Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – 25 September 2018

25th September 2018

In the news

  • Business leaders criticise McDonnell’s industry policy
  • Researchers lead Alzheimer's disease breakthrough
  • Reports suggest that Michael Kors could acquire Versace for $2bn

Stock market moves

Corporate announcements

* Maitland Client

Next PLC Results for the half year ending July 2018
  • Statutory revenue increased to £1,961.9m (2017: £1,902.3m).
  • Profit after tax increased to £254.2m (2017: £252.2m).
  • EPS increased 4.9% to 185.6p (2017: 176.9p).
  • Lord Wolfson, CEO, said: “The UK retail market remains volatile, subject to powerful structural and cyclical changes. Many of these headwinds have not abated. As expected, sales in our stores (which now account for just under half of our turnover) continue to be challenging. We believe the over-performance in the first half was flattered by the unusually warm summer and we remain cautious in our outlook for the rest of the year.”
Imperial Brands PLC Trading Statement
  • Revenues resulting in an annualised exit run-rate of c.£0.3bn.
  • Adjusted operating profit will be within expected range of £50m to £100m (2017: £114m).
  • On track to deliver full-year constant currency revenue and earnings growth in line with guidance range.
Glencore PLC Increase and extension of Share buy-back programme
  • Announces an increase in the size of the programme by an additional amount of up to $1bn and the extension of the duration of the programme until the close of dealings on 20 February 2019.
  • The Programme will be effected in accordance with the terms of the authority granted by shareholders at the 2018 AGM.
British American Tobacco PLC Directorate Change
  • Jack Bowles, currently COO of international business, will succeed Nicandro Durante as CEO following Nicandro’s retirement on 1 April 2019.
  • Jack will become Chief Executive Designate on 1 November 2018 and will join the Board on 1 January 2019.
  • Richard Burrows, Chairman, said: “Having conducted a far-reaching succession process with strong external and internal candidates, the Board is delighted to appoint such an experienced and dynamic successor from within BAT. Throughout his career at BAT, Jack has demonstrated excellent strategic leadership; growing businesses, driving productivity improvements and building strong management teams. In his most recent roles, as Director, Asia-Pacific and, as COO, he has played a key role in developing our potentially reduced risk products business.”
Close Brothers Group PLC* Preliminary results for the year end 31 July 2018
  • The group reported a 4% growth in adjusted operating profit at £278.6m (2017: £268.7m).
  • Dividend per share up 5% at 63.0p (2017: 60.0p).
  • Banking delivered an adjusted operating profit of £251.8m, up 2% on the prior year.
  • Asset Management delivered a 33% increase in adjusted operating profit to £23.1m, with strong net inflows at 12% of opening managed assets.
  • Winterflood delivered another strong result, with operating profit of £28.1m, in line with the prior year.
  • Preben Prebensen, CEO, said: “Our strategic priorities are clear and unchanged, and we remain strongly committed to our proven business model, maintaining confidence in our ability to trade successfully in a range of economic conditions. All of this ensures we can continue to support our customers and clients, and deliver value for our shareholders, through all stages of the financial cycle.”
Card Factory PLC Half-year Report
  • Revenue increased 3.2% to £185.3m (2017: £179.6m).
  • Operating profit increased by 17.9% to £29.0m (2017: £24.6m).
  • Basic EPS increased 17.1% to 6.38p (2017: 5.45p).
  • Karen Hubbard, CEO, said: “We have delivered solid interim results with overall sales growth, despite the weak consumer environment and particularly challenging footfall across the high street, driven by various factors. Profitability was impacted by lower like-for-like sales, but we continue to largely mitigate the headwinds we face through various business efficiencies. Despite this difficult consumer backdrop, we have seen record numbers for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day both in terms of volume and value. This strong seasonal performance gives us confidence for the key Christmas trading period.”
Barr(A.G.) PLC Interim Results
  • Revenue grew by 5.5% to £136.9m (2017: £129.8m).
  • Profit before tax and exceptional items increased 4.0% to £18.2m (2017: £17.5m).
  • EPS increased by 8.6% to 12.74p (2017: 11.73p).
  • Roger White, CEO, said: “We have delivered a solid financial performance in the first half of the financial year, navigating through the Soft Drinks Industry Levy implementation, reformulation, extremes of weather and CO2 shortages in addition to a dynamic consumer, customer and macro-economic environment. Our core brands have performed well and have good momentum with both consumers and trade customers.”
McCarthy & Stone PLC Directorate Change
  • Appointment of John Tonkiss as CEO. He will take the role with immediate effect.
  • Paul Lester, Chairman, said: “Following a full search and selection process, I am pleased to confirm that John will become CEO of McCarthy & Stone. John brings strong financial and operational expertise resulting from his four years at McCarthy & Stone where he was Chief Operating Officer and his ten years at Unite Students, where he held the same role.”