Home » News and Views » Ian Pollard – Whitbread #WTB UK Decline Turned Into “Growth”

Ian Pollard – Whitbread #WTB UK Decline Turned Into “Growth”

Whitbread plc WTB tries to put a brave face on its first quarter results by headlining sales growth and expansion and ignoring the unhappy reality. The truth is that growth  is due to investment in new hotels and new Costa stores. On a like for like basis the quarter has been, to put it politely, uncomfortable, with falls in every division led believe it or not by Costa the former  jewel in the  crown, now looking a bit tarnished with a fall of 2%. Total group “UK growth” should be renamed total UK decline with the like for like group total down by 1.3%. Fortunately the  fairly blatantly misleading headlines are unlikely to mislead many.

Ultra Electronics ULE expects that the half year performance and revenue will be broadly in line with the exception of Herley which management  appears to have allowed to be impacted by cost overruns on development contracts.  Although some recovery is expected in the second half and the order book at the end of May was strong it is expected that the problems at Herley will result in full year operating profit being reduced by £4m to £6m. The new CEO says he is excited by what he has seen presumably referring to the fact that the brakes have been taken off US defence spending, a matter which outside his and the company’s control.

IWG plc IWG There is not mny sign of excitement at IWG where group operating profit for 2018 is expected to be £15. to £20m. below management expectations.  The UK business is not performing as management was expecting despite strong trends in global sales activity. In order to strengthen its position IWG proposes to increase new space by 45% which as is usual in these circumstances, will bring with it extra short term losses

1pm plc OPM Results for the year are expected to show record year on year increases in revenue and profits. Revenue has risen by 0ver 75% of which more than 30% was organic and basic earnings per share rose by more than 20%. The CEO claims that the figures illustrate the success of the company’ buy and build strategy over the past three years during which it has completed seven acquisitions which has

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