Distil has reported an impressive H1 performance against a backdrop of volatility and other challenges resulting from the Covid pandemic. The company has delivered a profit before tax of £154K compared with last year’s breakeven position, driven by a sales increase of 128% to £1.9m. The period saw new product launches within the leading RedLeg brand, with more new lines to follow. Distil has increased headcount in both marketing and New Product Development (NPD) to support its future growth. Despite the success achieved in H1, considerable short-term uncertainty remains around the impact of the emerging second wave of Covid and consequent restrictions. The company therefore feels it is prudent not to provide guidance at this stage on the outturn for the full FY21 financial year.
Companies: Distil PLC
Guild Esports a UK-based owner and developer of esports teams, has announced its intention to seek a listing of its ordinary shares to the Standard Listing segment of the London Stock Exchange this autumn. its founding shareholders include David Beckham, former football player and captain of England, and now co-owner of new MLS team Inter Miami CF.
HOME REIT intends to float to the Main Market raising up to £250m. The Company will seek to contribute to the alleviation of homelessness in the UK, whilst targeting inflation-protected income and capital returns, by investing in a diversified portfolio of assets across the UK which will be dedicated to providing accommodation to the homeless. Due Mid October
S-VENTURES - The Company will look to identify investment opportunities in the wellness sector within the UK and Europe. Due 16 Sep on the Aquis Exchange.
Sativa Wellness Group—(Canadian Securities Exchange: STIL) renamed from Stillcanna Inc following the conditional acquisition of Sativa Group (AQSE:SATI) to list on the AQUIS Exchange. A fully integrated European seed to consumer CBD group with the pricing, products, and stability to meet the CBD market demand in the medium term. With world-class extraction and formulation experts, an agricultural team that has over 20 years’ experience farming hemp, along with laboratory testing capabilities, the group has established itself globally as a trusted source of high-grade, premium wholesale CBD brands and products.
Umuthi Healthcare Solutions Plc, the technology led healthcare business focused on the distribution of pharmaceuticals and the provision of medical facilities in remote areas, seeking admission to the Standard Listing segment of the Official List
The Hut Group. Expected intention to float on the Main Market. THG is a vertically integrated digital-first consumer brands group, retailing its own brands in beauty and nutrition plus third party brands, via its proprietary technology platform to an online and global customer base. For the year ended 31 December 2019, THG's revenue was £1.1 billion, up 24.5 per cent. year-on-year, and its Adjusted EBITDA was £111.3 million, representing an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 9.8 per cent . The Company has experienced an acceleration in growth during 2020, with revenue of £676 million, up 35.8 per cent. on the equivalent prior year period , achieved in the 6 months to 30 June 2020, which the Directors believe evidenced the non-discretionary nature of the nutrition and beauty categories .
Kibo Energy PLC, the multi-asset Africa focused energy company, is seeking admission for its 100% owned UK subsidiary Sloane Developments Ltd , which will be renamed Mast Energy Developments PLC (MED), to the Standard List of the London Stock Exchange plc . Targeted for Q4 2020. The MED business strategy is to acquire and develop a portfolio of flexible small-scale power generation assets, exploiting a growth niche market in the UK for Reserve Power generation to balance out the national grid at critical times.
Companies: SYM GLR THR TMT AVG BONH DIS BIDS BKS EVG
Distil delivered a solid trading performance in FY20, despite uncertainties caused by the impact of external events in the form of Brexit initially and COVID-19 more recently. With its disciplined cost approach, Distil saw a 15% increase in operating profit from a 2% rise in revenue. Range extensions have underpinned the continuing success of its leading RedLeg Spiced Rum brand and Distil has continued to lay the groundwork for the further development and future expansion of its brand portfolio.
Distil has published its Q4 trading update, confirming a strong finish to FY20E and outperforming the wider UK alcohol market. Against a weak Brexit-driven performance in Q4 last year, Distil delivered a volume increase of 80%, with revenues almost doubling with a 97% increase. Demand was strong from off-trade (retail) customers, looking to bolster stocks in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent higher levels of endconsumer demand. Management has confirmed FY20E performance to be in line with current market expectations, as outlined in its February update.
Companies: Distil Plc
Companies: TILS IMO BONH ESYS CHAR VLS DIS SLN WINE AVO
Distil has performed strongly in its core Q3 trading period covering October to December despite a backdrop of economic uncertainty and generally weak consumer demand. Against a very tough comparative of 29% growth in Q3 last year, Distil has reported revenue growth of 7% for Q3 this year. This continues to be driven by RedLeg Spiced Rum, with volume sales increasing by 16% in an intensely competitive market. With the company remaining positive on the outlook for Q4, it expects full year profits to be ahead of last year and broadly in line with market expectations.
Distil delivered a breakeven result at the interim stage despite challenging trading conditions, particularly in the UK unflavoured gin market. The previous stock overhang, driven by the supply chain ahead of the previous end-March Brexit date and which also contributed to the H1 sales performance, has now been cleared. Distil has also secured the Mardi Gras trademark in Europe and the USA, which will drive further NPD (new product development) initiatives. The core spiced rum market continues to see growth and new RedLeg brand extension launches should underpin a more robust sales performance in the second half. Combined with continued cost management discipline, Distil expects FY20E operating profit to remain in line with previous forecasts. We have revised our outer year forecasts however to remain prudent in light of ongoing market headwinds.
Distil has announced the launch of a pre-mixed rum and cola drink, which takes RedLeg Spiced Rum into the high growth ready-to-drink (RTD) category. This is a new brand collaboration with Franklin & Sons, the premium soft drink, tonic and mixer brand, owned by Global Brands Ltd. This new venture brings two commercial advantages to Distil, firstly through incremental revenues and secondly through the introduction of the RedLeg Spiced Rum brand to new consumers.
Distil delivered results in line with our forecast expectation at EBITDA and PBT level. FY19 saw a 19% turnover increase, supported by gross margin expansion, with EBITDA and PBT marginally ahead after a 48% increase in brand investment through its advertising and promotional activities. Net cash advanced by almost £40K (+4%) over the year on the back of an operating cash inflow of £85K. Innovation continues apace, with the recent launch of RedLeg Caramelised Pineapple Spiced Rum, along with new gift packaging and miniature bottle formats for RedLeg and Blackwoods Gin. We are reflecting our more cautious outlook on short-term UK consumer spending prospects in our new forecasts, primarily for the current FY20E year.
Distil has published a trading update on its Q4 performance, ahead of its prelims announcement next month. Revenues and volumes fell in Q4 as a result of Distil’s successful promotional activities in the peak Q3 period alongside the late timing of Easter. These declines were however in line with management expectations. Distil’s full year performance is therefore anticipated to be in line with current market expectations, and our forecasts remain unchanged. Distil has also announced the welcome launch of a new flavour variant to its successful RedLeg spiced rum brand. Sales of this brand extension, Caramelised Pineapple, will commence in June, initially with a soft launch through the on-trade channel only.
SDX Energy plc—a North Africa focused oil and gas company, announces its intention to complete a Canadian plan of arrangement under section 192 of the Canada Business Corporations Act and will have shares de-listed from the TSX-V and admitted to trading on AIM. Expected 28 May 2019, anticipated market cap of £76m
Renold plc—a leading international supplier of industrial chains and related power transmission products, announced that it will cancel the listing of the Company from the premium segment and apply for admission on AIM. Expected 06 June 2019.
Distribution Finance Capital Holdings plc — specialist lender which builds relationships with manufacturers and then provides working capital solutions up and down their supply chains to drive their growth is looking to join AIM. No raise, secondary offering of £19.8m at 90p, expected market cap of £95.98m. Expected 09 May 2019.
Alumasc Group plc, the premium building products, systems and solutions group, has announced its intention to move from the Premium Segment of the main market to AIM. Expected market cap of £33.4m. Expected 25 June 2019
Companies: DIS RAI EMR BEG JLH DCTA KMK THR ITM RENX
Circassia Pharma (CIR.L) - specialty pharmaceutical company focused on respiratory disease transferring from the Main Market. No funds being raised. Due 4 Feb.
Greenfields Petroleum (TSX-V:GNF) production focused company with operated assets in Azerbaijan seeking AIM dual listing including $60m private placement. Mkt cap $12.6m CAD. Expected late January 2019.
Chaarat Gold Holdings—RTO, the Company intends to acquire Kapan Mining and Processing CJSC, which owns the Shahumyan mediumsized polymetallic mine in Kapan in the Republic of Armenia. No raise, market cap of £110.1m, due early Feb
Companies: NTOG VAST FO AFHP PLMO RBN DIS SUMO REDX BOOM
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On the back of strong revenue growth of 42%, Distil has delivered interim profits at operating and pre-tax level of £101K, compared with last year’s loss of £21K. This represents an operating profit margin of just under 9%, with the company’s perennial cost control complemented by a welcome increase in gross margin driving this 11% swing at the operating margin level. The contribution margin increased by 240bps, despite the continued investment in brand marketing and promotion, which rose by 57% year-on-year. Net cash stood at £957K at the end of the period. We leave estimates unchanged ahead of the key Christmas period.
Nucleus Financial—independent wrap platform provider . FYDec17 revs £40.36m and PBT of £5.1m. Offer TBA. Due late July.
Kropz PLC-Intention to float by the emerging plant nutrient producer with an advanced stage phosphate mining project in South Africa and exploration assets in West Africa
Immotion Group - aims to become the market leader in "out of home" Immersive Entertainment Experiences. Offer TBA. Due 12 July
Yellow Cake will use its expertise to generate value through the ownership of physical U3O8 (Uranium) together with a range of activities and opportunities connected with owning physical U3O8. Acquiring supply contract for up to $170m. Due Early July.
Strongbow Exploration (TSX:SBW) intends to dual list on AIM. Holds rights to the South Crofty underground tin mine, a former producing tin mine located in the towns of Pool and Camborne, Cornwall . The project is estimated to require the Company to raise £25 million over the next 18 months to progress to a production decision. Offer TBS. Due June.
Companies: MTW ORPH DIS ARK DCTA BMN GOOD TRX WJA
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Cake Box has started FY2021 positively with strong same store sales growth, new store openings and an excellent online performance. The company is not only able to repay its furlough monies, but also reward shareholders with a special dividend. Cake Box released a trading statement as such this morning.
Companies: Cake Box Holdings Plc
We are introducing our Best Ideas for 2019 and also review the performance of last year’s picks. We suggest ten solidly financed stocks with good business dynamics that ought to be considered for core portfolio holdings and six UK domestically focused stocks that our analysts believe should perform strongly in the event that uncertainties unwind. We also introduce a new style of research from N+1 Singer which presents a Company’s dynamics and metrics in a clear and concise manner and concentrates on the pivotal issues affecting that Company and an investment decision.
Companies: BCA CLIN CLG CBP DNLM EAH STU FCRM FUTR GTLY INS GLE NICL SDL SPR TRI
Premier Foods’ FY20 results demonstrate the substantial progress the company has made over the past few years. The UK business has now grown for 11 consecutive quarters and Q121 is set to be very strong. In the UK the brands grew ahead of their categories and the innovation rate has hit a new high. A new landmark pensions agreement was signed in April, which could potentially significantly reduce the future funding requirements for Premier Foods. The recent triennial actuarial valuation delivers further credence to the pensions deal.
Companies: Premier Foods plc
Cranswick’s FY20 results demonstrate its strength and agility and current trading confirms the company is well positioned despite the uncertainty posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit. Revenues were up 13.0% on a like-for-like basis, mainly driven by better price/mix, but with underlying volumes up 3.4%. Adjusted PBT was up 11.2% on the prior year and EPS up 8.4%. Net debt was £146.9m at year end, including IFRS 16 liabilities of £65.9m. The start to FY21 has been positive and hence the outlook remains unchanged.
Companies: Cranswick plc
A number of REITs have the ability to thrive in current market conditions and thereafter. Not only do they hold assets that will remain in strong demand, but they have focus and transparency. The leases and underlying rents are structured in a manner to provide long visibility, growth and security. Hardman & Co defined an investment universe of REITs that we considered provided security and “safer harbours”. We introduced this universe with our report published in March 2019: “Secure income” REITs – Safe Harbour Available. Here, we take forward the investment case and story. We point to six REITs, in particular, where we believe the risk/reward is the most attractive.
Companies: AGY ARBB ARIX BUR CMH CLIG DNL HAYD NSF PCA PIN PXC PHP RE/ RECI SCE SHED VTA
Interims highlight a resilient top-line performance and further good news on Vimto market outperformance. Investors should also welcome the reinstating of the dividend and a pleasing Middle East update. The other main news is the planned departure of CEO, Marnie Millard, with Andrew Milne the COO stepping up to fill the role. Marnie leaves Nichols in a strong shape and a smooth handover is anticipated. Ongoing OoH, consumer and Africa CV19 uncertainties mean forecast guidance remains withdrawn and thus we are not reintroducing forecasts at this stage. Overall, a positive set of interims today, reinforcing Nichols attractions of brand strength/robust balance-sheet/geographic diversity. The shares trade on an undemanding historical P/E of 16x, EV/EBITDA 11x and 6% FCF yield vs a LR P/E and EV/EBITDA of 20x/14x.
Companies: Nichols plc
Britvic’s revenues for first nine months of 2020 (9M20) were £1,028m, down 5.1% at constant currency, while Q3 revenue was £329m, down 16.3%, which was in line with company expectations. Britvic gained market share across its business units. As expected, the COVID-19 pandemic caused significant declines in out-of-home consumption, which were partly offset by gains in at-home consumption.
Companies: Britvic plc
Despite Covid-19 materially impacting the Foodservice business, Finsbury traded profitably throughout Q4, and was able to report FY20A Adj EBITDA (pre-IFRS 16) only c4% lower YoY at £24.4m, whilst strong free cash flow (c19% historic FCF yield) reduced net leverage by 0.3x YoY to 1.1x (net debt lower by £9.1m YoY). Demand has been recovering MoM since April, with group revenues now approaching their prior year levels. Notwithstanding the steady improvement seen, due to continued uncertainty caused by Covid- 19, including the potential effects of a second wave of infections, we are not reinstating forecasts at this stage, and maintain our Under Review recommendation.
Companies: Finsbury Food Group plc
Sequential recovery from the Q2 lows. The group has restored FY20 guidance, with expectations of a 14% operating margin. A reshaping of the organisation and portfolio review are also supposed to drive mid-term 3-5% profitable growth. Wait and see.
Companies: Danone SA
Adjusted Q3/20 EBIT of NOK 1,571m, 5% above Factset consensus
Grocery sales benefitted from consumers staying at home
“Out of home” demand recovered as Covid-19 restrictions were eased
Strong Jotun results continue to be driven by decorative paints (Lady)
Companies: ORK ORK ORK ORKLF OKL