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TRADING UPDATES: Marston's optimistic; Nichols sales get Vimto boost

26th Jul 2023 17:02

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

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Develop North PLC - leading provider of property development finance - Net asset value per share as at May 31 falls to 79.81 pence from 83.08p a year prior. Declares 2.0p per share interim dividend for the half-year to May 31, unchanged from a year ago. NAV total return is 0%, down from 0.2% return a year ago. Looking ahead, Chair John Newlands says: "We now see building sites coming to life, cranes moving, old projects re-starting and new schemes being placed on the drawing board. Under its much more dynamic and appropriate new name of Develop North, the company stands ready to move on to the next phase of its life."

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Palace Capital PLC - London-based investor in commercial real estate - Says since April 1, has disposed of eleven investment properties for GBP57.9 million, 6.4% higher than the March 31 book value. Further, since April, three new lettings, three lease renewals and two rent reviews have been completed across 45,000 square feet of space generating GBP500,000 of additional annualised contracted rent, 2% ahead of March 31 estimated rental value. Interim Executive Chair Steven Owen says: "At an operational level, the company continues to make good progress with its asset management activities notwithstanding the difficult and uncertain conditions in financial and property markets. We remain focused on maximising returns to shareholders through active asset management and the orderly, selective, and timely disposal of properties."

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Breedon Group PLC - Derby, England-based construction materials firm - In the first six months of 2023, pretax profit declines to GBP56.5 million from GBP59.5 million a year ago. Basic earnings per share fall to 13.0 pence from 14.5p. Revenue grows 11% to GBP742.7 million from GBP671.1 million. Cost of sales increase to GBP505.2 million from GBP449.2 million, while administrative expenses rise to GBP60.4 million from GBP49.0 million. Looking ahead, company says it is well-positioned for the second half of the year, as it is trading in line with its own expectations. CEO Rob Wood says: "The long-term structural dynamics driving infrastructure spending and housebuilding in GB and Ireland have not changed. To ensure we can efficiently and sustainably meet long-term demand for our essential construction materials, we have re-doubled our focus on those factors under our control; keeping our people safe and well while minimising the cost of production and maximising the value of the extensive portfolio of assets we own and acquire".

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Marston's PLC - Wolverhampton, England-based pub operator - In the 42 weeks to July 22, like-for-like sales climb 11% annually, boosted by "strong" drink and food sales. In the 16 weeks to July 22, like-for-like sales were also 11% higher than a year ago, noting warmer weather. Looking ahead, CEO Andrew Andrea says: "Whilst macro-economic challenges persist for the time being, we remain encouraged by the group's trading resilience and that the pub remains an affordable treat for our guests. An improving cost outlook, together with the actions we are taking to maximise efficiencies, leaves Marston's well-placed to navigate through ongoing economic headwinds".

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Nichols PLC - Newton Le Willows, England-based soft drinks manufacturer - In the six months to June 30, pretax profit grows 11% to GBP11.2 million from GBP10.1 million a year prior, boosted by Vimto. Revenue climbs 6.6% to GBP85.5 million from GBP80.2 million. Declares 12.6p per share interim dividend, up 1.6% from 12.4p a year ago. Looking ahead, CEO Andrew Milne says 2023 pretax profit will be in line with expectations, which is an adjusted company-compiled market consensus pretax profit of GBP25.2 million, up marginally from GBP25.0 million.

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Enwell Energy PLC - Ukraine-focused oil and gas exploration and production company - Total gas production at its licences in Ukraine in the second quarter of 2023 increases to 11.2 million standard cubic feet per day from 10.7 mmscfd a year ago. Condensate production declines to 388 barrels per day from 421, while aggregate barrels of oil per day improve to 2,659 barrels of oil equivalent per day from 2,478. "The ongoing war in Ukraine continues to cause disruption to operations at the Company's fields," company notes. Meanwhile, Mekhediviska-Golotvshinska gas licence and Svystunivsko-Chervonolutskyi exploration licences are suspended by Ukrainian authorities since May 4, which "caused additional, and severe, disruption to the company's operations".

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Gresham House PLC - alternative asset manager - Assets under management as at June 30 rise to GBP8.3 billion from GBP7.8 billion at December 31, ahead of firm's financial and strategic plan. Firm expects adjusted operating profit and margin to be in line with own expectations for the half-year to June 30 and for 2023.

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By Tom Budszus, Alliance News reporter

Comments and questions to [email protected]

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