Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Monday 11 May 2020
In the news
- Garden centres in England will be allowed to re-open from Wednesday in the UK, provided they limit the number of customers and enforce measures to ensure social distancing. This follows a similar move in Wales from today
- Foxtons and Restaurant Group are under fire for excluding retail investors from their recent fund raising. Influential proxy firms Glass Lewis and ISS are urging shareholders to vote down resolutions authorising the firms to issue equity. Some 42 businesses have raised a total of £3.6bn in equity since April, with many ignoring pre-emption rights in order to accelerate the process
- Tesla chief Elon Musk has threatened to pull out of California and move its HQ and production to Texas after being refused permission to reopen its Fremont manufacturing base and the maverick billionaire has issued a lawsuit to get the ruling overturned
- Shanghai Disneyland re-opens today but the company says that it will keep the number of visitors “far below” the 30% of capacity target set by the Chinese government
- The funeral group Dignity has given warning that restrictions around funerals have had a "significant impact on the group's average income per funeral" as it updated shareholders on first quarter trading
- PM statement to the House of Commons (3:30pm)
- Document detailing lockdown measures to be presented to Parliament
- Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways owner IAG, appears in front of MPs on the transport select committee later this morning (10am)
Stock market moves
- In Europe, the Eurostoxx 600 and FTSE 100 have both opened up this morning.
- Asian stocks have risen overnight as signs of support measures from China’s central bank helped boost investor confidence.
- US stock futures also rose on Monday morning following a set of consecutive rallies at the end of last week, with the Dow Jones trading 88 points higher.
- Brent crude is down 1.71% this morning, with WTI Crude Oil down 2.06%.
- Sterling is marginally up to the dollar and euro.
Corporate announcements* Maitland Client
Victrex PLC Interim Results 2020
- Solid H1 with growth in Automotive & Medical; stable performance in Aerospace & Electronics.
- Group revenue rose 4% to £151.5m (2019: £145.7m).
- Underlying profit before tax fell 1% to £52.0m (2019: £52.4m).
- Jakob Sigurdsson, CEO, said: “Overall, we delivered a solid first half which was in line with our expectations. We saw good growth in Automotive and Medical, a stable performance in Aerospace, Electronics and Value Added Resellers, offset by the weaker performance in Energy, as oil prices, rig count and activity levels reduced compared to the prior year. Q3 to date has been broadly in line with our expectations, although we are now seeing emerging headwinds from COVID-19 in our forward order book, particularly in Aerospace and Automotive, with Energy already seeing very tough conditions.”
- The Group achieved revenue of €717.3m in the first quarter, despite a significantly lowered global light vehicle production environment due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The suspension of economic activity resulted in a global light vehicle production volume decline of 23.0% versus Q1 2019.
- On a constant currency basis, Group revenue decreased by 16.0% year over year, representing a 7.0% outperformance of global light vehicle production volume.
- NAV per share fell 6.2% to £2.36.
- The group claims that its long-term performance remains strong and has sustained its long-term record of out-performance of the wider market.
- The group remains confident that shareholders with the long-term investment horizon that private equity provides will continue to see outperformance going forward.
- Roger Mountford, Chairman, said: “The Board is confident in Hg’s management of the portfolio and the ability of HGT as a long-term investment to continue to perform. Every one of Hg’s portfolio companies continues to operate and serve their customers. 99% of the workforce across the Hg portfolio are able to work effectively from home and keep delivering mission-critical service to their customers. We have always been committed to transparent reporting to all our investors and will continue to monitor the current situation and provide further updates whenever required.”
- The group announces that it has acquired a portfolio of 20 purpose-built medical centres, located across England and Wales, for a price of £47.1m, before costs. As part of the same transaction, PHP has conditionally contracted to acquire a further two medical centres for £6.9m, before costs.
- In the UK, 98% of rents for the second quarter of the year have been collected with £0.7m still outstanding, approximately half of this is now subject to an agreed monthly payment plan.
- Harry Hyman, Managing Director, said: “We continue to have a strong pipeline of opportunities in the UK and Ireland and are well positioned to continue to grow our portfolio through selective acquisitions and development opportunities. The Company’s portfolio is extremely well placed to deal with the current Covid-19 pandemic and resulting economic disruption, as it supports the UK primary healthcare system.”