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EARNINGS: Andrews Sykes revenue up; Safestay optimistic

26th Sep 2023 12:12

(Alliance News) - The following is a round-up of earnings by London-listed companies, issued on Tuesday and not separately reported by Alliance News:

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Andrews Sykes Group PLC - Wolverhampton-based heating and air-conditioning firm - Revenue in six months to June 30 rises 2.5% on-year to GBP38.8 million from GBP37.9 million. Pretax profit is 19% higher at GBP10.1 million from GBP8.5 million. Maintains ordinary interim dividend at 11.90 pence per share. In addition, it declares a 59.40p per share special payout, up from 16.60p a year earlier. It adds: "In addition to the interim dividend, the board has assessed the company's ongoing cash requirements and has concluded that, as a result of the company's robust cash generation and de-risking of the defined benefit pension scheme, a portion of the current cash reserves are surplus to the company's requirements. The board has therefore decided to return this surplus capital to Andrews Sykes shareholders." Andrew Sykes cautions that trading so far in its second half "has been more mixed". "Whilst extreme summer temperatures in Southern Europe positively impacted demand for the group's chillers in Italy, a more subdued summer season in the UK has limited the overall positive impact for the group. Overall, Management remains confident of delivering full year results in line with the board's expectations," it adds.

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Safestay plc - hostels operator - Reports "strong demand" from not only young travellers, but families and business travellers too. Revenue in the six months to June 30 rises 44% to GBP10.5 million from GBP7.3 million a year earlier. Revenue tops the GBP8.1 million achieved in the first half of 2019, prior to the pandemic. However, pretax loss widens to GBP1.0 million from GBP339,000. Administrative expenses are 38% higher at GBP7.9 million from GBP5.8 million. Finance costs climb to GBP1.7 million from GBP960,000. Safestay says sales in summer were higher on-year, rising 11% in July and 16% in August. In addition, forward bookings for remainder of 2023 are significantly ahead of prior year. It adds: "We are very pleased with the progression of the business since we were allowed to re-open post pandemic. Arguably, the group is better positioned than before, having had to rebuild the business and done so with the benefit of doing something for the second time. Our trading results for the first half of the year and the first two months of the summer show we are comfortably on track for the year and that we are well placed to continue to increase occupancy and average bed rate into 2024."

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Digitalbox PLC - Bath-based digital media and owner of brands such as Daily Mash, The Poke and The Tab - Revenue in first half of 2023 falls 34% to GBP1.2 million from GBP1.9 million. Pretax loss widens to GBP279,000 from GBP220,000. Chief Executive James Carter comments: "We continue to see gains being delivered by Digitalbox's highly-optimised Graphene Ad Stack. The technology has enabled us to outperform the digital programmatic ad market. Despite the first half seeing an advertising downturn across the UK, our brands delivered session value trends ahead of these conditions. Pleasingly, we have seen The Poke evolve to a position where it is making a strong financial contribution each month."

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Animalcare Group PLC - York-based veterinary drugmaker - Revenue in half-year ended June 30 declines 4.1% to GBP36.7 million from GBP38.3 million a year prior. Animalcare reports "return to pre-pandemic levels of demand growth and sales". Pretax profit falls 31% to GBP2.4 million from GBP3.4 million. Animalcare maintains interim dividend at 2.0 pence per share. Company adds: "We are pleased to have delivered improved gross margins and increased cash conversion for the first half while recognising the revenue effects of a market that has returned to a more normalised level of growth. We anticipate an improvement in our second half performance versus FY 2022 and with it, a return to revenue growth for the full year and [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation] to be also in line with market expectations."

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NIOX Group PLC - Oxford-based developer of medical devices for asthma diagnosis and management - Revenue in first half of 2023 rises 21% to GBP18.8 million from GBP15.5 million a year earlier. However, pretax profit declines around two-thirds to GBP2.9 million from GBP8.9 million. In the prior financial year, Niox booked a one-off GBP8.1 million gains relating to a recognition of the settlement consideration due from Beyond Air. Beyond Air had been granted US Food & Drug Administration approval for the LungFit PH product back in June 2022. Niox previously surrendered its rights to LungFit in exchange for USD10.5 million paid in instalments after the FDA approved the product. Niox had paid a special dividend of 2.5p per share earlier in September, and it adds that it plans to declare a final dividend. Niox did not pay a dividend in 2022. Executive Chair Ian Johnson adds: "The group is now in a strong financial position to deploy its cash resources to invest in creating further demand for its products and in developing next generation devices, including a home-use device. Trading in July and August has been in line with management expectations. While the value of reported sales is subject to fluctuation as a result of exchange rate movements, the impact of this on Ebitda is not expected to be significant and the board remains confident of achieving management expectations for the full year, which were significantly upgraded in July, and in prospects for 2024 and beyond."

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Petards Group PLC - Guildford-based firm which develops security and surveillance applications for rail, traffic, and defence - Swings to pretax loss of GBP500,000 in six months to June 30, from profit of GBP101,000 million a year prior. Revenue falls 20% to GBP4.4 million from GBP5.5 million. Chair Raschid Abdullah warns: "The first half of 2023 proved to be challenging, and while the board is confident of an improved performance in second half year, it now believes that it is likely that the outturn for the year will be below current market expectations."

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Journeo PLC - Leicestershire-based transport system services provider - Revenue in six months to June 30 up more than double to GBP21.8 million from GBP8.9 million a year earlier. Pretax profit jumps to GBP1.7 million from GBP167,000. "I am delighted with the results for the six months ended 30 June 2023. Journeo underwent a step-change during the period, delivering a strong performance on a like-for-like basis as we grow our sales pipeline and increase the number of valuable recurring revenue connections to our SaaS cloud-based solutions. The acquisition of Infotec is accelerating Journeo's growth into the rail market, complementing our fleet operator and passenger infrastructure systems and providing us with opportunities that would previously have been inaccessible to us." Chief Executive Officer Russ Singleton says. "The second half started strongly with an order book of GBP27 million which has been enhanced by further contract awards and a GBP55 million sales pipeline, as well as the acquisition of MultiQ, strengthening our position in the Nordic region. We are focused on continuing this momentum while integrating the two businesses and are confident in meeting our financial targets for the year end."

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Active Energy Group PLC - London-headquartered biomass-focused renewable energy firm - Reports no revenue in first half of 2023, unchanged from prior year. Swings to pretax loss of USD2.7 million from a profit of USD1.8 million. Active Energy reports a USD1.1 million foreign exchange loss, compared with a gain of USD3.2 million a year prior. Saw first-half progress in its intellectual property portfolio. Patents and trademarks for CoalSwitch technology awarded in the US, Canada and Europe, including the UK. In addition, more trademark applications have commenced in the US and throughout Asia.

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By Eric Cunha, Alliance News news editor

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