9 October 2019 – interim results

Interim results have revealed 5.6% growth in total revenues to £1.6bn in the six months to 31 August 2019, with like-for-like revenue growth of 2.3%.  Profit before tax was £16.1m (2018: £17.3m) with adjusted profit before tax of £17.1m (2018: £18.1m).  Diluted earnings per share fell from 3.65p to 3.48p.  The interim dividend was 0.6p per share, up 9.1% (2018: 0.55p).  Adjusted net cash was £29.1m at the period end versus £10.5m a year earlier, reflecting strong focus on working capital management.  The company is on track to meet expectations for the full year and on that basis the shares are cheap.  BUY.