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TRADING UPDATES: Fuller's knocked by Omicron; Wilmington lifts outlook

Thu, 27th Jan 2022 20:20

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

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Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC - London-based pub and hotel company - Says managed like-for-like sales reached 90% of pre-pandemic levels after fully reopening estate in July, but then Omicron variant hit in December and this reduced the level to 72% in the four weeks to January 1. This has been improving since the new year, taking managed like-for-like sales in 43 weeks to January 22 to 81% of pre-virus levels. Adds that it has gained further momentum from UK government announcement lifting work from home guidance and other restrictions. "We saw sales rise steadily in the City after previous lockdowns, and recent trading patterns suggest that there is a strong desire among many workers to return to office working," says Chief Executive Simon Emeny.

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Wilmington PLC - London-based publishing firm and provider of information and training specialising in compliance, legal and healthcare - Ended first half of current financial year ahead of expectations for revenue and adjusted pretax profit, achieving double-digit organic revenue growth in period and adjusted pretax profit "significantly up". "Strong first half trading and the return to face-to-face events means that profit for the financial year is expected to be comfortably ahead of expectations," firm says. If events are able to run face-to-face for the rest of the financial year, "further improvements in full year profits are also likely".

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Personal Group Holdings PLC - Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire-based employee benefits and services provider - Says trading in 2021 in line with market expectations, with revenue around GBP75 million, up from GBP72 million in 2020, and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation GBP6 million, down from GBP10 million the year before. "Despite a longer than anticipated lockdown in H1 and continued uncertainty throughout the year the board believes that the group's performance in FY21 is testimony to the resilience and continued relevance of the business model and growth strategy," it says. Has made good start to 2022 and has seen 11 new client wins.

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CMO Group PLC - Plymouth, England-based online retailer of general building materials - Sales for 2021 up 47% to GBP77 million from GBP52 million in 2020, generating GBP38 million of this in the second half of the year, up 33% on a year before. "The strong sales growth has been driven by improved revenue from CMO's online superstores and from continued growth in Total Tiles, acquired in December 2020, which saw 10% year-on-year growth," company says. Expects full-year adjusted Ebitda in line with market expectations. Adds that markets remain buoyant into new financial year.

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Gresham House PLC - asset manager - Assets under management end 2021 at GBP6.5 billion, up 65% on a year ago, and reports organic AuM growth of GBP1.9 billion over year. Says growth due to "strong fundraising, targeted acquisitions and performance." Full-year adjusted operating profit to be in excess of GBP19.8 million, up from GBP12.1 million in 2020. "Group positioned to continue momentum in 2022, including identified uses of balance sheet capital to support business growth in its specialist asset classes," it adds.

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Anglo Pacific Group PLC - natural resources royalty and streaming - Says portfolio generated USD38.1 million in fourth quarter alone on strength in coking coal and cobalt prices, bringing contribution for 2021 to USD85.6 million. "This represents both a record individual quarter and a record year for the Group and will result in a significant acceleration of the group's deleveraging and provides enhanced financing flexibility for further acquisitions," it says. Notes that coking coal and cobalt prices have remained at recent record levels so far in 2022 and outlook for short-term earnings "looks encouraging".

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Mortgage Advice Bureau Holdings PLC - Derby, England-based mortgage advice provider - Revenue for 2021 GBP188 million, up 27% on 2020's GBP148 million and above the GBP144 million generated in 2019. Says increase on 2019 driven by 23% increase in the average number of mainstream advisers to 1,649 and 7% increase in revenue per mainstream adviser. Adjusted pretax profit for 2021 to be in line with board expectations. "As anticipated during the second half of the year, housing market activity softened when compared to H1 2021, following the tapering and ultimately the removal of the stamp duty holiday. This was however countered by a strong increase in refinancing activity," it says.

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Strix Group PLC - Isle of Man-based kettle safety controls provider - Reports continued positive momentum in second half, with revenue growth of 30% on constant currency basis and profit after tax in line with market forecasts for 2021. Is managing headwinds such as supply chain, freight cost inflation and adverse foreign exchange rates, and says strong trading performance shows resilience of business. "Given the group's performance in 2021 and the board's confidence in the continued strength of its cash generation, the board confirms its intention to pay a total dividend in line with its progressive dividend policy that is linked to underlying earnings," it adds.

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Fintel PLC - Huddersfield, England-based technology and support for retail financial services sector - Revenue for 2021 GBP63.9 million, up from GBP61.0 million in 2020, and reports "solid" adjusted Ebitda growth, saying this is in line with expectations without giving any figures. Says margins maintained whilst continuing to invest in digital services platform. Looking out, says: "With the benefit of high levels of recurring income from SaaS and Subscriptions, combined with the strong customer base and positive market dynamics, the board remains confident of delivering future earnings growth and continued strategic progress."

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Harworth Group PLC - Rotherham, South Yorkshire-based land regenerator - Expects EPRA net disposal value per share at December 31 to be ahead of current consensus, placing consensus at 189 pence, after strong operational performance throughout the year. Says industrial & logistics pipeline at year-end totalled 28.2 million square feet, up from 27.3 million square feet a year prior. The residential pipeline totalled 30,804 plots, up from 30,668 plots.

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Eagle Eye Solutions Group PLC - London-based marketing solutions provider - Revenue for first half ended December 31 rises 40% year-on-year to GBP15.1 million from GBP10.8 million. Adjusted Ebitda rises 50% to GBP3.1 million from GBP2.1 million. "A promising pipeline of opportunities continues to build, as demonstrated by the announcement post period end of the signing of a three year contract with NRS to support the company's third US customer, one of the largest grocery retailers in the US," firm says.

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Residential Secure Income PLC - London-based investor in shared ownership and rental homes - Says EPRA net tangible assets total return for quarter to December 31 1.7%, and EPRA NTA stands at 108.4p at quarter-end, up from 107.9p at September 30. Paid out dividend of 1.29p and declares second dividend of 1.29p. Adds that 99% rent collection maintained, in line with historic and pre-pandemic levels.

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Target Healthcare REIT PLC - care homes property investor - EPRA NTA stands at 110.8p at December 31, down from 11.3p at end of September. This reflects non-recurring acquisition costs on GBP173 million of new investments in the quarter, firm notes. Says portfolio value and earnings continued to increase, generating a NAV total return of 1.0% for the quarter. "Following 12 months of recovering occupancy levels, an enforced reduction in staffing levels from isolation requirements and outbreaks caused by the Omicron variant have seen this recovery slow. Our tenants continue to report strong enquiry levels from potential residents and anticipate occupancy increases to resume as the Omicron peak subsides," firm says.

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Ecofin US Renewables Infrastructure Trust - London-based investor in US renewable energy assets - Net asset value per share USD1.0044 at December 31, a decline of 0.2% since the last quarter, was driven by a 0.8% decrease in the value of investments reflecting updates to discounted cash flows, discount rates and quarterly depreciation, largely offset by a 0.6% net increase in working capital due to cash distributions from the projects. Declares fourth interim dividend of 1.4 cents per share.

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Xeros Technology Group PLC - developer and licensor of platform technologies - Reports progress despite disruption in China and India due to Covid restrictions. Says results show revenue of GBP500,000 for 2021. Says commercial discussions for XFiltra licensing have commenced following successful tests by the company's global scale development partners. IFB have confirmed that they plan, subject to successful consumer field trials, to enter the Indian domestic washing machine market with Xeros' XTend technology at the end of the second quarter. Reports cash of GBP7.8 million at end of December.

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eEnergy Group PLC - London-based energy efficiency-as-a-service provider - Revenue for first half ended December 31 rises 44% to GBP9.7 million and profit before exceptional items jumps to GBP400,000 from GBP100,000. Company says it has growing pipeline of opportunities for remainder of financial year, with contracted forward revenue of GBP18.3 million over 5 years as at December 31. Expects to trade broadly in-line with market expectations for the current financial year.

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Jadestone Energy PLC - oil and gas assets in Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines - Says 2021 production averaged 12,545 barrels of oil equivalent per day, in line with expectations and guidance, and revenue for year estimated at USD340.3 million, a record figure. Realised an average oil price of USD74.34 during the year and says operating expenses were around USD27.60 per barrel of oil equivalent.

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United Oil & Gas PLC - Dublin-based oil and gas company with assets in Egypt, the UK, Italy and Jamaica - Full-year production averaged 2,327 barrels of oil equivalent per day net, slightly ahead of the top end of its guidance range of 2,100 to 2,300. Revenue for year around USD19 million and average realised oil price per barrel from Egypt achieved was around USD68.90 a barrel. For first half of 2022, production guidance is 1,500 barrels to 1,650 barrels per day. "At this stage this guidance only includes forecast production from existing wells and one development well, ASD-2, which has spud," it says, adding full-year guidance will be given once initial results of 2022 drilling programme have been assessed.

Separately, says the 2022 Abu Sennan drilling campaign has commenced with the spud of the ASD-2 development well. ASD-2 is the first of a fully funded four well drilling campaign. United holds a 22% working interest in the licence, which is operated by Kuwait Energy Egypt.

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By Lucy Heming; lucyheming@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2022 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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