Lots of results from my kind of stocks and too many for me to go into great detail. So look out for results and updates from the likes of Britvic (BVIC), Nichols (NICL) & Unilever (ULVR) in the food, drinks and personal care area. Britvic & Nichols have both made add on acquisitions which should enhance their growth prospects. There is also a small (5%) placing from Britvic to help fund their Brazilian deal and it looks the best value of these stocks on a mid teens PE compared to 20x+ for the other two.
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) have reported more fund outflows reflecting investor worries on emerging and far eastern markets and less favourable investing conditions generally. They do however flag their strong balance sheet and diversification efforts but the market doesn't seem to like it.
Meanwhile after my DIY efforts yesterday and my purchases from Screwfix which is owned by Kingfisher (KGF) I see their results seem OK with even France finally showing some signs of life. Bloomsbury Publishing (BMY) have also had a good start to the year in what is a quiet quarter for them any way. Finally SSE has reiterated their earnings expectations and promised dividend increases at least in line with RPI going forward from the current full year dividend which gives a yield of 5.5%.
That's all for now as I am preparing to do a piece with the ADVFN Podcaster Justin Waite at Sharepickers.com today. So I'll try and do a quick update later with what I'm covering and details of where you can listen to it if that is of interest to you.
A brief update from Greene King (GNK) the brewer, pub and restaurant operator in which they reported a very modest 0.4% rise in their retail like for likes in the first 18 weeks of their current financial year. They blamed this on tough comparatives form an excellent summer last year ( I thought this years was better weather wise) and a poor performance by England in the World Cup plus on going consumer caution.
However their other businesses traded well: Pub Partners total LFL net income was up 3.7% after 16 weeks, while in Brewing & Brands, own-brewed volume was up 6.2% after 18 weeks, driven by strong growth from Old Speckled Hen, the UK's no.1 premium ale brand. They say they expect the momentum in these business to be maintained and for retail to see a stronger second half helped further by some new openings which are more weighted towards the second half this year.
So overall a steady as she goes type of statement with not too much to get worked up about either way, although the retail side seems a bit flat so far this year. After recent upgrades the shares stand on around 13x and a 3.6% yield which seems fair enough.
Meanwhile Kingfisher (KGF) the UK & European DIY and building materials retailer has reported Interims which also saw fairly lack lustre like for like sales growth of 1.8% or 0.9% in total. On the back of this their profits and earnings were unchanged while they edged up the dividend by 1%. They did however flag a £12m profit hit from currencies and without this profits would have been up by 3.3%. They also incurred development costs of £11m in new markets for them in Portugal, Germany & Romania. France was pretty flat as the French economy continues to struggle while the UK was the star with LFL's up 4.4% and profits up by 17.7% benefiting from initiatives to re-energise B&Q and better demand for trade products as housing construction and activity improved.
Overall a reasonable outcome after the disappointing Q2 update they put out earlier in the year as their French operations stabilized somewhat towards the end of the period. This continues to offset the recovery in the UK as does their investment in new markets. This leaves a fairly flat outlook for the year but with their return of capital programme / share buy backs likely to support the shares, the recent fall in the share price leaves them looking reasonable value on around 13x with a 3.7% yield backed up by a solid balance sheet so a strong hold I would suggest.
Having mentioned Paypoint (PAY) yesterday I thought I should touch on their results today which seem fine. The net revenue came in roughly in line at £113.7 million (+7.7%) v £115 million (F), eps were ahead at 52.6 pence (+16.1`%) v 51 pence (F), while there was a nice beat on the dividend which came in at 35.3 pence (+16.1%) v 33.3 pence (F). They said this increase reflected their confidence in the business.
So some growth in their payment business and expansion in Eastern Europe (Romania) is on going. Meanwhile the Collect+ (Parcel collections from shops) saw transactions up over 76% and is now apparently profitable so will no longer be a drag on profits. So overall it seems OK as they continue to invest in and develop their multi channel payment capabilities (mobile, on line and retail) + click and collect delivery network. They also mentioned that some extra days in last years numbers reduced reported growth metrics by 1% to 3%.
I was sorry to see that David Newlands is retiring but he seems to be leaving it in good shape. So although it seems fine it is one I'll probably continue to watch for now as I cannot bring myself to pay up for it.
I wrote Kingfisher up earlier in the year having got into it as a way of playing the recovering housing market, click the link above for more in depth details. Their trading update today looks good, especially in the UK, which seems to support my thinking on this one. However, France remains weak and they do flag that the numbers were flattered by a very weak comparative from last year. They suggest these comparatives will become harder from now on and that Q1 is generally a quiet quarter any way - so not too much to get excited about there.
On a more positive note they did confirm a special dividend payment of 4.2 pence to return £100 million on top of the £35 million of share buy backs they have done already as part of their £200 million capital return programme for 2014/15, which is part of a multi year programme. So all seemed OK to me but Mr. Market seems underwhelmed by them as he has marked them down by about 5 to 6% this morning - but as a French DIY customer would say c'est Le vie and au re voir.