Good morning!

It's just me (Paul) reporting today, as Graham is busy with other stuff. There's lots to cover, so I'll be taking my time & updating this article throughout the afternoon.

Time permitting, I hope to cover the following companies today;

ST Ives (LON:SIV) - shares down 40% on another profit warning.

Revolution Bars (LON:RBG) - in line trading update, and solid Xmas trading.

FreeAgent Holdings (LON:FREE) - interesting deal with a major bank.

Portmeirion (LON:PMP) - slightly ahead of expectations for 2016

Mission Marketing (LON:TMMG) - good trading in 2016, so management have decided it's time to help themselves to some upside with a "growth shares" scheme. I'm selling my shares, in protest.


Share price: 84p (down 33.6% today)
No. shares: 142.8m
Market cap: £120.0m

Trading statement (profit warning) - it's deja vu time. This marketing group warned on profits in Apr 2016, and the shares dropped 45%. I reported on that here. The same sort of thing has happened today. Today's RNS covers H2, being the half year to 27 Jan 2017.

Problems mentioned today are;

  • Project deferrals & cancellations
  • Delays in generating replacement work - full benefit of which won't happen until Q4
  • "Very challenging" conditions in its marketing activation division - which relies heavily on clients in the grocery market.
  • New business won, but on lower margins.
  • Cost-cutting has been done, but again the benefit won't be felt until Q4.

This naturally all feeds through to reduced profits.

Outlook - not good;

As a result of the above, the Board now anticipates that the out-turn for the full financial year will be materially below its previous expectations with the majority of the shortfall due to the pressures within the Marketing Activation segment.

The Board remains confident in the long term strategy currently being pursued, and in the growth opportunities open to the Group.  The balance sheet remains sound and we have the necessary cash flow capabilities to support our investment priorities and to further reduce debt.

"Material" in the context of profits means 10% or more. I hate it when companies use a phrase like this, as it leaves us completely in the dark. It could be…

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