In the wake of the EU referendum result, our view of the UK chemicals sector remains relatively upbeat. The companies we cover (Croda, Elementis, Scapa, Synthomer, Victrex, Zotefoams) generally have limited domestic exposure and plenty to gain on transactional and/or translational FX exposure. The main beneficiary of FX is Victrex, where as a rule of thumb, we would expect a 10% sterling devaluation to increase Group PBT by 10%, all else being equal. An isolated period of disruption/ contraction
Companies: VCT ELM SYNT CRDA
Our recent sector report (18th April) highlighted multiple headwinds facing the sector in H116: a subdued and recently downgraded global growth outlook; oil price volatility and a still-falling rig count; the potential for a hard landing in China; the Brexit vote and its implications for sterling. Nevertheless, we expect this to be a positive year for the UK sector, a view reinforced by recent commentary from all the stocks under our coverage. Our BUY ratings are Croda, Victrex and Zotefoams and
Companies: VCT ZTF ELM SCPA CRDA
Croda’s Q1 update reaffirms full year profit expectations as continued margin enhancement and mix offsets somewhat sluggish underlying sales trends. Reported sales increased by 7.7% (+9.8% in the three core sectors) and by 0.4% on an underlying basis. Profit growth in Q1 was achieved through a good performance in consumer markets and innovation driving margins (New and Protected Products +8.0%). Operating margins increased by 60 basis points. Despite pockets of good growth (Asia, Europe, NPP), u
Companies: Croda International Plc
Byotrol is an Aim-listed anti-microbial play which floated in 2005 and underwent reorganisation, including appointing experienced new management, in Q4 2013. We had an initial presentation from the company on its trading statement on 25th February and look forward to learning more. Byotrol’s USP is in developing and commercialising hygiene products with IP protection and superior characteristics, especially in terms of long-lasting action. Byotrol addresses the B2B market in areas like surface s
Companies: BYOT AGM ELM SCPA SYNT VCT ZTF PIM SYN ITX VRS CRDA
Amino Technologies (AMO LN) Contract extension with Vodafone Netherlands | Spirent Communications (SPT LN) Appointment of CFO | Zotefoams (ZTF LN) MuCell momentum building
Companies: AFRN AGM ELM SCPA SYNT VCT BYOT PIM SYN ITX VRS SPT ZTF CRDA
There are plenty of things to worry about at the start of 2016: a subdued and recently downgraded global growth outlook; oil price volatility and a still-falling rig count; the potential for a hard landing in China; the Brexit vote and its implications for sterling. Nevertheless, we think this should be a positive year for the UK chemicals sector. There is plenty of evidence that consumer-driven chemicals demand is picking up and, to a degree, offsetting weaker industrial demand. Meanwhile, a si
Companies: AGM ELM SCPA SYNT VCT ZTF BYOT PIM SYN ITX VRS CRDA
Croda is a company of the highest quality and in our view fully merits its premium rating. 2015 was a return to form with good growth in sales and PBT (constant currency PBT +8.8%) after two somewhat disappointing years. This was driven by an excellent contribution from Omega 3 and New and Protected Products more generally. NPP sales now account for 26% of Group, underpinning ongoing margin development. The 100p special dividend was the icing on the cake and the shares are still cum-div.
Augean (AUG LN) Site purchase to support ANSS contract | Croda International (CRDA LN) Impressive FY results, 100p special dividend confirmed | Dotdigital Group (DOTD LN) Matching ambition with delivery | Genus (GNS LN) H1’s: strong PIC performance but ABS impacted by weak dairy trends | Oxford BioMedica (OXB LN) Proposed £8.1m placing provides cash resources into H2 2016 | Spectris (SXS LN) Bolt-on acquisition of CAS Clean Air Service
Companies: AUG DOTD GNS SXS OXB CRDA
Croda has confirmed a good year of progress in 2015, a fraction ahead of our expectations. All key metrics show growth (CC sales +4.2%, PBT +8.8%), an impressive results in a challenging and unpredictable market environment. The main news in the statement is confirmation of a 100p special dividend (3.6% yield in isolation), reflecting the strength of the balance sheet and cash generative nature of the Group. Growth continues to be driven by innovation (New and Patent Protected Product sales grow
A solid Q3 update confirms modest sales growth in Q3 (+2.3%), driven by another strong performance from the Consumer sectors and from Life Sciences in particular (+7.3%) on the back of the pharma grade Omega 3 API launch in the US. Q3 margins were ahead of the prior year with growth of New and Protected Products (NPP) well ahead of overall sales. Full year expectations are reiterated on a constant currency basis, implying a modest currency related downgrade to forecasts.
Croda's interims strike a confident tone confirming a continued improvement in underlying sales, strong margins and 7% PBT growth. This was underpinned by record sales of New and Protected products. Life Sciences is again the stand out performer, reporting 15% revenue growth on the back of the Omega 3 product launch. Encouragingly, Q2 sales were ahead of Q1. Full year expectations are reiterated, despite tougher comps from H2. We expect to retain our forecasts. Croda is a Group of the highest qu
AMINO TECHNOLOGIES (AMO LN) Strong interims and transformative acquisition | AUGEAN (AUG LN) Strong H1 performance, in line with expectations | CARADOR INCOME FUND PLC (CIFU LN) NAV -0.4% in June, 2.5c dividend declared as expected | CELLO GROUP (CLL LN) On track | CRODA INTERNATIONAL PLC (CRDA LN) Confident interims confirm on track for a return to growth | MOBILE STREAMS (MOS LN) FY’15 profits and cash in-line | RENOLD (RNO LN) Q1 trading a little disappointing | SCAPA GROUP PLC (SCPA LN)
Companies: AFRN AUG CLL MOS RNO SCPA VCT CRDA
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AGM’s prelims detail a year of progress with encouraging advancements on both commercial and development fronts. Importantly, the distribution network has expanded further; additional distributors (Turkey and South Korea) have been added. Sales for the year grew by 48% to £0.1m, while EBITDA losses were flat YoY (£3.1m). Looking ahead, AGM has identified the large, and fast growing green energy market as an area of focus. Positively, projects have already commenced. Net cash was £6.3m, and gives
Companies: Applied Graphene Materials Plc
Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) is an advanced materials group with world leading expertise in the production and commercialisation of graphene and graphene dispersions. Although reporting year-on-year (yoy) revenue growth of 48%, these remain very modest at £123k for the full year. Collaboration with industry partners to develop new dispersions is meeting with encouraging success and the pipeline of engagements has risen to 181. Ultimately, AGM’s investment proposition is governed by the speed
Whether we know it or not, advanced materials are a core component in the everyday life of the everyday person. They are the key material in items we often disregard, such as printer inks and lotions, to objects which defy the laws of gravity like the Airbus A380 and London’s Shard. Furthermore, these materials are not only essential to many objects and structures, but, due to their superior qualities, are the key to the advancement of many industries. One such example is the use of carbon fibre
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