Blinds specialist Titon's revenues for the 3 months to June were 19% higher than the corresponding period last year, with UK sales 15% higher and the rest of the world 37% higher.
Growth in the UK came from higher sales of mechanical ventilation systems. There were also increased sales volumes in South Korea. With 80% of sales emanating in the UK and with most other export markets showing little sign of recovery from the recession, Titon remains cautious about the short-term outlook.
United Drug reports trading since April has been satisfactory, with a strong performance in parts of the business. Group profits for the nine months to 30 June were in line with last year, as expected, and cash flows continue to be strong throughout the group. Based on trading for the year to date, profits before tax for the year to 30 September should be broadly in line with last year.
Drug developer Vernalis upped first half revenue by 26% to £7.2m (2009: £5.7m), with its operating loss reduced to £1.1m from £5.3m. Underlying cash burn reduced to £2.7m (2009: £8.2m).
Stockbroker Charles Stanley grew revenue by 11.2% to £28.9m in its first quarter, although total client funds under investment management and administration fell 4.7% to £12.2bn in the three months ended 30 June.
The update was accompanied by news that finance director Peter Hurst is hanging up his boots after 24 years in the same job. He'll retire some time in the middle of next year.
Engineer Chamberlin has kept its strong run going after confirming first quarter business has been strong across all three of its foundries.
"With the improving demand, a reduced cost base and production capability intact, the board continues to be confident of a return to profitability in the year and views prospects very positively," chairman Tom Brown said in his AGM statement.
Stockbroker Collins Stewart had a "solid" first half, although operating profit fell 8% at the wealth management business after a £0.5m one-off cost linked to acquisitions.
Overall operating profit rose 20% to £7.3m on revenue £0.8m higher at £96.1m. Profit before tax added 7% to £6.5m, while assets under management have risen 15% since the end of 2009 to £6.8bn.
"The group has been turned around and is generally making progress in difficult markets," said boss Mark Brown. "The full benefits of previous investment are still to come through and our strong financial position will enable us to continue to invest as opportunities arise."
Getech, a provider of geological data to assist with oil exploration, has continued the trend towards recovery during the second half of its current financial year.
The first half loss of £392,000 will result in a deficit for the full-year, although there's likely to be an operating profit for the six months to 31 July.
Production was down 17% at 30,236 ounces at gold miner Centamin Egypt between the fourth and third quarters due to lower-than-expected grade, although full-year guidance is kept at 200,000 ounces.
Analysts at Ambrian are still backing the shares. They say all price drivers remain fully intact and strongly recommend buying into any weakness, although a further drop in production against forecast could create price pressure.
Stem cell group Epistem reports strong growth in all divisions and in net profits, and says full-year results will be in line with forecasts.
KBC Peel Hunt is happy with the update. The broker sees several near term catalysts, so keeps its 'buy' rating and 515p target price. More news on the collaboration with Novartis could provide scope for an upgrade, it says.
A focus on internal efficiencies ensured cake and bread supplier Finsbury Food delivered profit in line with expectations despite a 9.7% decline in like for like sales at the cake division.
The firm blamed a 4.1% drop in revenue to £168.3m on consumers trading down and more frequently choosing products on promotion.
Panmure Gordon still thinks investors should tuck in. It's reassured by a rephrasing of £5m of deferred consideration, which eases pressure on cash flow, and confirmation that the group is operating fully within existing banking facilities. It keeps a 'buy' recommendation and 30p target price.
The share price of sweets and cakes maker Lees Foods surged to a 52-week high after it said demand for its products continues to be strong, with both Lees of Scotland and The Waverley Bakery achieved record sales for the first half of the year.
Pre-tax profits for the first six months of 2010 are set to be significantly ahead of last year, while group sales have risen to £9.62m from £8.85m the year before. The company remains cautiously optimistic in respect of the second half of the year and expects that both sales and pre-tax profits will be ahead of market forecasts for the full year.
Interactive gaming company NetplayTV said a new format and schedule of its Challenge Jackpot and Bingo Stars offerings on ITV are scheduled to go live tonight (Thursday), which the company hopes will ginger up the response, which has thus far been disappointing.
The company's core Supercasino.com business has seen improved depositing sign ups over the last month, as well as an increase in player numbers month on month, as a result of renewed focus on this brand. "We have however been impacted by a number of large winners reducing the gaming margin for July to 1.3% against an average for the year of 3%," the company said.
Biotechnology firm Epistem Hldings said it had received the go-ahead to sells its new tuberculosis product in EEA member state markets. The firm said its Genedrive units provided a major advance in next generation molecular diagnostic testing. Epistem is now preparing regulatory submissions for India, which has the largest number of TB sufferers in the world. [5 Jul '12]
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