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The phased reopening of Walker Greenbank’s two manufacturing facilities (both in the UK) is underway with Standfast & Barracks already operational and Anstey restarting this week. The company’s business model is such that near-term activity levels can be rebuilt gradually. It may also support new business development in the UK in due course compared to overseas supply sources. No new financial information was provided ahead of the company’s scheduled FY20 results announcement on 30 June, at which point activity levels during FY21 to date should also be disclosed. Our estimates remain suspended at this time.
Companies: Walker Greenbank
Fast & Furious launch date shifted to Summer
Disappointing H1 driven by NGP. Reducing investments in this category was the company’s choice, but we believe it is a bad mid-term strategy. The dividend cut has finally shown increasing weaknesses vs. peers during the crisis.
Companies: Imperial Brands
Codemasters has announced that Fast & Furious Crossroads will be launched in Q2 FY21, despite a twelve-month delay in the film’s release to April next year. This leaves FY21 forecasts unchanged but adds to the strong release line-up through this year and provides holiday season and movie release windows to further monetise the game. The shares continue to trade at a c.40% discount to peers; however, further news flow around the success of games as well as business development opportunities can continue to drive a re-rating back up towards the sector average in the coming months.
Due to a change in Analyst role, Cenkos Securities plc has suspended coverage of the following stocks (see table 1). Our previous recommendation and forecasts can no longer be relied upon.
Companies: BDEV BWY BKG VTY COST CRST BBY FERG GLE KLR KIE MSLH MER MTO NXR PSN RDW RNWH SFR SHI MGNS TW/ CTO TEF TPK GFRD
Walker Greenbank is a higher-end interior furnishings business with well-established global brand names and manufacturing facilities in the UK. This morning, the group has provided a further update on the business in relation to COVID-19 following its previous announcement on 25 March. In addition, and in line with recent FCA/FRC guidance, full year results to 31 January 2020 have been rescheduled to 30 June (previously expected 23 April).
With cash ahead of expectation in a year of transformation, PTY has reported inline results for the year to December 2019, with revenues standing at £80.4m and £0.1m adj. PBT. Net cash at £0.9m is ahead of our expectation prior to the company's pre-close update by some £1.9m, a significant beat.
Dillistone's update this morning is, on the whole, reassuring. Although the economic implications of COVID-19 will likely materially affect FY2020E results, as with many businesses seeing a significant reduction in demand for products and services, it is too early to determine the quantum. As such, we remove our FY2020 estimates that previously looked for an EBITDA contribution of £1.6m and adjusted PBT to £0.1m.
Companies: WGB DSG PTY
Walker Greenbank’s FY20 results date has been reset to 30 June (and complies with updated FCA policy guidance). Its latest update provides no new financial information though orders continue to be received despite lockdown conditions. Operational steps already taken appear to be appropriate, retaining sufficient infrastructure to service prevailing sales demand levels while additional actions aimed at preserving business liquidity are referenced, consistent with those seen elsewhere in the quoted sector. Taken together, the company appears to have quickly adjusted its business model to meet current market challenges in FY21.
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Companies: AVAP SHI GFRD
Character Group has issued a trading update stating that while its supply side operations in the Far East have now been broadly restored following temporary disruption from COVID-19 issues, the demand side of the business is being deeply impacted by the closure of stores, shops and warehousing & distribution centres. The board is now anticipating a significant drop in H2 FY2020 revenues compared to expectations. However, given the lack of visibility on both trading activity and the eventual impact of COVID-19 on the business, which is second half weighted, we are temporarily suspending forecasts until further clarity is given – probably with the interim results scheduled for end May 2020.
Companies: Character Group
There has been much comment on the fact that equity markets in the US and Europe have been shrinking for some years now, certainly in terms of the number of quoted companies, if not in total market capitalisation (MCap). This paper has been written with the assistance of the Quoted Companies Alliance (QCA) and focuses on the evidence for such in the London market and, in particular, that for smaller and midcap companies. It assesses that evidence and considers explanations. Finally, we ask why it matters, and assuming that it does, what practical steps can be taken to reverse the trend. Successful public markets have been a key part of the United Kingdom’s economic success for generations, even centuries, and we should not allow them to wither on the vine.
Companies: AVO AGY ARBB ARIX ASAI DNL GDR HAYD NSF PCA PIN PXC PHP RE/ RECI RMDL STX SCE TRX TON SHED VTA
Acquisition of Lab42
Companies: Sumo Group
History indicates that the emergence of cloud gaming and game subscription services could significantly increase investment in video game content, industry employment and the number of production companies, thereby leaving Sumo well positioned for growth.
Ubisoft’s FY19-20 revenue was hit by the bad reception of the supposed-to-be outstanding Ghost Recon Breakpoint. This led to a loss despite lower marketing costs (due to delayed games). Conversely, ‘Player Recurrent Investment’ (PRI) and Mobile gaming experienced solid progress. With 5-AAA games in the FY 20-21 pipeline, a revenue boost is expected from the hugely popular franchises that back these games.
Companies: Ubisoft Entertainment
Mulberry remains a relatively small brand, albeit a powerful one in its affordable luxury market segment. Its balance sheet remains strong. Early signs from the new CEO’s tenure are promising. However, even taken together, these elements cannot support current valuation metrics. One needs to take a very long view to justify current multiples.
Companies: Mulberry Group
A reassuring trading update confirms that SuperGroup continues to deliver attractive top-line growth. Admittedly, the superior wholesale performance means (as previously flagged by the company) that there is likely to be some gross margin erosion, but the focus on operational leverage should still ensure a modest improvement in operating margins going forward. Management’s commercial and pragmatic approach to expansion should mean continued success as the brand rolls out beyond its core markets of the UK and continental Europe.