LONDON (AFX) - The following is a compilation of UK smaller company results due out in the 2 w
eeks to Nov 24.
MONDAY NOV 13
An eighth consecutive increase in adjusted EPS and pretax profits is expected at Carr's Milling Industries PLC, the Cumbria-based agriculture, food and engineering group, for the year to end-August 2006.
This follows the substantial acquisitions in the previous year of Meneba (flour) and Pye (animal feed) and is despite the long-standing problems of UK agriculture.
Nicola Mallard of house broker Investec predicts pretax profits of 7.3 mln stg, up from 4.57 mln, for EPS of 58.6 pence against 34.7.
A return of cash to shareholders could be on the cards at Diploma PLC should the specialised international distribution group decide not use its net cash -- estimated at around 37 mln stg at end-September -- for expansion.
The group's North American businesses have shown good growth, year on year,
and the results have also benefited from the acquisition of HKX. In the UK
and Continental European businesses, the focus on more buoyant sectors
including Defence, Aerospace, Motorsport and Environmental have contributed
to enhanced results.
Diploma therefore expects to report results for the full year ending 30 September 2006 which will both demonstrate further progress and be slightly ahead of market expectations.
These are currently for year to September 2006 pretax profits of 20.0 mln stg, up from 16.6 mln. This would throw up EPS of 60.9 pence against 52.4, from which a 22.8 pence dividend total, up from 20.0, is anticipated.
TUESDAY NOV 14
European Goldfields Ltd is beginning to ramp up sales, and concentrate shipments rose substantially from Q2. The group made six lead/zinc shipments from Stratoni and five further shipments of gold concentrates from Olympias during Q3 versus a total of seven shipments made in the whole of H1 2006.
This, said Keith Watson of Evolution, will have driven a significant sequential increase in both revenues and profits in Q3. He forecasts revenue of 14.9 mln usd for the three months to end-Sept, pretax profits of 3.6 mln usd, and a small net financial income.
Shed Productions PLC continues to be rated as a quality operator by Altium's Roddy Davidson. However, he has recently reduced his EPS estimates for FY 2007 by around 8 pct following the announcement that the group's long-running ITV drama Bad Girls will not be recommissioned.
He now looks for year to August 2007 pretax profits of 8.356 mln stg, and EPS of 9.0 pence. For the ensuing twelve months, he now goes for 10.189 mln pretax and EPS of 11.0.
Meanwhile, for the year ended August 2006, Davidson predicts pretax profits of 7.3 mln stg, up from 5.2 mln, for EPS of 8.3 pence against 6.0. The total payout is expected to edge up to 1.1 pence from 1.0.
WEDNESDAY NOV 15
Analysts have tweaked down their forecasts for software company Dimension Data Holdings PLC to account for weakness in the South African rand. The group still generates more than half its overall profits in South Africa and is, therefore, sensitive to movements in that currency.
In the absence of a pre-close update, the figures are expected to be in line with consensus estimates. An upbeat set of numbers from Cisco in August, reporting year-on-year revenue growth of 21 pct, suggests an encouraging trading environment, according to Altium's Jonathan Imlah.
He anticipates that, as in recent years, the fastest growth will come from the3 advanced technologies such as VoIP, storage and security.
Imlah sets his sights on year to Sept pretax profits of 59.2 mln usd, up from 43.8 mln, to deliver EPS of 2.1 cents compared with 0.9. No payout is anticipated.
THURSDAY NOV 16
Mothercare PLC's Q2 sales update was a shade disappointing, with UK LFL sales growth of 1.4 pct slightly under-shooting the 2 pct growth target set by Evolution's Nick Bubb. This despite the benefit of the boom in child car seats.
However, the analyst believes his year to March 2007 pretax profits forecast of 23 mln stg - which is a bit above consensus - still looks well under-pinned, given the rapid growth of the highly profitable Overseas franchise business (where total Q2 sales growth of 27 pct overall was much better than expected).
In the six months to end-September 2006, meanwhile, Bubb looks for pretax profits of 11.9 mln stg, up from 10.1 mln. He expects the interim payout to rise to 3.3 pence from 2.9.
MONDAY NOV 20
Care UK PLC, the specialist health and social care provider, said in September it sees trading for the full year in line with market expectations.
Its Residential Care Services division is making good progress with the construction of Lennox House, a new care home being built in Islington and due to open as planned in Summer 2007.
This division has been awarded two further contracts. First, the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead has awarded a ten-year management contract for the operation of a newly built 76-bed care home. Second, the group has been awarded a ten-year management contract, from West Berkshire Council, for the operation of a newly built 60-bed care home.
In Community Care operations, strong progress continues to be made in Homecare with further new contract awards and an exceptionally high rate of organic growth.
In Specialist Care, the group has made a number of strategic additions within the existing areas of mental health, learning disabilities and children's services.
In learning disabilities, the group has been awarded a new contract valued at over 2 mln stg a year for the provision of services for 31 service users in Glasgow, The contract award was part of a wider re-provision of services by Glasgow City Council with services being transferred to the company in July 2006.
The group also sees a significant flow of opportunities in the coming years from the Department of Health's commitment to its strategy to transform health care services, with increasing emphasis on locally led reform.
In the meantime, Bridgewell's Ian Jermin forecasts year to Sept 2006 pretax profits of 16.5 mln stg, up from 13.7 mln, for EPS of 20.9 pence against 17.6. The dividend total is expected to rise to 3.6 pence from 3.3.
Debt advice company Debt Free Direct Group PLC said earlier this month that first half profits will be 'significantly more than double' the 1.7 mln stg it reported in the same period last year, buoyed by surging demand for individual voluntary agreements (IVAs). It added that anticipated profits for the year to April 2007 will comfortably meet market expectations - currently around 11.0 mln stg pretax.
Average monthly new IVA case run-rate for the period was 536 cases per
month (or 746 counting joint cases as 2). This represents an increase of
101 pct compared with the same period last year.
Meanwhile, analysts now forecast pretax profits of around 4.7 mln stg for the six months to Oct 31 2006.
Some slowdown in growth is likely at Detica Group PLC, the UK based IT security consultancy, according to Numis Securities. Numis forecasts year-on-year core organic growth of 32 pct (ex StreamShield, acquisitions and Detica Inc), down from 41 pct in H206. The house forecasts headcount of 1,200 at Sept 30 2006, which would be organic growth of 13 pct compared with headcount at Mar 31 2006.
For the six months to September 2006, Numis predicts group revenue of 65.3 mln stg, EBITA of 6.14 mln, pretax profits of 6.34 mln, and EPS of 4.08 pence.
Within this, the house expects StreamShield revenue to be 200,000 stg and EBITA loss of 2.4 mln; For Detica Inc., Numis sees revenue of 700,000 stg and EBITA loss of 400,000 stg.
In the corresponding period, group pretax profits were 4.6 mln stg.
Consultancy group MA International, acquired in August, will chip in for only three weeks in H107, but Numis will be looking particularly closely at management's update on this business. The broker forecasts 10 pct growth by MA from H206, down from 25 pct prior to acquisition, and thinks that if there is any room for ugrades, then it might be with MA.
WEDNESDAY NOV 22
First-half trading at Mice Group PLC, an international marketing services group, is in line with expectations.
In the first half, traditionally the group's weaker half, it has seen good performances across the group's three divisions.
The order book continues to grow and the pipeline of opportunities continues to strengthen, the group said in its September update .
It added that the outlook for the full year remains encouraging and the board expects to make steady and sustainable progress in line with its expectations at the time of the full year results in May.
Evolution's Hector Forsythe forecasts interim pretax profits of 2.3 mln stg, up from 1.9 mln.
Buy-to-let mortgage lender The Paragon Group of Companies PLC is on course to meet analysts' forecasts of a 6.7 pct increase in full-year profits, buoyed by a strong UK private rental market.
New buy to let lending volumes are expected to rise over 70 pct year on year, implying some 2.8 bln stg for the year to Sept 2006, according to Martin Cross of Altium Securities. In 2005, they rose just 2 pct and in H1 '06 111 pct.
Paragon claims to have increased its market share in a buoyant market. Earlier, CML figures showed that, in the six months to June 2006, new BTL lending rose by 63 pct by number of loans and by 77 pct by value to 17.5 bln stg.
Cross expects the group to report year to Sept 2006 pretax profits of 82 mln stg, up from 76.2 mln stg in the previous year. A 16.0 pence dividend total, up from 12.6, would be covered by EPS 54.2 pence against 46.9.
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