Finance Friday – a brief look at this week’s finance and investor news from around the UK
Despite a 4% increase in revenue, driven by a 9% increase in average selling prices, the cost of customer redress, higher investment and rising build costs meant Bovis’ half year operating profit fell 28% to £45.8m. The interim dividend remains unchanged at 15p per share.
However, the main focus was the group’s strategic review. Bovis’ new CEO Greg Fitzgerald says that good progress is already being made in turning the business around, and he is confident the operational issues facing the business are all ‘very fixable’. The shares rose 5.2% on the news.
July’s trading statement had already confirmed the year to 30 June 2017 was another strong one for Barratt Developments. There was therefore little to surprise investors in the full year results, although the group did confirm the final dividend increased 39% to 17.1p per share. This, together with a special dividend of 17.3p per share, is set to be paid in November. In a weak market on the morning of results, the shares fell 2.7%.
A brief trading update covering the first half of the year shows revenue rose 4.8% at Halfords, driven by a strong performance in the Retail division. Like-for-like (LFL) revenues rose 2.7%. The shares rose 1.9% following the announcement.
EMIS saw revenues rise 1% in the first half of the year to £79.2m, with underlying operating profits of £17.5m down 1%. The interim dividend increases 10% to 12.9p per share. The shares fell 2.2% following the announcement.
First half revenues of £1.2bn were up 1% across the combined Ladbrokes and Coral businesses, as a strong digital performance offset weaker UK retail. Group operating profits rose 7% to £158.3m, with digital again leading the way. An interim dividend of 2p was announced alongside results (2016: 1p). The shares rose 2.2% in early trading.
Petrofac saw revenue and underlying profits slip in the first half, respectively down 20% and 41% on a year earlier. The order backlog has fallen from $14.3bn at 31 December to $12.5bn. The interim dividend has been cut in order to protect the balance sheet, and now stands at 12.7 cents per share (2016: 22 cents). The shares fell 1.2% in early trading.