Company news reports : Greggs, Diploma, Clarkson, Balfour Beatty, SIG
13/01/2010 - Company Reports - 0 Comments - 312 words
High street baker Greggs reported sales were up over Christmas with demand for savouries strong. Company expects that full year results will be inline with expectations & that there were 250,000 more customers than in the comparable week last year. Company said that against a challenging trading environment that it still intends to add 50 new shops during the year.
Diploma who supply consumables and instrumentation to Life Science industries as well as supplying heavy machinery seals, controls and connnectors have indicated evidence that key markets have stabilised. Company reported Life Science and Seals sectors ahead and only Controls revenues being below the comparable prior period last year. Company commented margins have benefited from cost reductions initiatives implemented during last year.
SIG Plc, a leading supplier of insulation and specialist construction products said it has seen "exceptionally challenging conditions". Business has been disruted by weather conditions in a number of countries but company does not expect full year underlying pre-tax profits to be less than current expectations. Company alerted that any likely recovery in construction markets would be uncertain with regard to timing and degree for 2010 which remains challenging. company added that reduction in its fixed cost base had significantly strengthened its balance sheet.
In a brief RNS news announcement the shipping services firm Clarkson said trading continues in line with expectations and remains confident that it will meet current full year market forecasts with preliminary results expected in March.
Balfour Beatty announced financial completion of the BSF programme - the Blackburn with Darwen and Bolton Councils Building Schools for the Future. Chief executive Ian Tyler commented ‘We look forward to utilising our previous experience, having already worked on nine major UK PPP education projects, to create new, first-class, learning environments as well as facilities that will be available to the whole community including leisure, learning, sports and ICT provision.’
Company news reports : Kraft Foods, Tesco, Interserve & Topps Tiles
12/01/2010 - Company Reports - 0 Comments - 226 words
Kraft Foods hostile bid for Cadbury is derisory the company said today. Cadbury believes that its value has risen further since Kraft's approach in September because company performance is expected to be ahead market expectations thanks to strong growth in the last quarter of 2009.
Tesco has reported today that its Christmas sales beat expectations and company enjoyed its best Christmas in three years. Sales of non-food items proved crucial to the strong performance - inline with reports from other supermakets with growth in clothes, electrical items and toy sales particularly apparent. Chief executive Terry Leahy particularly thanked staff and suppliers for efforts in the Christmas period.
Topps Tiles, who placed 17m new shares in November to raise around £15.4m, has noted improved customer confidence but added caution about the outlook in 2010. Topps expects customers to continue to be affected by a "challenging economic environment for consumers" but spokesman for the company reassured that capital raised in November offered additional flexibility in event of further downturn.
Interserve, the building services & maintenance group reported today that new contracts in UK public sector and internationally helped company achieve a strong performance set against challenging UK sector conditions. Interserve won more than £350m in contracts in last quarter of 2009 including a significant contract to provide specialist services at Shell’s Pearl Qatar LNG storage facility.
Company news reports : Santander, Co-op, Partygaming, Weir & Westminster Group
11/01/2010 - Company Reports - 0 Comments - 264 words
High street branches of Abbey, once Abbey National and Bradford & Bingley are set to disappear this week as Spanish bank Santander completes rebranding. Santander bought Abbey in 2004 and Bradford & Bingley and Alliance & Leicester in 2008. 700 braches across the UK will eventually be rebranded by the end of January.
Meanwhile, the Co-op has reported like-for-like sales rise up by 5% excluding fuel sales over Christmas but issued a cautious forecast of prospects in 2010. Chief executive Peter Marks accompanied the report with a statement "Looking ahead, we expect the economic pressures to continue until towards the end of 2010 or the first half of 2011,"
PartyGaming the online betting and gaming group has extended reach to Denmark in a 5 year agreement to provide an online poker and casino gaming platform to Danske Spil - widely recognised as one of Europe's leading gambling businesses. PartyGaming announced its intention to become a leading provider of B2B services as well as to continue to service retail clients.
Engineering group Weir announced the appointment of Jon Stanton as its new finance director who joins from Ernst & Young where he has worked since 1988. Stanton will join in the Spring following completion of commitments to his outgoing position.
Fire protection specialist Westminster Group who is expanded its defence services arm has appointed Shires Crichton as sales director with immediate effect. Crichton has 20 years experience in the international security and defence industries. Westminster has seen increased activity in the sector and has opened new offices in Kuala Lumpur & Abu Dhabi.
Company news reports : Virgin Money, Optare, The Resturant Group
08/01/2010 - Company Reports - 0 Comments - 250 words
In a second attempt to break into the UK retail banking sector Virgin Money is acquire & inject new capital into Church House Trust, the Somerset-based bank. Virgin seeks to gain greater exposure to UK mortgage and savings retail market & had previously tried to buy banking arms of Northern Rock. Virgin Money expanded it mission intent by stating that it aims to bring simplicity to the UK banking market - 'traditionally a complex sector'.
The Restaurant Group expects full-year profits to be at the top end of current forecasts and reports robust trading since the previous update for the period up to 15 November. Company also confirmed that 19 new restaurants were opened during 2009 all trading ahead of expectations. Group plans a further 15 to 20 new openings during 2010.
Mitchells and Butlers has reported that trading in its pub-related outlets remains robust but is cautious on the outlook for 2010. Like-for-like food and drink sales in the last 6 weeks within the same outlets were up on the previous period by up to 5%. New pricings, reduced food inflation, productivity gains & lower energy costs has resulted in cost savings.
Optare that manufacturers low-carbon buses with reduced weight & optimised drive systems noted on Thursday a 16% rise in its share price and confirmed that company has received an early stage bid approach but advised that talks now being held may or may not lead to a formal offer being made for company.
Company news reports : Sainsbury, Costain, Persimmon, JD Sports
07/01/2010 - Company Reports - 0 Comments - 332 words
Against expectations, Sainsbury actually recorded a strong third quarter Christmas performance in which like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose by 3.7% but it was expansion into non-food areas also helped bouy the profits by growing at over four times the rate of food in the quarter, offsetting lower food price inflation.
Sainsbury retains number three position in the sector and recorded over 16 million registered loyalty card holders - Sainsbury Nectar Card. Company warned of continued challenging consumer environment but confirmed that company continues to be well placed to make good progress in 2010.
Costain the engineering and construction group said trading during 2009 remained in-line with the board's expectations and the forward order book was up 30% on the previous year. Company has in-excess of £100m in cash and continues to fullfill contracts for leading UK business "whose major spending plans are underpinned by strategic national priorities in chosen sectors." Chief executive Andrew Wyllie commented that Costain takes strong order book and pipeline of opportunities into 2010."
Housebuilder Persimmon who remains cautious on mortgage availability and the wider economic situation reported a rise in completed home sales in second half of 2009. The firm also reported progress in cash generation and reduced debt from £1.2bn in first quarter 2008 to about £270m by the end of 2009. Company continues in 2010 to invest in new developments and agreed terms to acquire about 3,000 plots in the later months of 2009, mostly in the south. Forward sales into 2010 are up about 40% on last year.
JD Sports the high street Sports fashion retailer expects full-year profits to be directly affected by extent of current adverse weather conditions but commented that in principle full-year profits will be expected to exceed earlier expections. Company also reported that Christmas trading period has been good generally and particularly progress within the Sports Fascias and Fashion Fascia arms of the business. Chairman Peter Cowgill paid tribute to the 'hard work of employees throughout the business.'
Company news reports : Cadbury's, EasyJet, Domino's Pizza and UK Coal
06/01/2010 - Company Reports - 0 Comments - 307 words
Cadbury shareholders have shown little appetite for a bid from US foods giant Kraft Foods. Kraft has advised that it is to announce revised terms for Cadbury bid by 19 January 2010. Revised terms expected to include a partial cash alternative that will allow shareholders to take a more cash and fewer Kraft shares in return for their Cadbury holdings.
easyJet, still raising eyebrows because of its unusual flights pricing structure flew nearly 10% more passengers (9.3%) in December than the same month in 2008. Passenger numbers increased to just under 3.4m from 3.1m in December 2008 and easyJet said the load factor - percentage of full passanger load, increased to 85.4% from 82.3% but easyJet advised higher fuel cost have halved the full-year pre-tax profit.
Domino’s Pizza expects full year figures to be ahead of expectations. Like for like sales rose 8.6%, the same as in the same period a year earlier, making the growth figure for the year as a whole 8.4%.
Chief executive Chris Moore commented ‘We have been up against some very tough comparatives during the year, which makes these figures even more pleasing. The success of Britain's Got Talent, the use of short-term tactical promotions and our continued focus on building our online sales have been major drivers during the year’.
UK Coal has reported that 2009 production was at the lower end of November expectations. Commenting on Daw Mill mine cost company said that mitigating action is being taken, including operating cost reductions and the extraction of additional tonnage off the existing production face in the first several weeks of the New Year.
UK Coal also announced the appointment of Gareth Williams as Mining Director who will join the board in February 2010. Williams who has 30 years experience in coal mining industries previously worked for Anglo Coal, part of Anglo American.