Market Prognosis

A concise summary of the major macro events of the past 24 hours, and selected UK company-specific news.

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May 16, 2023

Dependable Greggs

UK Company News

Among large-cap companies, Vodafone announced 11 000 layoffs, while Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway has been buying shares in Diageo

Angling Direct, the specialist fishing tackle and equipment retailer, reported FY results and significant Board changes. Last year its revenue increased by 2.2% to £74.1m, with store sales +6.8%. L4L sales were flat, mainly disrupted by the hot summer. UK online sales, representing 90% of total online sales, decreased by 4.8%. The key European territories of Germany, France and The Netherlands grew 32.3%. G Margins were down 190 bps to 34.8%. Operating cash flow was positive £1.5m, with a strong balance sheet and net cash position of £14.1m. Q1 FY24 sales growth was +11.0%, with growth across all channels. It sees the opportunity to gain market share in a weakening competitor landscape.

Boohoo reported FY revenue -11%, G Profit -14%, and EPS -100%, with net cash +£4.6m. FY 24 revenues are expected to be flat to -5% compared to the prior year. Revenues are expected to decline by 10% to 15% due to a focus on profitable growth. It also said that profits should benefit from cost deflation in our supply chain.

Commercial LED vendor, Dialight updated that margins remain under pressure due to component price inflation and destocking pressures. However, its expectations for the year remain unchanged, with performance now more significantly weighted to the second half.

FX and payments provider, Equals updated that its investment in platform solutions has been successful, and its solutions revenues have risen by 102% to £8.8 million. Gross profit margins have also increased to above 50%, a 300bps increase. Overall, Equals saw significant revenue growth. Total revenue in the three months to 15 May was £32.7m, an increase of 47%. 

Essentra, the plastic goods supplier, updated and remains confident in delivering adjusted operating profit for the first half of the year in line with its expectations, and the 2023 full-year outlook remains unchanged.

FDM, the IT services supplier, updated that issues in the banking and finance sector have resulted in softer trading across its operating territories in the second quarter, delaying some client decisions around consultant placements. Expectations for the Group’s financial performance for the year are unchanged. 

Brick producer Forterra reported that its expectations for the year remain unchanged based upon an underlying fall in full-year market demand of 20% relative to 2022. It expects market conditions to improve as the year progresses, citing that brick imports have begun to fall sharply and housebuilder reservation rates provide cause for optimism. Its results for the year will be weighted towards H2, reflecting the anticipated improvement in market conditions.

Due to ongoing issues with pig production in China, the Genus Board anticipates that the Group’s profit before tax will now be lower than its previous expectations for the year.

Greggs reported 17.1% LFL sales growth and no change in cost inflation expectations. Its expectations for the full-year outcome are unchanged, albeit disposable incomes will likely stay under pressure. It remains confident that its value proposition is compelling.

Greggs benefits from consumers trading down to its scale economies shared model. 

Likewise, the floor covering distributor reported a sales increase of 104.4% to £123.6m. Profit increased 84.8% to £2.56, and distribution capacity nearly doubled. Revenue for the first four months of 2023 showed a further increase of 17.8%, and the Group remains in line with the current market consensus. It should continue to increase its market share.

Prognosticator 

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