Final results today from Hargreaves Services (HSP) - after their slightly disappointing update on strategy last week. Therefore nothing too surprising in these numbers as they had already suggested they would be broadly in line when they announced their strategic review.
Having said that the turnover, earnings and the dividend were all a bit light of forecasts, but they did suggest that trading so far in the current year had been encouraging and that they have seen a modest rise in the Sterling price of coal. The dividend was raised by 24.4% for the year which is in line with their previous announced policy of bringing cover down to around 4x. If this target level of cover is maintained then current forecasts suggest a slow down in dividend growth for this year as earnings are forecast to fall. Beyond this they said:
"The Board will continue to review this policy in light both of progress in underlying trading and any developments arising from the ongoing actions to refocus the Group operations." This quite frankly does not clarify anything so more uncertainty there I guess, all pretty messy I'm afraid - rather like coal.
Finally in brief Picton Property Income Ltd (PCTN), a property investment company I have written on it the past, has announced an acquisition today of a retail asset in Peterborough with a 6.5% yield. This follows a fund raising they did earlier this year and on this they said:
"The Company has now made over £81 million of acquisitions during the course of this year and this purchase fully utilises the remainder of the funds allocated for acquisitions raised during the £35 million Initial Placing in May of this year."
So that should augur well for the dividend which having been re-based was already well covered by earnings and gives a yield of 4.75%.