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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September 5, 2023

Johnsons cleans up

Macro & Overnight

US markets were closed for Labor Day.

China reported some weak PMI data, and Australia held policy rates unchanged.

UK Company News

Craneware reported that FY revenue increased by 5%, EBITDA increased by 6%, cash conversion was 92%, and customer retention was 90%. Post-period sales momentum and a growing pipeline have led to a positive start to trading in the new financial year.

Ecora reported H1 revenue of $42.7 million (H1 2022: $93.2 million) and EPS of 9.06c (H1 2022: 28.08c). Its lower portfolio contribution followed a record outcome in 2022. It is undertaking a multiyear transition in its commodities mix aimed at income growth from a portfolio of royalties exposed to future-facing commodities with the potential to generate over US$100m annual portfolio contribution in the medium term.

Gamma Communications reported that H1 Revenue and gross profit grew by 9%, supported by targeted price rises. Its higher-than-usual cash conversion at 101% was primarily due to favourable working capital movements. Growth is expected to continue into the second half, and adjusted EBITDA and EPS are now anticipated to be in the top half of the range of market expectations. See note here

Headlam reported H1 Revenue up 2.5% in a challenging market backdrop with UK volumes 5% lower, with a PBT of £6.0 million (H1 2022: £17.3 million). FY 2023 expectations are unchanged despite macroeconomic and industry headwinds likely to continue in 2024. 

Johnson Service H1 revenue increased by 22.0% with profit before taxation of £16.4 million (June 2022: £11.2 million). The FY outturn is expected to be slightly ahead of current market expectations. It is launching a further share buyback programme of up to £10.0 million.

JSG’s performance from the lows of lockdown has been well executed despite volatile demand in HORECA and spiking energy costs. 

Luceco H1 results reported revenue down 5%, with EPS -13.8%. Customer stocking has appeared to return to normal levels, and non-residential demand continues its favourable trend. Cost pressures have subsided, and it now expects FY 2023 adjusted operating profit to show clear progress on last year, above the current range of market expectations.

Restore has re-appointed its CEO, who left in 2019. 

STV H1 revenue of £75.3m, +21% versus 2022. The studio division is scaling rapidly. See note here

Wetherspoon‘s founder chairman bought c £7m worth of shares yesterday, taking his holding to just under 25%.  

Prognosticator 

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