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We had feared roaring raw material prices as well as energy costs might have strongly weighed on SGL’s Q3 figures, but we were wrong. The company dealt quite successfully with them by (partly) passing them on. But, we believe, this will become more difficult in Q4. Nevertheless, the reported figures were better than expected.
Luckily, SGL missed its ‘usual’ period for making impairments, which is positive in our view.
Companies: SGL Carbon SE
How can a guidance upgrade exclude higher raw material prices in a time of price inflation. Then, only some days later, price inflation was used partly to explain the held-back profitability development. This does not bode too well in our view.
The H1 report showed the expected business recovery in some parts of the company and a vibrant improvement in profitability, but not in all divisions.
SGL released preliminary figures, which are quite positive and made management so enthusiastic that it lifted the guidance. The top line is expected to be marginally up (+3%), but the EBITDA before one-offs target is lifted by +23% as well as a positive net result. This upgrade looks impressive and is a positive surprise. We are struggling a bit in understanding the stronger profit increase compared to the EBITDA one.
SGL benefited from its cost cutting programme, reporting higher profitability. What is helpful is the higher granularity of its businesses, but we believe management’s focus on the adjusted EBITDA as KPI puts a disadvantageous figure into the lime-light.
The reported figures were slightly ahead our expectations.
The FY figures were finally not too bad after the new management had surprisingly made another impairment, ending up at the upper end of its guidance.
In essence, there might be another loss-making year to come, which is already in our estimates, but even more meaningful to us is management’s commitment to deliver on its promises and it has to acquiesce to be tackled about its targets, which we see may not be quite so easy to reach.
...but there will not be much fun in Q4. The Q3 preliminary figures had already been released and the report was only an obligatory act as long as the updated five-year-plan is not published. What we have understood so far is that SGL will be in restructuring mode until 2022. We believe management should act faster (before the release of the annual report) as uncertainty is a slow poison.
The main question is, is this the final one? Under the former CFO who has since stepped down, the company booked a substantial impairment in CFM during 2019 and, precisely one year later, the new management has made a second substantial impairment for similar reasons. In our view, it is legitimate to ask whether the new view on the business is now realistic. Only the future will tell. The timing is well chosen.
It works! However, it will not play out for SGL, but we still see a tiny chance that the company jumps on our idea, Si4C, on which we have elaborated for quite a while. Currently, this could limit SGL’s future perspectives.
As we have seen many times in this crisis, a single segment or industry can not offset the weakness of a handful. This was also true for SGL’s Q2. Despite Digitization, customers from all other industries showed resistance to buying to different degrees with various (negative) impacts on sales and profitability.
As the company had already released some preliminary figures and had given a FY guidance, the report provided only more details, also regarding the guidance.
SGL’s new CEO took the helm in challenging times and he is known, as we also cover Lanxess, to be able to sort things out. But can he turn this tide? We do not think so as the issues come from outside and there are no internal ones like in 2019. Nevertheless, he made a strong statement by giving a FY guidance, where other (bigger) companies flinched.
SGL’s operations had been or are suffering from the ongoing restrictions. There is a long list of sites, where short-time work and other measures are currently implemented, which reduce personnel expenses. Having cancelled FY guidance in early April, things seem to be even more severe as the company already started to gather cash and management guides for a negative recurring EBIT in Q2 and said nothing about the rest of the year.
We hope management is still in the seat and can ‘translate’ the forward strategy into sustainable growth and earnings momentum. The provided information and the announced new mid-term targets give a first idea of the (positive?) future growth momentum. SGL highlights the stronger product pipeline, which is expected to foster the momentum. We see some disconnect between the new plan, which looks achievable, and efforts to change the mindset, which seems to have become a key component for future
As expected, SGL reported a mixed set of figures with lower profitability (a notch below our expectations). The changes of the sales to customer industries showed strong demand from digitalisation while good demand from Chemicals and Energy more than offset Mobility’s weaker demand.
Various effects impacted SGL’s Q1 figures with a good ending for GMS. CFM was also good news as it reported a black zero. All in all, everything is in line with expectations and nothing unusual popped up. After all the difficult times, the spectacular point is that Q1 was unspectacular.
SGL Carbon reported stronger than expected FY 2018 figures, but the given 2019 outlook fits better with our moderate expectations for the year due to planned investments. We value the latter as positive as the investments will be made in the right industries (e.g. LED, batteries) and in the transformation of the automotive industry.
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Companies: Gattaca plc
Further international potential for the deployment of Powerhouse’s waste to hydrogen technology is emerging in the form of a LoI between partner Hydrogen International and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Clearly this is a strong partner and we identified Japan is a strong area of opportunity in our view.
Companies: Powerhouse Energy Group PLC
Mpac, the specialist high-speed packaging and automation solutions provider, supporting the roll-out of next-generation technologies, has today (12 January 2022) published a FY21F trading update (Y/E December). Overall, despite the operational challenges, Mpac’s high-quality, agile and resilient business model has come to the fore. The Group has reported year-on-year (yoy) growth in order intake, revenue and adj. PBT; its ‘One Mpac’ business model continues to progress strongly, in our view. As
Companies: Mpac Group PLC
JOHN MENZIES+ (MNZS, BUY at 315p) – Note Publication: Evolutionary trends…
MARKS & SPENCER+ (MKS, HOUSE STOCK at 253p) Q3 TS – FY22 guidance firmed up, c5% underlying upgrade
NORTHBRIDGE INDUSTRIAL SERVICES+ (NBI, House Stock at 174p) - Further progress in Tasman disposal
BUNZL^ (BNZL, BUY at 2723p) – Note published: Solid strategic outlook
TESCO^ (TSCO, BUY at 292p) Q3 & Christmas TS – a beat to expectations and so further FY22 upgrades (c5%)
HILTON FOOD G
Companies: IDEA BRK ASC PFG MAB HFG TSCO BNZL NBI MKS MNZS
The Group has issued an in-line trading update for the first half of the current financial year and confirmed period end net cash (pre-IFRS 16) of £22.5m. Avingtrans has also announced that it has increased its shareholding in Adaptix to 11.9% at a cost of £1.5m. Adaptix and Magnetica have product launch plans that are convergent and there is clear benefit in the companies working in close collaboration as they bring about a transformation in (small-scale) diagnostic imaging. The funds are to be
Companies: Avingtrans plc
Companies: Ilika plc
Companies: Kier Group plc
Plant Health Care and Wilbur Ellis hosted a joint webinar to discuss the strategic partnership. We highlight our key takeaways below, all excellent in our view. We see 2022 as the inflection year for PHC. We expect upward pressure to current forecasts, good news flow from Brazil on the launch of Saori and US registration of PHC279 as well as increasing penetration in Europe. The scale of key distribution partners is a massive endorsement. Buy
Companies: Plant Health Care PLC
Trading through Q3 and into Q4 to date has proven to be strong and not blunted by any of the headwinds that management held caution against at the time of reporting its Interims (on 1 December). Taylor Maxwell, and within that its timber merchanting division, has outperformed expectations and consequently management is now guiding to FY22E EBITDA of at least £32m, 13% ahead of our previous estimate and a baseline for FY23E from which it can still feel confident of growing profits by 20% plus. Ma
Companies: Brickability Group PLC
Capital Limited has released its Q4 and FY2021 trading statement this morning. Overall, it shows 2021 was an outstanding year for the company with revenue growing an impressive 68% to $226.8m (above the latest guidance of US$220 -US$225 million) and most other operating metrics growing with it. The company enters 2022 with an ongoing tailwind from the commodity markets, the highest rig count in its history, Sukari at full speed and the MSALABS business at an inflection point for growth. In other
Companies: Capital Limited
Power reliability testing group Northbridge has today updated the market on the disposal of its Tasman oil drilling tools division. The exit from Malaysia and Singapore is now finalised and the exclusive discussions on the sale of the larger Australian and New Zealand units are progressing. The Board aims to give a more detailed update on this disposal within the next few weeks. Reflecting this process, the Tasman MD is standing down. Northbridge performance for 2021 remains in line with managem
Companies: Northbridge Industrial Services plc
We believe the narrative for the UK equity market remains very good. Some inflation appears embedded in markets and economic growth seems robust. We saw investors show caution into the end of 2021 and so have cash to deploy in our view. This has been corroborated by investor feedback we’ve had already this year. The UK equity market is materially cheaper than global equities on a relative basis so asset allocators have to be looking at UK equities while UK 2022 GDP growth is likely the best of t
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Companies: Wincanton plc
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Universe Group has left AIM following a takeover by Inform Information Systems Limited
What’s cooking in the IPO kitchen?
Hercules Site Services a technology enabled labour supply company for the UK infrastructure sector, intends to float on AIM. Hercules is seeking to raise approximately £5.5m to rapidly deliver on the significant demand it is experiencing for its diverse range of services across the UK infrastructure sector, including to scale up its operati
Companies: SPA AREC BBSN CCS EPWN GETB MRL ORPH PEN
Powerhouse’s development partner, HUI, has raised £3m which will help to secure development progress in Europe as well as fund cashflow to Powerhouse under the existing exclusivity agreement covering Poland, Greece and Hungary. We see the move as helping to de-risk progress outside the UK with HUI looking towards its first waste to hydrogen project at Konin in Poland as well as making early progress at a potential site in Bulgaria.