Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Tuesday 02 March 2021

2nd March 2021

In the news

  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce rules for a new stock market listing regime in tomorrow's Budget in a bid to make the UK a more attractive place to take companies public.
  • Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to three years in prison after he was found guilty of corruption and influence peddling.
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to announce more than £400m of additional support for the culture sector in tomorrow's Budget.
  • Shares in Zoom jumped by as much as 10% in after-hours trading on Monday after the company predicted its revenues will rise by 42% over the course of the next year.
  • China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission Chairman Guo Shuqing has said he is "very worried" about bubbles in overseas financial markets.

Politics today

  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock will give a coronavirus update at 1pm today.
  • Oral questions to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will take place in the Commons this morning.

Stock market moves

  • In the US, S&P 500 Index closed up yesterday after surging 2.4%.
  • Asian stocks slipped with the Shanghai Composite Index falling 1.4% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index falling 1.2%.
  • In Europe, the FTSE 100 is up 0.22% and the STOXX 600 is down 0.22%.

Corporate announcements

* Maitland Client

Weir Group PLC Final Results
  • Full year revenues down 1% at £1,965m.
  • Adjusted profit before tax of £255m (2019: £269m).
  • Adjusted earnings per share of 74.4p (2019: 78.1p).
  • Jon Stanton, CEO, said: “We’ve had a good start to 2021 and we expect to deliver growth in full year constant currency profits subject to any further disruption from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. More broadly, underlying conditions are favourable and with the strong platform we’ve created we’re confident of outperforming our markets over the next three years and delivering sustainable long-term profitable growth.”
Ashtead Group PLC* Q3 Results
  • Strong market outperformance across the business.
  • Rental revenue down 1% for Q3 at £1,077m (2020: £1,121m).
  • Profit before tax down 10% at £225m (2020: £257m).
  • Record free cash flow of £1,059m (2020: £363m).
  • Brendan Horgan, Chief Executive, said: “The strength of our business model and balance sheet positions the Group well in markets that are likely to remain uncertain. With our businesses performing well, we now expect full year results ahead of our previous expectations. The benefit we derive from the diversity of our products, services and end markets, coupled with ongoing structural change, enables the Board to look to the future with confidence.”
Travis Perkins PLC Travis Perkins plc : Full year results for the twelve months ended 31st December 2020
  •  Revenue down 11.5% at £6,158m.
  • Adjusted earnings per share down 62.4% at 42.4p.
  • Covenant net debt reduced by £304m to £40m.
  • Nick Roberts, CEO, said: “Whilst uncertainty remains, we have seen a good recovery through the second half which gives us confidence that the fundamental drivers in our markets are robust. The continuing progress against our strategic plans leaves the Group well placed to outperform in those markets.”
Fresnillo PLC FY20 Preliminary Results
  • Total revenue of $2,430.1m (2019: $2,119.6m).
  • Profit for the year or $375.6m (2019: $205.8m).
  • EBITDA rose 73.4% to $1,169.1m.
  • Octavio Alvídrez, CEO said: “We remain optimistic for the outlook for precious metals prices, though we are firmly committed to our continuing efficiency, productivity and cost reduction initiatives. Given the ongoing pandemic there is a relatively high degree of unpredictability about the year ahead, so we are cautious. However, we have proven our ability to adapt to changing circumstances and longer-term, I am confident in our future and excited about the opportunities. Fresnillo is in a good position, supported by a sound strategy, strong balance sheet, a positive culture and an experienced management team. Production has largely stabilised as expected, and the pipeline of new mines and projects – together with a series of improvement programmes – provides us with solid grounds for optimism.”
Taylor Wimpey PLC Taylor Wimpey plc Full Year Results
  • Operating profit of £300.3m (2019: £850.5m).
  • 38.9% decrease in Group completions to 9,799 (2019: 16,042).
  • Proposed 2020 final dividend of c.£151m (4.14p per share).
  • Pete Redfern, CEO, said: “We are confident in the medium term performance of the housing market and therefore accelerated our land purchases from May 2020 as high-quality land became available at attractive rates. We are now focusing on driving efficiencies across the business, the roll out of our new house type range and implementing our ambitious new environmental strategy.”
Signature Aviation PLC Final Results
  •  Continuing Group organic revenue down 28.4%.
  • Continuing Group underlying EBITDA down 27.1% to $351.6m (2019: $482.0m).
  • Continuing Group statutory loss before tax of $24.2m (2019: profit of $23.4m).
  • Mark Johnstone, CEO, said: “Over recent years, we have created a leading global private aviation support services business, while streamlining the Group to maximise value for shareholders. The resilience of our market leading FBO business model, the quality of our network, our ability to generate positive net cash flow throughout the pandemic and continue to invest in and develop our business has attracted significant interest in the Group. The recommended offer for the Group from Blackstone, Global Infrastructure Partners and our largest shareholder, Cascade, reflects this and the potential for the Group to grow and expand services across our real estate.”
Calisen PLC Full year group results
  • Revenue increased 18.8% to £248.1m.
  • Underlying EBITDA increased by 8.0% to £187.9m.
  • Statutory loss before tax decreased by 79.1% to £17.2m.
  • Bert Pijls, CEO, said: “We have substantial embedded growth in our meter pipeline which has been contracted but not yet implemented and there are exciting longer-term opportunities internationally and in adjacent asset classes, most immediately in EV charging. In 2021, our focus for metering will therefore be on getting as many meters as possible installed as quickly as possible, while in adjacencies, we will focus on pilot schemes in EV charging to learn as much as we can about those assets and how they perform ahead of committing to any larger-scale projects. Overall, we remain well placed to achieve our purpose of accelerating the development of a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable energy segment.”
Croda International PLC Final Results
  • Core business sales at £1,293.9m (2019: £1265.9m).
  • Adjusted operating profit down 5.9% at £319.6m.
  • Basic earnings per share down 5.1% at 175.5p.
  • Steve Foots, CEO, said: “Our strong financial platform has allowed us to make further progress positioning the business to focus on the fast growth markets of the future, capitalising on emerging trends in existing and adjacent markets. We have made significant investments to accelerate delivery of our strategy, notably the acquisitions of Avanti and Iberchem, so that life science and consumer markets now represent over 80% of Croda’s profit generation.”
Flutter Entertainment PLC 2020 Preliminary Results
  • Reported profit of £1m after deduction of £432m in non-cash acquisition accounting adjustments.
  • Group revenue of £4398m (2019: £2140m).
  • Adjusted earnings per share of 402.7p (2019: 298.4p) .
  • Peter Jackson, CEO, said: “During this exceptionally testing time, we have focused on safeguarding the welfare of colleagues and contributed more to the communities in which we operate. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues for their ongoing commitment and resilience as we face these challenging times together. While the global outlook remains uncertain, our momentum remains strong and we look forward to the future with confidence.”
Rotork PLC 2020 Full Year Results
  • Order intake down 14.7% at £590.2m.
  • Adjusted operating profit down 5.6% at £142.5m.
  • Basic earnings per share of 10.7p (2019: 10.8p).
  • Kevin Hostetler, CEO, said: “Whilst the outlook for our end markets is improving, COVID-19 related uncertainty remains. Our production facilities are currently operating largely as normal, we have a solid order book and the considerable flexibility provided by our strong balance sheet. Our investments in IT systems, targeted geographies, innovation and new product development, and aftermarket activities are progressing well and yielding benefits. We continue to strengthen our business and are well placed to benefit from recovering demand. We remain committed to delivering sustainable mid to high single digit revenue growth and mid 20s adjusted operating margins over time.”
Apax Global Alpha LTD 2020 Final Results
  • Total NAV Return of 14.8% .
  • €93.5m of available cash and an unused revolving credit facility of €140.0m.
  • Dividend of 5.28p per share declared for the full year 2020.
  • Tim Breedon CBE, Chairman,  said: “While progress in developing and deploying a range of vaccines against Covid-19 is encouraging, the outlook remains uncertain. Five years post IPO, AGA’s portfolio is now mature with Private Equity generating substantial cash distributions and the portfolio diversified across funds at all stages of the investment cycle. Against the current market backdrop, the resilience of the portfolio and AGA’s sector-driven strategy means the Company should continue to provide long-term value generation opportunities and attractive income for shareholders. “
Intertek Group PLC Final Results
  • Adjusted operating profit of £427.7m, down 18.4%.
  • Like-for-like revenue down 8.3% at £2,735.9m.
  • Financial net debt of £419.9m, down £209.5m YoY.
  • André Lacroix, CEO, said: “With our industry leading ATIC capability and expertise, innovation and insight, Intertek is uniquely positioned to seize the compelling structural growth opportunities and to benefit from the GDP+, like‐for‐like revenue growth prospects in the Quality Assurance Industry in the medium to long‐term. In short, the pandemic has brought to life as never before the importance of Intertek’s purpose‐led role in society.”
Man Group PLC Final Results
  • Funds under management of $123.6bn (31 December 2019: $117.7bn).
  • Investment performance of $3.3bn (2019: $10.1bn).
  • Core earnings per share decreased by 23% to 16.2 cents (2019: 21.0 cents).
  • Luke Ellis, CEO, said: “Our ability to deal calmly with the stresses of the year and to grow our business is a testament to the strength and resilience of our people and the quality of our technology platform. It is our combination of talent and technology that delivers superior returns for our clients and growth for our shareholders. Confidence in our strategy also drives our move to a new progressive dividend policy.”
RIT Capital Partners PLC Annual Financial Report
  • Net Asset Value per share total return of 16.4%.
  • Growth in net assets in 2020 of ~£500 million before dividends.
  • Total dividend in year of 35.0p (2019: 34.0p).
  •  Sir James Leigh-Pemberton, Chairman, said: “Our objective requires an approach to portfolio management which reflects a subtle balance between caution and opportunity. Caution has been and will continue to be one of our core watchwords, but we also recognise that market stresses provide opportunities for the astute deployment of capital, as we saw in March and October. The privilege of loyal shareholders and a permanent capital base allows us to take a long-term view, and to act decisively where we see fundamental value and the potential to deliver long-term growth in shareholders’ capital.”
XP Power LTD Annual Results for the year ended 31 December 2020
  • Order intake increased by 20% to £258.0m.
  • Revenue grew 17% to £233.3m.
  • Net debt down 57% to £17.9 m.
  • James Peters, Chairman, said: “Trading conditions in the early months of 2021 give grounds for continued optimism. Despite the challenges and uncertainty that remain regarding COVID-19 we enter the year with a strong order book and an ongoing positive backdrop within the Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment sector.  While we are mindful of the headwind that the recent strengthening of Sterling creates and the continued uncertainty created by COVID-19 we currently expect further underlying revenue growth this financial year. We remain excited regarding the long-term prospects of the Group.”
JPMorgan Emerging Mkts Invest Trust PLC Half-year Report
  • Return on net assets at 24.9%.
  • Return to shareholders was 32.8%.
  • Interim dividend of 0.52p per share.
  • Sarah Arkle, Chairman, said: “Developments in China and elsewhere may create challenges and there may be periods when the Manager’s investment approach underperforms the index. Nevertheless, the Directors still believe that the Manager’s active fund management process, which focuses on identifying sustainable high quality growth companies, will reward investors and outperform over the longer term, as has been the case over a number of years.