Source - Alliance News

The following is a round-up of earning and trading updates by London-listed companies, issued on Tuesday and not separately reported by Alliance News:

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Michelmersh Brick Holdings PLC - Haywards Heath, West Sussex-based brick maker - Lifts interim dividend by 15% to 1.50 pence from 1.30p, as pretax profit rise 7.1% to £6.1 million in the six months that ended June 30 from £5.6 million a year before. Revenue grows by 10% to £42.0 million from £34.0 million, but gross margin narrows slightly to 36.9% from 37.7%. Says a ‘well-balanced’ forward order book and a focus on ‘appropriate pricing’ is keeping the company on track for full-year expectations.

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Brickability Group PLC - Bridgend, Wales-based construction materials distributor - Tells annual general meeting that trading from the start of the current financial year on April 1 to July 31 is in line with board expectations. August is expected to have been ‘typically seasonal’, though Brickability notes volume reductions by some housebuilders, due to economic conditions. The remainder of the financial year is likely to bring ‘a more challenging trading environment’. Will provide trading update for the half year ending on September 30 towards end of October.

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CEPS PLC - Bath, England-based investment company focussed on industrial sector - Pretax profit up 85% to £977,000 in the first half of 2023 from £527,000 a year before, on revenue of £15.1 million, up 16% from £13.0 million. Declares no interim dividend. ‘The board remains keen to recommence the payment of dividends after a very long time of non-payment,’ Chair David Horner says. ‘However, this will need a balance sheet reconstruction to allow this to happen as the first step in this process.’ CEPS says the companies in which it is invested are improving performance. ‘The management teams are showing determination and resilience to ensure that their companies emerge from the current difficulties in a better place in their markets,’ Horner says, adding: ‘I suspect that over the next 16 months the state of play in the UK will be much improved on where things sit today. Growth in GDP, whilst weak, is beating the experts’ forecasts.’

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Headlam Group PLC - Birmingham, England-based floor coverings distributor - Slashes interim dividend by 35% to 4.0p from 6.2p, as pretax profit tumbles to £4.5 million from £21.6 million. Revenue grows by 2.5% to £331.8 million from £323.8 million, but cost of sales, distribution costs and administrative expenses rise faster. Headlam had warned of the profit fall and dividend cut back in July, sending its share price down. On Tuesday, says UK volumes in July and August were broadly in line with expectations and its full-year outlook remains unchanged, despite lower residential volumes.

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Vianet Group PLC - Stockton-on-Tees, England-based provider of retail sales and volume monitoring systems - Chair James Dickson tells AGM the business continues to progress back towards its pre-pandemic revenue level, and trading since Vianet’s full-year results release in June has been in line with company expectations. Says new initiatives are delivering new customers and solidifying existing relationships. Will provide a further trading update in mid-October.

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STV Group PLC - Glasgow-based television broadcaster and streamer - Holds interim dividend at 3.9 pence, despite swing to pretax loss of £2.4 million in the six months that ended June 30 from profit of £10.6 million a year before. Revenue rises 21% to £75.3 million from £62.1 million, but net operating expenses balloon by 44% to £72.5 million from £50.2 million. STV also takes a £2.8 million exceptional charge related to the costs of an extended advertising partnership with ITV PLC, announced back in December. Guides at least a 25% increase in total revenue for all of 2023. Expects to advertising revenue to benefit in the third quarter from the Rugby World Cup but to be down for the full year, with Digital and Studios making up for this. The advertising decline, however, will mean 2023 adjusted operating profit will be below 2022, when it was £25.8 million. First-half adjusted operating profit is £8.0 million, down 33% from £11.9 million a year before.

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