Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Wednesday 28 July 2021

28th July 2021

In the news

  • Downing Street is expected to approve reopening England to EU and US tourists who have been double vaccinated
  • Tech giants Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet have reported revenues and earnings above already optimistic expectations
  • Simone Biles has cited mental health reasons behind her shock withdrawal from the Olympics women's gymnastics team final

Politics today

  • Parliament in recess until September 6

Stock market moves

  • In Asia, markets finished mixed with the Nikkei leading the Shanghai Composite lower and the Hang Seng closing up.
  • In Europe the Stoxx 600 and FTSE100 are trading down in early hours.

Corporate announcements

* Maitland Client

ITV PLC Half Year Report
  • Total external revenue is up 27% at £1,548m (2020: £1,218m).
  • Adjusted group EBITA is up 98% at £327m (2020: £165m), driven by the strong recovery in advertising, resumption of productions and tight cost control delivering £21m of savings.
  • Reported EBITA at £316m  (2020: £159m). Statutory profit before tax is£133m (2020: £15 m) and statutory EPS was 2.4p (2020: 0.5p).
  • Carolyn McCall, CEO, said: “”We are optimistic about the future, despite the ongoing pandemic risk on our advertising and ITV Studios revenues.”
British American Tobacco PLC Half Year Report
  • Revenue up 8.1% at £12,175m.
  • Profit from operations up 5.4% at £5,235m.
  • Adjusted operating margin down 70 bps, driven by increased New Category investment, geographic mix and transactional FX.
  • Jack Bowles, CEO, said: “This has been an exciting period of growth in New Categories, with New Category constant currency revenue up by 50% in the first half.”
Barclays PLC Half Year Report
  • Group profit before tax at £5.0bn (H120: £1.3bn) and attributable profit of £3.8bn (H120: £0.7bn).
  • Group income of £11.3bn down 3% versus prior year reflecting currency headwinds.
  • Group credit impairment net release of £0.7bn (H120: £3.7bn charge).
  • Group total operating expenses of £7.2bn up 10% versus prior year, resulting in a cost: income ratio of 64% (H120: 57%).
  • James E Staley, CEO, said: “With a first half profit before tax of £5bn, quadruple the same period last year, and a RoTE of 16.4%, this is a good first half performance. It provides a strong platform on which to build in the second half, and to deliver a full year RoTE in excess of 10%.”
St. James's Place PLC Half Year Results
  • Gross inflows of £9.2bn (2020: £7.3bn).
  • Underlying cash result £189.3m (2020: £114.4m).
  • EEV operating profit £844.8m (2020: £418.7m).
  • Andrew Croft, CEO, said: “Although there remains inherent uncertainty in the operating environment as the UK and the world at large continues to navigate the pandemic, the results we have announced today show we have made an encouraging start against our 2025 ambitions.”
Smurfit Kappa Group PLC Acquisition
  • Smurfit Kappa has agreed to acquire Verzuolo, a containerboard business in Northern Italy, for a cash consideration of €360m.
  • Verzuolo is highly complementary to SKG’s existing business and is strategically positioned to serve both the Southern European region and other markets.
  • The cash consideration will be funded from the Group’s existing resources. It is expected that the acquisition will complete during Q4.
  • Tony Smurfit, CEO, said: ‘We welcome the highly experienced Verzuolo team to the Smurfit Kappa Group as we continue to strengthen the world’s leading paper-based packaging group.”
Smurfit Kappa Group PLC Half Year Report
  • Revenue growth of 11% at €4,679m.
  • EBITDA increased 6% to €781m with an EBITDA margin of 16.7%.
  • Corrugated growth of over 10% and over 9% versus 2020 and 2019 respectively.
  • Tony Smurfit, CEO, said: “The second half has continued the trend of strong demand and corrugated price recovery. SKG remains very confident in our prospects and excited about the opportunities for our business.”
Wizz Air Holdings PLC Q1 F22 Results
  • Revenue increased 119.2% at €199m.
  • Passengers carried increased 317.7% at 2,954,213.
  • EBITDA at -€17.8m (2020: -€42.4m).
  • József Váradi, CEO, said: “The first quarter of F22 remained challenging for the Company as we operated only 33% of our available capacity as mobility restrictions continued to be a major barrier to international travel during this period. We were focused on cash and delivered a cash flow positive quarter, with a strong liquidity balance of c.€1.7bn, including c.€1.5bn of free cash – as well as maintaining our investment grade balance sheet.”
RHI Magnesita N.V. Half Year Report
  • Revenue up at £1,200m (2020: £1,171m).
  • Adjusted EBITDA down at £128 (2020: £133m).
  • Profit before tax up at £125m (2020: £70m).
  • On track to achieve 2021 guidance of €310m Adjusted EBITA with earnings weighted towards H2, as expected.
  • Stefan Borgas, CEO, said: “We have re-established our inventory levels and are now able to benefit from stronger market conditions and price increases contracted for the second half of the year. We are continuing to progress our cost saving initiatives and are also seeing real benefits from our sales strategies.”
Sanne Group PLC Acquisition and Half Year Trading Update
  • Sanne has announced the accretive acquisition of the European fund administration business of PraxisIFM Group Ltd  for £54m.
  • Sanne has delivered another resilient performance in H1 and continued to see stronger growth returning to its core markets despite the ongoing pandemic conditions.
  • As such, the Board remains confident in delivering full year results in line with its expectations.
  • This improved performance included a significant increase in new business activity, with first half 2021 annualised total new business wins up c.38% on the second half of 2020 to £15.7m.
FDM Group (Holdings) PLC Half Year Report
  • Revenue decreased 7% to £131.3m.
  • Adjusted operating profit increased 9% to £22.3m.
  • Good progress in the first half of the year, despite ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic, with trading comfortably in line with the Board’s expectations.
  • Rod Flavell, CEO, said: “The Board is confident that the Group is well placed to achieve its expectations for the current year and to deliver long-term growth.”
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Hld PLC Interim Results
  • Revenue increased 242% to £499m largely due to substantial growth in wholesales and strong pricing dynamics as completed supply to demand rebalance for GT/Sport in Q1.
  • Adjusted EBITDA improved by £138m half-on-half to £49m with a 10% margin reflecting improved trading,.
  • Positive cashflow from operations of £104m; Free cash outflowof £44m, a £326m improvement YoY with controlled investment aligned to financial performance and business plan deliverables.
  • Tobias Moers, CEO, said: “We have performed well in the first half of the year as we continue to deliver results in-line with our plans to improve profitability.”
Man Group PLC Half Year Report
  • Record high funds under management  of $135.3bn (2020: $123.6bn).
  • Core earnings per share  increased by 246% to 18.7 cents (H1 2020: 5.4 cents).
  • Net financial assets of $632m (31 December 2020: $716m).
  • Luke Ellis, CEO, said: “The firm’s momentum continues as we enter the second half, supported by strong performance fee optionality, a high level of client engagement and a strong sales pipeline.”
Primary Health Properties PLC Interim Results
  • Adjusted earnings per share increased by 3.3% to 3.1p (30 June 2020: 3.0p).
  • Additional annualised rental income on a LfL basis of £1.3m or 1.0%, from rent reviews and asset management projects (FY 2020: £2.0m or 1.6%; FY 2019: £1.9m or 1.5%).
  • Adjusted Net Tangible Assets (NTA) per share increased by 2.2% to 115.4 pence (31 December 2020: 112.9 pence).
  • Harry Hyman, CEO, said: “The Board looks forward to delivering further earnings and dividend growth and remains confident in PHP’s future outlook.”
Rathbone Brothers PLC Half Year Report
  • Total funds under management and administration reached £59.2bn at 30 June 2021, up 8.2% from £54.7bn at 31 December 2020 (30 June 2020: £49.4bn).
  • Total net inflows in Investment Management were £0.5bn in the first six months of 2021 (30 June 2020: £0.8bn).
  • Profit before tax for the six months to 30 June 2021 of £48.8m (30 June 2020: £27.3m). Basic earnings per share totalled 69.9p (30 June 2020: 36.1p).
  • Paul Stockton, CEO, said: “Following a strong set of year to date financial results we enter the second half of 2021 in a robust position. The acquisition of Saunderson House, announced on 23 June 2021, accelerates our financial advice strategy, and presents an exciting opportunity to explore wider UK wealth segments.”
Lancashire Holdings Limited Q2 2021 Earnings Release
  • Gross premiums written increased by 40.7% year on year to $697.2m, with a positive renewal price index of 111%.
  • Excellent underwriting performance, with a combined ratio of 80.7% (or 65.7% excluding Winter Storm Uri).
  • Successful long-term debt refinancing in H1 2021.
  • Alex Maloney, CEO, said: “I am particularly pleased with the Group’s strong premium growth of 40.7% in the first half of the year. It has always been our strategy to write more business and deploy more of our capital when market conditions dictate, and these results amply demonstrate our persistent focus on delivering on our strategic aims.”