Maitland Morning Monitor – Friday 19 May 2017

19th May 2017

Market Information

European markets are this morning expected to rebound after a mixed night's trading for Asian markets and oil prices moving to one-month highs.

After political uncertainty in the US spooked markets yesterday, the Dow Jones made modest gains overnight.

In the news

  • May breaks with Thatcherite faith in centrist pitch to Labour voters
  • Retail sales bounce back as shoppers defy squeeze
  • Tories hit boardrooms with more red tape
  • Mothercare to close more high street shops

Top Financial Announcements

* Maitland Client

Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC Trading Statement
  • Full year revenue is now expected to be lower – in the range of $2-2.1bn in constant currency.
  • Generics revenue is now expected to be c. $670m.
  • Branded revenue growth is expected to be in the mid-single digits in constant currency.
Close Brothers Group PLC* Trading Update
  • Banking division loan book increased 2.3% in the quarter and is up 4.1% year to date at £6.7bn.
  • Particularly good performance in Property Finance, with good loan book growth and strong profitability.
  • Winterflood’s performance improved further in the quarter, benefiting from continued high retail trading activity.
  • Asset Management benefited from strong net inflows as well as positive market movements. Managed assets increased 7% in the quarter to £8.5bn at 30 April 2017 and total client assets grew 5% to £10.7bn.
Grainger PLC Half Year Results
  • Adjusted earnings up 39% to £34.1m (H1 2016: £24.5m).
  • Profit before tax up 13% to £41.2m (2016: £36.6m).
  • Dividend per share up 10% to 1.6p (2016: 1.45p).
  • Helen Gordon, CEO, said: “Grainger is a focused, simpler and more efficient business. We have made changes to the way we operate in order to enhance returns, through reducing costs, simplifying processes and improving the scalability of our operating platform. The private rented sector growth opportunity is compelling with strong investment fundamentals. Our strategy to grow rents and simplify and focus the business puts Grainger in a strong position to deliver further sustainable income led growth.”
John Laing Infrastructure Fund Trading Update
  • Underlying growth in portfolio value for the three months to 31 March 2017 of 1.9% to £1,217.6m.
  • NAV of £1,214.9m, including £31.3m of cash allocated to the dividend.
  • Theresa Grant will be appointed to the board at today’s AGM. Theresa has been Chief Executive at Trafford Council, Manchester since 2011. This appointment is part of the programme to replace each of the five directors who have held office since JLIF’s launch.
  • Andrew Charlesworth will be leaving John Laing Capital Management with effect from 26 May 2017. JLCM has appointed David Hardy as the new lead investment adviser.
  • Paul Lester, Chairman of JLIF, said: “The JLIF Portfolio continues to perform well, with underlying growth in line with expectations. We wish to thank Andrew for his contribution to the success of the Company. He has been involved in leading the investment advice to JLIF from its launch in 2010 to a business now valued at over £1 billion. We wish him the very best for his future career. We are delighted that someone of the calibre and with the relevant experience which David brings to JLIF will be our new lead investment adviser. In addition, I am looking forward to welcoming Theresa to the Board, who brings considerable public sector infrastructure experience.”
Just Eat PLC Just Eat/Hungryhouse deal facing full CMA investigation
  • Just Eat’s plan to buy rival Hungryhouse is facing a full investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority. The CMA said last week that it had concerns but that Just Eat could avoid an investigation if it offered “ways of addressing these concerns”.
  • The CMA said: “Both companies provide online takeaway ordering services. These give restaurants the opportunity to reach a wide pool of people, as well as offer customers the convenience of choosing from a large range of takeaway providers in one place. Following its initial investigation into the merger, the CMA has found that the companies are close competitors because of the similarity of their service and their broad geographical coverage.”
Entertainment One Ltd New episodes and global partners for Peppa Pig
  • Entertainment One today announces the start of production on a new series of Peppa Pig. 117 new episodes are scheduled to launch on air globally from spring 2019.
  • To support the roll-out of new episodes, a number of new licensing partners have been signed on, including DTC in Brazil.
  • Darren Throop, CEO, said: “Peppa Pig‘s global appeal continues apace as we bring new content to audiences across the world. With a new series in the pipeline, best-in-class partners and strong marketing and experiential initiatives in each territory, we continue to nurture the long term success of this global preschool phenomenon.”
Cairn Energy PLC AGM Chief Executive's Statement
  • Simon Thomson, CEO, will say today: “Cairn’s strategy is to deliver sustainable value growth for shareholders from a balanced portfolio of exploration, development and production assets. Our exploration focus is on acreage in frontier and emerging basins which offer the greatest value potential, funded from production assets and balance sheet strength… 2016 was a year of excellent progress, providing a strong platform for further activity in 2017. This year, we will commence production in the North Sea, progress the SNE field towards development, drill material exploration wells in Senegal and Ireland, and continue to work on new exploration and development opportunities both from the existing asset base and from new ventures.”