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UK EARNINGS SUMMARY: Smiths News In Virus Hit But Expects Turnaround

Thu, 12th Nov 2020 16:13

(Alliance News) - The following is a round-up of updates by London-listed companies, issued on Thursday and not separately reported by Alliance News:



Smiths News PLC - Swindon-based newspaper and magazine distributor - Pretax profit in the year ended August 29 drops sharply to GBP14.8 million from GBP30.3 million the year before. Annual revenue falls 11% to GBP1.16 billion from GBP1.30 billion. Cancels annual dividend compared to 1.0p payout year before. Smiths, previously Connect Group, says its results are ahead of revised full year expectations. "Inevitably, our financial results were impacted by Covid-19 but we have seen a gradual recovery with good momentum in the last quarter, demonstrating the resilience of our markets, our business model and our people," Chief Executive Jonathan Bunting says. Looking ahead, says core markets remain relatively stable. Trading in the year to date is in line with internal expectations having maintained the momentum from the last quarter of financial 2020.



Volex PLC - supplier of integrated manufacturing services and power products - Pretax profit in 26 weeks to October 4 grows to USD14.4 million from USD9.7 million the year before. Revenue in the first half improves 3.5% to USD202.5 million from USD195.7 million. Ups interim dividend to 1.1p from 1.0p, which Volex says reflects its confidence in its ongoing prospects. Executive Chair Nat Rothschild says: "Our outlook for the remainder of the year remains unchanged, absent any material disruptions that may be caused by Covid-19, and we continue to invest across the business in order to meet customer demand and deliver on our long-term growth prospects." Separately, announces it has acquired power cord manufacturer De-Ka Elektroteknik Sanayi ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi, which trades as DEKA, for a total consideration of up to EUR61.8 million, on a debt-free basis. The deal is expected to close in January 2021, but is subject to approval from Turkish regulators. Finally, Volex said its Chief Financial Officer Daren Morris has left the firm, with Deputy CFO Jon Boaden taking over with immediate effect.



Urban Logistics REIT PLC - property investment company, focused on mid-sized, single-let, 'last touch' logistics properties - EPRA net asset value per share at September 30 falls to 141.57 pence versus 141.75p at the end of March and down from 145.17p at the same point the year before. Net rental income in the first half jumps to GBP9.4 million from GBP5.8 million. Operating profit before revaluation gains improves to GBP7.6 million from GBP4.7 million. Interim dividend sliced to 3.25p from 3.75p. Portfolio valuation ended the first half at GBP345.9 million, which is a 5% like-for-like increase from March 31. Loan-to-value dropped to 19.7% from 34.1%. "A rapid increase in e-commerce has tested supply chains this year due to the unexpected surge in demand. As a result, the logistics market continues to break all records, with the quarter to June 2020 seeing the largest take-up ever recorded," Chief Executive Richard Moffitt says. He adds: "Urban Logistics is now focussed on the deployment of the capital we have raised this year to continue to drive strong growth and deliver attractive returns to our shareholders."



Caledonia Mining Corp PLC - gold producer with primary asset in Zimbabwe - Pretax profit in three months to September 30 broadly flat year on year at USD10.4 million. Revenue in the third quarter improves to USD25.4 million from USD20.0 million. Administrative expenses rose to USD2.5 million from USD1.2 million. The on-mine cost per ounce increased to USD758 from USD686, due to costs associated with Covid-19, a share-based payment expense and increased use of the diesel generators. The all-in sustaining cost per ounce increased to USD1,119 from USD872, due to a higher insurance premium and an increased share-based payment expense. Production guidance for 2020 increased to 55,000 to 58,000 ounces from 53,000 to 56,000 ounces. Also notes further dividend increases will depend on the balance between delivering returns to shareholders and pursuing the significant growth opportunities within Zimbabwe.



Redcentric PLC - IT service management company - Pretax profit in the six months to September 30 jumps to GBP2.3 million from GBP887,000 the year before. Revenue in the first half improves to GBP46.2 million from GBP43.2 million. Recurring monthly revenue grows 6% year on year to GBP41.0 million from GBP38.8 million. "I am pleased to report that the business is performing very well with revenues growing, strong profit margins and excellent cash generation," Non-Exec Chair Ian Johnson says. He continues: "We also announced today the termination of the formal sale process that commenced earlier in the year. With the FCA Investigation now firmly behind us, the business performing well and low levels of net debt, we are in a strong position to consider a number of other strategic options for improving shareholder value, including appropriate acquisitions to add scale and capability." Expects to reinstate dividends in 2021.



Brickability Group PLC - concrete block and brick manufacturer - Pretax profit in the six months to September 30 slips to GBP5.4 million from GBP6.5 million. Revenue in the first half falls to GBP75.3 million from GBP97.9 million. Bricks & Building Material revenue down 20% to GBP60.3 million, Roofing Products & Services down 49% to GBP5.0 million, while Heating, Plumbing & Joinery revenue down 24% to GBP10.0 million. "I am delighted to report that following a tough April and a slow start in May, due to Covid-19 related restrictions on trading, the group returned to profitability in May and in each month since, during the first half, produced earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization at around 2019 levels," Chair John Richards says. He adds: "The recovery that we have seen is V shaped and continues to improve." Notes it continues to pursue its strategy of bolt on acquisitions alongside organic growth and the pipeline for such acquisitions "remains strong".



iEnergizer Ltd - IT service management company - Pretax profit in the six months to September 30 improves to USD26.9 million from USD25.0 million the year before. Interim income slips to USD89.7 million from USD96.2 million. Total costs slips to USD61.8 million from USD69.4 million. Proposes interim dividend of 5.72p, up from 5.2p the year before. Chair Marc Vassanelli says: "Despite challenges in some business areas due to the impact of Covid-19 on our customers, iEnergizer has demonstrated high resilience during this period. The continued growth in profit margins has been driven by our colleagues' continued efforts in deepening existing customer relationships and via iEnergizer's compelling and evolving proposition, combined with careful and focused cost management. Reflecting the group's strong balance sheet and the cash generative nature of the business, we are pleased to announce an interim dividend of 5.72p, continuing the trend started in the first half last year."



Condor Gold PLC - AIM-listed gold exploration and development company - Pretax loss in the nine months to September 30 widens to GBP968,583 from GBP732,705 the year before. Administrative expenses in the nine-month period slips to GBP823,867 from GBP1.0 million. Condor made a GBP477,616 gain on disposals last year than was not repeated in the current year. Chair & Chief Executive Mark Child says: "During the third quarter 2020 Condor Gold continued to de-risk La India project, advancing the project to a shovel-ready status. The company has purchased the vast majority, over 93%, of the surface rights within the permitted La India open pit mine site infrastructure area. Geotechnical drilling is currently underway on the embankment locations for the tailings storage facility and water retention reservoir together with some 58 test pits including a dozen on the location of the processing plant."



Dunedin Enterprise Investment Trust PLC - UK lower mid-market management buyout investor - September 30 net asset value per share comes in at 393.1p, up from 379.8p at June 30. The increase in net asset value over the third quarter can be attributed to valuation increases at GPS, U-POL and Incremental offset by a valuation reduction at FRA. "The disruption and ongoing uncertainty created by the pandemic continues to be the main focus for portfolio companies. While each portfolio company has implemented plans, where possible, to address this threat, the generally strong financial position of portfolio companies has provided some protection," Dunedin adds.



Enteq Upstream PLC - energy services technology and equipment supplier - Pretax loss in the six months to September 30 widens to USD759,000 from USD457,000. Interim revenue halves to USD2.6 million from USD6.5 million the year before. Chief Executive Martin Perry says: "2020 has dramatically changed the market for Enteq. The USA land shale drilling market has significantly reduced with on-going over capacity likely. Outside North America, despite the effects of oil price uncertainties and Covid-19, Enteq has succeeded in developing a strong customer base in China and the Middle East with good further opportunities. New technology will drive the efficiency of future drilling in all markets, and Enteq has some exciting product release plans which have the potential to change the scale of our business." Separately, Enteq says Founder & current CEO Perry is moving to non-exec chair, while current Commercial Director Andrew Law will become CEO. Current Chair Iain Paterson will continue to sit on the board, taking up a non-exec director position.



FIH Group PLC - essential services provider in UK and Falkland Islands - Sinks to pretax loss in six months to September 30 of GBP247,000 compared to GBP1.3 million profit the year before. Interim revenue slips to GBP14.4 million from GBP19.4 million. Chief Executive John Foster says: "Our focus has been to protect the business during this extraordinary year to ensure it is well placed to recover rapidly when the current crisis passes. We believe this has been achieved. We have reduced our fixed cost base, increased our access to capital and have as a result over GBP14 million of cash. More than sufficient we believe to weather the most pessimistic of forecasts for the current crisis. Our FIC business has been largely unaffected and provides a very helpful counterbalance to our two UK businesses whilst we navigate the current challenges."



Samuel Heath & Sons PLC - shower and bathroom accessory manufacturer - Sinks to pretax loss in the six months to September 30 of GBP224,000 compared to GBP363,000 profit the year before. Interim revenue slips to GBP4.9 million from GBP6.9 million the year before. Decides against dividend payout, but hopes to return to "normality" next year. Chair Sam Heath adds: "There are differing views on the next six months. We have the US election which could affect a manufacturer at the luxury end of the market, the unknown outcome of the talks with the EU, and, by far the worst of all, the return in volume of the coronavirus. Anybody offering a forecast in these circumstances would be extremely unwise."



By Paul McGowan; paulmcgowan@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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