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TRADING UPDATES: Interim profit jumps from XPS Pensions, James Latham

Thu, 25th Nov 2021 12:25

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



XPS Pensions Group PLC - London-based pensions consultancy - For the six months ended September 30, pretax profit more than doubled to GBP7.1 million from GBP2.8 million, due to a fall in exceptional and non-trading items to GBP4.9 million from GBP8.5 million. In addition, revenue grows 10% year-on-year to GBP37.7 million from GBP34.4 million on new client wins in both Pension Actuarial and Pension Investment, through continued regulatory changes and a contribution from the equalisation of the guaranteed minimum pension. Declares interim dividend of 2.4 pence per share, up 4% from 2.3p a year prior. Looking ahead, expects annual results to meet management expectations.



James Latham PLC - timber and panel products distributor - For the six months ended September 30, pretax profit rises sharply to GBP34.0 million from GBP6.3 million a year before, driven by significant increases in market prices, allowing for a rise in the gross profit margin to 26.4% from 16.9%. Revenue grows 81% year-on-year to GBP193.9 million from GBP107.0 million, due to the prior period being affected heavily by the pandemic, as well as strong volume growth. Declares interim dividend of 6.5p per share, up 14% from 5.7p a year prior. Looking ahead, second half has started with weaker volumes and margins at more normal levels. In addition, supply chain and inflationary issues remain, and could persist through 2022.



Shearwater Group PLC - London-based cybersecurity provider - For the six months ended September 30, pretax loss narrows to GBP518,000 from GBP780,000 a year before, due to reduced finance costs. However, revenue drops 5.4% year-on-year to GBP10.6 million from GBP11.2 million, as several contracts were moved into the second half of the financial year. Looking ahead, outlook remains confident, and the company expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to meet market expectations.



MJ Hudson Group PLC - asset management consultancy - For the year ended June 30, pretax loss narrows to GBP5.3 million from a restated GBP7.3 million the year before, due to 78% revenue growth to GBP39.8 million from GBP22.3 million, recovering from the pandemic through the winning of new clients and contributions from new acquisitions. Declares maiden dividend of 0.125 pence per share. Looking ahead, board is encouraged by continued trading momentum in current financial year.



Mothercare PLC - clothing retailer for expectant mothers and children up to 8 years old - For the six months ended September 25, company swings to pretax profit of GBP3.6 million from a loss of GBP13.2 million a year prior, due to the lack of restructuring and property-related costs incurred the prior period as part of the company's turnaround process. Revenue declined 6.1% year-on-year, however, to GBP41.7 million from GBP44.4 million, due to a decline in both worldwide and online retail sales, remaining affected by Covid-19. Looking ahead, expects second half to be similar to the first.



Studio Retail Group PLC - Lancashire-based home-based retail and education firm - For the 26 weeks ended September 24, pretax profit increases 67% to GBP26.5 million from GBP15.9 million, due to lower bad debt charges and a stronger performance from Financial Services. In addition, revenue up 3.3% year-on-year to GBP239.6 million from GBP232.0 million. However, due to the challenges in product shipping, more selective shopping from consumers as well as gross margin pressure seen in the third quarter, adjusted pretax profit guidance for the year has been lowered to GBP35 million to GBP40 million, from the prior range of GBP42 million to GBP45 million.



ActiveOps PLC - Reading, England-based management software firm - For the six months ended September 30, pretax loss widens to GBP991,000 from GBP421,000 due to higher administrative expenses on continued investment in sales, marketing and technology. Revenue, however, grows 22% year-on-year to GBP11.5 million from GBP9.4 million on new customer wins and a recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic. Looking ahead, positive trading has continued in second half, and company expects annual performance to come ahead of management expectations.



Mountview Estates PLC - London-based property trading company - For the six months ended September 30, pretax profit rises 16% to GBP15.6 million from GBP13.5 million a year before, due to revenue growing 36% year-on-year to GBP30.7 million from GBP22.5 million on continued sales activity. Declares ordinary dividend of 225 pence per share, up from 200p a year before, and due to exceptional cash flow, declares special dividend of 275p per share, bringing total payout to 500p.



Oberon Investments Group PLC - boutique wealth management and corporate broking - For the six months ended September 30, swings to pretax profit of GBP128,000 from loss of GBP514,000 a year prior, as revenue more than doubles to GBP3.4 million from GBP1.2 million, based on a strong performance across discretionary portfolios from clients. As at September 30, funds under management and administration also more than doubles to GBP765 million from GBP317 million. Looking ahead, trading in second half remains encouraging, while assets under administration grow significantly.



Real Estate Credit Investments Ltd - specialist investor in European real estate credit markets - As at September 30, net asset value per share at GBP1.51, in line with March 31. However, net profit for the six month period dips to GBP14.2 million from GBP15.5 million due to a lower gain on financial assets. Interest income rises 3.0% year-on-year GBP13.9 million from GBP13.5 million. Maintains quarterly 3 pence per share dividend.



Montanaro UK Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC - investment trust focused on investing in small quoted companies listed on the LSE or traded on AIM - Net asset value per share as at September 30 is 172.6 pence, up 16% from 148.6p at the end of March. NAV total return for the six month period is 18%, compared to its benchmark - the Numis Smaller Companies Index, excluding investment companies - returning 9.2%.



Aberdeen Japan Investment Trust PLC - listed Japanese companies-focused investment trust - For the six months ended September 30, net asset value total return is 10.1%, compared to a 6.4% return from the Topix benchmark. As at September 30, net asset value per share rose 8.8% to 878.7 pence from 807.7p at the end of March. Declares interim dividend of 6.00p per share, in line with prior year.



Aberdeen New India Investment Trust PLC - invests in Indian growth companies - For the six months ended September 30, net asset value total return at 19.0%, lagging behind the sterling-adjusted MSCI India Index, which returned 23%. As at September 30, net asset value per share rises 19% to 745.95 pence from 627.05p at the end of March.



BMO Capital & Income Investment Trust PLC - investment trust with portfolio consisting mainly of FTSE All-Share companies - For the year ended September 30, net asset value total return is 37.8%, outperforming the FTSE All-Share Index which returned 27.9%. As at September 30, net asset value per share rises 33% to 331.70 pence from 249.65p the same date a year prior. Declares total dividend of 11.60 pence per share, up 0.9% from 11.50p.



By Dayo Laniyan; dayolaniyan@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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