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TRADING UPDATES: Luceco says first-half ahead of expectations

18th Jul 2023 18:12

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

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Luceco PLC - London-based supplier of wiring accessories, electric vehicle chargers, LED lighting, and portable power products - Says the first half of 2023 was ahead of its expectations despite revenue falling 5.0% year-on-year to GBP101 million. Blames this on the current economic environment which it says reduces residential RMI spending. Notes that post-pandemic customer destocking appears to have ended. Interim adjusted operating profit is expected to be no less GBP10.5 million. Adds that adjusted operating profit for the full-year is expected towards the upper end of current market expectations, assuming demand continues at its current levels. Consensus sees adjusted operating profit at GBP20.3 million within a range of GBP19.2 million to GBP21.9 million. "It is encouraging to again see our gross profit margin improving and reassuring that our order book supports a good outlook for [the third quarter]. Material and freight cost pressures continue to ease on the whole, but wage pressures remain. We are excited by a number of product developments which provide us with good medium and long-term opportunities for growth, particularly within the EV business," comments Chief Executive John Hornby.

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Midwich Group PLC - Norfolk, England-based specialist audio visual distributor to the trade market - Says trading in the first half of 2023 was "strong" with "record" revenue and adjusted pretax profit. Revenue is expected to be in excess of GBP610 million, up 7.5% year-on-year. Adjusted pretax profit is expected at GBP21.5 million, up 14% year-on-year. Gross margin improves to 16.3%, its highest level since the previous record in 2019. Explains that the continued recovery in the live events market was partially offset by slower corporate and education markets. Notes trading the Europe, Middle East and Africa region was strong, with revenue up 14% year-on-year. Meanwhile, revenue performance in the UK & Ireland was "marginally" below the year prior. "With order books remaining healthy, unless general economic conditions deteriorate significantly, the board expects the momentum seen in [the first half of] 2023 to continue throughout the remainder of the year. As a result, the board continues to expect trading performance for the full year to be in line with its previous expectations before the positive contribution from the three acquisitions completed in July," the company says. Midwich will announce its interim results on September 5.

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Petra Diamonds Ltd - Southern Africa-focused diamond miner and supplier - Reiterates annual production guidance to increase by up to one million carats in financial 2025, supported by the operational turnaround underway at Finsch and the restart of Williamson ahead of schedule. Expects additional 300,000 carat increase for financial 2026. In financial 2023, ended June 30, production totalled 2.7 million carats, down from 3.4 million carats the year prior and marginally below previous guidance. Production in the final quarter of the financial year dips 5% from the previous quarter to 620,018 carats due to lower grades at the Cullinan mine and at Finsch. Reports full-year revenue of USD328.4 million, down 44% from USD584.1 million the year prior.

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Adriatic Metals PLC - Precious and base metal exploration and development company focused on Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia - Reports final assays for inclusion in the Rupice Northwest 2023 resource estimate have been received. The RNW lower zone continues to be extended with high grades persisting. High grade gold and copper intersections continue to be returned from the RNW lower zone with maintained high zinc, lead, silver grades including, 5.50 metres at 1,326.9 grams per tonne of silver equivalent or 42.7% zinc equivalent. Says exploration drilling will continue after the release of the 2023 Rupice and RNW resource estimate. "The final assays continued to extend and confirm the robustness of the RNW mineralisation high grades, as well as the continuity of grade and the spatial distribution of metal. The western extent of RNW is an exciting area of new development opportunity," says Chief Executive Paul Cronin.

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Anexo Group PLC - Liverpool-based specialist integrated credit hire and legal services provider - Says its legal services subsidiary, Bond Turner, has achieved a "ground-breaking" ruling in the UK Court of Appeal regarding the ability to claim the cost of an interpreter as a disbursement in a case wherein fixed costs apply. Ruling asserts that a claimant who is unable to fully speak or understand the language of legal proceedings was vulnerable because "his ability to participate in proceedings, or to give his best evidence, may be impaired". Judgement means that Bond Turner and other solicitors who act for parties who are vulnerable, by virtue of language, will be able to recover the costs of an interpreter from the party at fault for causing them loss and damage. Chair Alan Sellers says: "We are delighted that the Court of Appeal has recognised the importance of ensuring that our clients have the best possible opportunity to pursue their claims fully and clearly, and in doing so have upheld the ancient common law principle that one should take your victim as you find them."

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Unbound Group PLC - Skelmersdale, England-based parent company, selling a range of brands focused on the over 55 age demographic - Says the administrators of its main operating subsidiary, Beaconsfield Footwear Ltd, have completed the sale of the business and assets of the subsidiary to Buckminster Hamilton Ltd, an entity controlled by WoolOvers Group Ltd, for a total cash consideration of GBP6.7 million. Says that the completion of this sale is not expected to result in any value attributable to the company's existing shareholders.

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DSW Capital PLC - Warrington, England-based owner of the Dow Schofield Watts brand, a financial advisory firm - Chief Executive James Dow buys 109,334 shares at a price of 68.5 pence each for a total of GBP74,894 on Tuesday. Following the purchase, Dow holds a 15.5% interest in the company.

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Argo Blockchain PLC - London-based cryptocurrency miner - Intends to conduct a placing of 47.8 million shares at a price of 10 pence each. Notes the placing price represents a discount of 26% discount to the closing price of its shares on Tuesday. Company also intends to make an offer on the PrimaryBid platform at the same placing price to provide retail investors an opportunity to participate in the equity fundraise. The proceeds of the proposed placing and retail offer will be used to reduce the company's outstanding indebtedness and to pursue strategic growth projects, it explains. Company currently has GBP59.1 million of debt outstanding.

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By Heather Rydings, Alliance News senior economics reporter

Comments and questions to [email protected]

Copyright 2023 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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