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SMALL-CAP WINNERS & LOSERS: DFS Furniture gains share of weak market

21st Sep 2023 09:40

(Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers among London Main Market small-caps on Thursday.

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SMALL-CAP - WINNERS

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DFS Furniture PLC, up 4.9% 112.45p, 12-month range 101p-170p. The sofa retailer continues to win UK market share in a "very tough market" during its financial year, which ended on June 25, and outlines a path to improving margins. DFS says revenue from continuing operations fell 5.2% year-on-year to GBP1.09 billion from GBP1.15 billion, as pretax profit slumps 49% to GBP29.7 million from GBP58.5 million. Underlying profit before tax and brand amortisation is GBP30.6 million, which is in line with its interim guidance. DFS expects underlying profit before tax and brand amortisation to improve by a low single-digit percentage in financial 2024 to a GBP30 million to GBP35 million range. This assumes market volumes fall 5%, DFS notes. "We are confident the market will recover; however we can't predict how quickly that will happen. We have a clear route to a 5% [profit before tax] margin without market recovery, supported by further margin improvement, new cost efficiencies, and continued growth in Home," DFS says.

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Oxford BioMedica PLC, up 5.4% at 283.50 pence, 12-month range 236.50-575.00p. The cell and gene therapy company adds to Wednesday's gains after it announced exclusive talks with Institut Meriueux SA about buying ABL Europe, a pure-play European contract development and manufacturing organization. As part of the deal, Institut Merieux would become one of its major shareholders. The stock is down 16% over the past month however.

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SMALL-CAP - LOSERS

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James Fisher & Sons PLC, down 2.5% at 345.14p, 12-month range 241p-427.5p. The marine services swings to a pretax loss in the first half of 2023 of GBP4.4 million from a profit of GBP5.2 million a year before. This comes despite revenue rising 17% GBP252.0 million from GBP215.0 million. The loss is due to GBP9.3 million in refinancing legal and advisory costs, as well as higher interest rates, offsetting a positive operating performance, James Fisher explains. "All three divisions delivered revenue and profit growth against the first half of 2022, with a particularly strong increase seen in the Energy division," says CEO Jean Vernet. Trading in July and August is in line with its expectations, and James Fisher leaves its full-year expectations unchanged.

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By Elizabeth Winter, Alliance News senior markets reporter

Comments and questions to [email protected]

Copyright 2023 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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