Source - Alliance News

The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers among London Main Market small-caps on Tuesday.

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SMALL-CAP - WINNERS

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SIG PLC, down 2.6% at 33p, 12-month range 25.35p-45.38p. The insulation, roofing, commercial interiors and specialist construction product supplier says it expects underlying operating profit in 2023 to be in the upper half of its guidance range of £50 to £55 million. This would be down sharply from £80.2 million in 2022. Expects revenue of £2.76b billion, edging up from £2.74 billion a year prior. ‘Despite challenging market conditions across the European building and construction sector, the group has delivered a robust trading performance, through a strong focus on our customers and the great efforts of all our people,’ says CEO Gavin Slark.

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SMALL-CAP - LOSERS

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MJ Gleeson PLC, down 9.9% at 484.80p, 12-month range 344.5p-538p. The housebuilder and land investor says its Homes division completed 769 home sales in the half-year ended December 31, which is a 14% decrease year-on-year. It blames weaker conditions across the housing market. Gross margins are expected to fall below expectations by around 1.5% to 2.0% in its full financial year. It expects to report net debt of £18.7 million at December 31, compared to net cash of £5.2 million at the end of June, which reflects the ‘significant investment in bringing forward a higher proportion of home starts before June 2023’. The cash impact of this is expected to unwind over the next two years, it added. More positively, it points to a stronger forward order book of 586 plots at the end of 2023, compared to 319 plots the prior year. The firm comments: ‘Against the backdrop of stabilising interest rates the board anticipates a recovery in demand for low-cost housing in the seasonally busier selling period over the coming weeks and months.’

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Robert Walters PLC, down 7.8% at 407.5p, 12-month range 344p-580p. The recruit firm falls following a profit warning from FTSE 250-listed peer Hays PLC. Hays says second-quarter group fees fell 10% annually on a like-for-like basis, with a slowdown seen in December. ‘It is too early to say if December’s weakness reflects a more sustained market slowdown, or shorter-term deferrals of client and candidate decision-making. However, we expect near-term market conditions to remain challenging,’ Hays warns. Hays now expects underlying operating profit for its half-year ended December to be around £60 million, which is below the £73 million pencilled in by analysts, according to company-compiled market consensus. Shares in Hays tumbled 12%.

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Mj Gleeson PLC (GLE)

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