Severfield – 75.2p

26 November – interim results

The structural steel group has announced results for the six-month period ended 30 September 2019.  Revenue slipped to £131.7m (2018: £149.1m) and underlying profit before tax was £8.2m (2018: £13.1m) in line with expectations.  Underlying basic earnings per share were 2.27p versus 3.54p in the same period a year earlier.  The interim dividend is 1.1p per share (2018: 1.0p per share), reflecting a solid outlook.  Strong cash generation meant that net funds as at 30 September were £22.5m excluding IFRS 16 lease liabilities of £11.9m.  Net funds six months earlier were £25.1m.  The UK and Europe order book was £323m as at 1 November 2019 (1 June 2019: £295m)  and the India order book was £134m as at 1 November 2019 (1 June 2019: £134m).  After the period end leading structural steelwork business Harry Peers was acquired for net initial consideration of £18m, with contingent consideration of up to £7m potentially payable in the 2021 financial year.  This will provide a boost and we keep our BUY rating.

Northern Bear – 70.5p

25 November 2019 – interim results

Results for the six months ended 30 September 2019.  Revenue was £27.8m (2018: £28.6m) and operating profit £1.3m (2018: £1.7m), although adjusted operating profit was slightly better at £1.4m (2018: £1.7m).  Basic earnings per share were 5.4p (2018: 6.9p) and adjusted basic earnings per share 5.6p (2018: 7.4p).  Net bank debt was £0.7m as at 30 September 2019 versus net cash of £2.0m six months earlier and net bank debt of £0.3m as at 30 September 2018.  The company is optimistic about the outlook given stronger performance in the second quarter and a solid order book.  The shares look cheap and we keep our BUY rating.

Pressure Technologies – 93.5p

21 November 2019 – trading update

A trading update has been released for the financial year ended 30 September 2019, with results due out on 17 December.  Full year result are due to be in line with expectations.  Momentum continued in the second half of the year in both divisions, with full-year revenue and profit up on the prior year.  Full-year revenue in Chesterfield Special Cylinders up, with the phasing of key contracts benefitting the second half against forecast.  Precision Machined Components’ full-year order intake and revenue were both also higher than in the previous year.  A sharp rise in orders and the transition to a divisional operating structure had a greater impact on operational performance than expected, resulting in a lower than forecast improvement in return on sales for the second half and a higher than anticipated year-end order backlog.  There was higher working capital and a small increase in net banking facility debt at the year end versus the reported half-year position.  The companies appears to be upbeat and we believe the shares are good value.  BUY.

Dart Group – 1375p

21 November 2019 – interim results

In the six months to 30 September the company saw revenues increase by 16% to £2.6bn (2018: £2.2bn) although adjusted profit before tax rose by 3% to £350m (2018: 340m).  Earnings per share were 2% higher at 187p (2018: 183p) and the interim dividend was increased by 7% to 3.0p (2018: 2.8p).  The modest increase in profitability reflects a later booking pattern in the leisure travel business with customer demand strengthening throughout the summer season.  Net cash at the end of the period was £455m up from £302m a year earlier.  Although the second half will see a seasonal loss as usual the full year results are expected to be ahead of expectations.  Despite the increase in the share price we believe the shares are a HOLD.

Ramsdens Holdings – 195.5p

20 November 2019 – share price movement

The diversified financial services provider and jewellery retailer has noted the recent share price weakness and confirmed that it does not offer unsecured personal loans nor high-cost, short term credit loans as defined by the FCA.  Rival H&T Group is facing an FCA review into this practice and it appears that there has been a knock-on effect.  Ramsdens continues to trade in line with the expectations and results for the six months ended 30 September 2019 are due out on 3 December.  We remain impressed by the company and keep our BUY rating.

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