strong growth, driven by student accommodation developments. EBITDA was up by 8.6% and the final dividend is to be increased by 10% to 6p per share.
SpaceandPeople SAL enjoyed strong trading during the final quarter of 2017 and became debt free by the end of the year on the 31st December, all bank debt having been repaid during the course of the year. Profit before tax will be £100,000 higher than anticipated at about £1.2m. Dividend payments are to be re-commenced and a final dividend of 1.5p per share will be proposed.
Sinclair Pharma plc SPH Revenue over the past two years has grown by in excess of 80%, returning the company to EBITDA profitability in 2017, a year which saw a strong performance across all key brands and revenue growth of 20% or 14% on a constant currency basis. The fourth quarter was particularly strong in Germany and Brazil and 2018 is expected to produce further strong growth overall.
Steppe Cement STCM Revenue for the year to 31st December rose by 20% over the previous year, after a 4% volume increase and a 15% price rise. Exports doubled to 146,000 tonnes
Access Intelligence ACC has in the last five months produced growth of £450,000 in net annual contract value compared to £0.2m in the the whole of the first half. October alone produced growth of £130,000. The success follows a decision to concentrate on establishing Vuelio as a flagship brand. New clients include household names such as Dyson, BMW, Thomson Reuters, Sellafield and Lloyds, on top of which, it has also captured over 50% of UK councils and universities and 85% of police authorities.
William Hill WMH updates that it has delivered a good financial performance so far during the second half. Net revenue from 28th June to the 24th October rose by 4%. The US led the way with a rise of 28% and UK online wagering came in with a 14% rose.
Mitie Group MTO has been busy transforming itself and building foundations during the half year to the 30th September but could not do anything to stop a large cut in the interim dividend which has been reduced to 1.33p per share, compared to last years 4p. Adusted basic earnings per share was down by 60% and reported operating profit fell by 38%.
Diploma plc DPLM Produced double digit growth in revenue and earnings in the year to he 30th September. Revenue rose by 18% and both profit before tax and basic earnings per share were up by 24%. Shareholders received their reward with a 15% rise in the interim dividend to 23p. per share. The CEO described it as another strong performance with contributions from all sectors of the group.
NEX Group NXG has, despite a 13% rise in revenue (7% on a constant currency basis) been forced to slash its interim dividend from 11.5p to 3.5p. per share after statutory operating profit for the half year to the 30th September fell by 29% and statutory earnings per share by 45%. The CEO says it is an agile company, with market leading products, investing in innovation and led by an experienced management team.
RSA Insurance Group RSA is delighted with its strong first half results which are littered with repeated references to outperformances as if they had just invented the word. Shareholders get to share in the jollity with a 32% rise in the interim dividend to 6.6p per share, up from last years 5p. Restructuring has now been completed and underwriting results were not only a record, they were “noisy” as well, which is a good thing apparantly.
Smurfit Kappa Group SKG claims a good set of results with strong demand in most marketsfor the six months to the 30th June but set against a background of unprecedented and continued price inflation which cost the company £75m. Revenue rose by 5% but profit before tax for the laf year fell by 21%, rising to 26% in the second quarter. Basic earnings per share fell by 18% and EBITDA was down 4%. It is expected that the second half should start to see the recovery of price inflation costs, through higher prices.
BAE Systems BA is further evidence that British industry is still alive and kicking although BA is far more modest in its claims, stating only that its performance in the six months to the 3th June was as expected and consistent with guidelines. On a constant currency basis sales rose by 3%, underlying earnings per share by 36% and underlying operating profit by by 11%. The interim dividend gets a small lift from 8.6p. to 8.8p per share. Order intake during the half year increased substantially by £3.6bn to £10.7bn
William Hill WMH Headlines saw profit before tax for the half year to the 27th June, fall by 7% and basic earnings per share down by 2%, despite wagering growth across each of its four divisions and a rise in net revenue of 3%. It headlines the results as showing continuous momentum without bothering to stress that the momentum seems to be in the wrong direction, save for the fact the interim dividend does get an upward lift of 4%
StatPro Group SOG Despite a 23% rise in revenue for the half year to the 30th June and a 64% rise in adjusted earnings per share,, the loss before tax virtually tripled from £0.96m to £2.29m. The interim dividend is being maintained at 0.85p per share.
Be Heard Group BHRD which is still in the early stages of its development, saw net revenue for the half year to the 30th June, surge by 155%, helped by contributions from acqisitions, as well as from recent new business wins.
William Hill WMH has made a positive start to the year with group net revenue rising by 9% and online revenue up by 16%, for the 17 weeks to 25th April. Australia and the US both surged by 41% after producing double digit “wagering” growth.
Spirax- Sarco SPX Organic sales growth for the quarter to 30th April, helped by a strong economic background, exceeded that of 2016 which was unusually weak. China & Korea put in a particularly good performance and the fall in the pound provided a strong “tailwind.” Expectations for the full year remain unchanged.
Gear4music G4M saw record growth in sales a profits for the year to 28th February which it describes as transformational. International markets were particularly strong with a rise of 124% and the number of active customers rose by 50%. Revenue was up by 58% and on an underlying basis EBITDA rose by 115% and operating profit by 192%. The company sees the next 12 months as exciting.
Cello Group CLL has made a strong start to the year and sees the outlook as pleasing.
Rightmove RMV describes its 2016 performance as outstanding and is raising its final dividend to 27p per share to give a total increase in the yearly dividends of 19%. Revenue and underlying operating profit both rose by 15%, whilst basic earnings per share were up by 18%. Strong traffic growth of 10% meant that visitors rose to 120m per month. The Board expects more success in 2017.
Intl Con Airline Group IAG That you will remember is the airline which used to have a short sensible name which everyone could remember but swopped it for one which is so long it has to make silly abbreviations to it. CEO Willie Walsh says it put in a good performance in a challenging year and the full year dividend is being increased by 17.5% from 20 to 23.5 cents per share. Passenger revenue fell by 2% and total revenue by 1.3% but operating profit managed a rise of 8.6%. Currency movements were unfavorable and produced an adverse impact of 460m. Euro. 2017 is expected to show a year on year improvement.
William Hill WMH faced a challenging year in 2016 but believes the corner has been turned with positive strength shown in all four divisions in the 7 weeks to 14th February with UK net gaming revenue up by 8% and UK sportsbook wagering by 10%. Profit before tax for the year to 27th December rose a smidgeon by 1% but earnings per share were down by 13%
IMI plc IMI Claims 2016 was a year of significant progress in difficult market conditions. Preliminary results for the year to 31st December show a rise of 6% in revenue, although on a like for like basis, it was down by 5%. Operating profit and profit before tax each rose by 1% and basic earnings per share was up by 2%. The final dividend is being raised by 1%, although there is a warning that the first half of 2017 is expected to see revenue fall by a similar amount to that experienced in the first half of 2016
National Express NEX With an 11% rise in revenue during the first four months of the year, taking into account acquisitions and the start of German rail operations in December, National Express has enjoyed a strong start to 2016. Passenger numbers have grown and revenue has increased across all divisions. In Spain passenger numbers have grown by 5%, in Morocco they are up by 11%, whilst North America has had the best start ever to a year. In Germany the company is even beating the punctuality record of the previous rail operator.
William Hill WMH has had a tough start to the year as the wrong horses kept winning, especially at Cheltenham and the wrong European football teams kept losing. Net revenue for the 17 weeks to the 26th April was down heavily in some areas and only the strength of the US market with a rise of 46% helped to save the day and reduce the overall net revenue decline to 3%. Even online revenue was down by 11%.
TUI AG TUI The half year report delivered by the executive Board for the 6 months to the 31st March reads like an insult to the English language. It is now focused on becoming content concentric and vertically integrated as well as continuing to deliver merger synergies, other synergies, delivering against growth levers, operating in all stages of the value chain and benefiting from joint management of occupancy which also delivered further synergies. The actual figures are at least better than the Boards communication skills. It expects at least a 10% rise in underlying EBITA for this year and next and so far this year the rise comes in at 16.3%. Summer 2016 is in line with expectations. Just as long as they keep centric and synergised, it might actually turn out to be a good year.
Barratt Developments BDEV continues to benefit from the boom conditions created by the availability of mortgages and admits that it is focused on obtaining selling prices as high as possible. Market conditions for the 19 weeks to the 8th May have been strong, with good levels of demand creating a rise of 9.7% in forward orders. There are excellent land opportunities available and Barratt expects a significant improvement in performance for the full year.