Good afternoon!

It's been amazingly quiet for company results this week, so I've made a diary note to take this week as holiday next year. I suppose we're in that lull, where all the decent companies have already reported their 31 Dec year end figures. So we're just getting a few companies with unusual year ends reporting now. Then we'll need to ready ourselves for the next deluge of results in May/Jun from the popular 31 Mar year end.

Ben has written another excellent article in his series of interviews with famous fund managers. This time he's met Gervais Williams of Miton Group.

Here is the list of Ben's other interviews - all of which are very interesting I think.

Ed's webinar from yesterday, looking at Stockopedia's greatly expanded international stock coverage is now on YouTube here. Do take a look, if you're interested in international investments.


Caretech Holdings (LON:CTH)

Share price: 252.7p (up 1.1% today)
No. shares: 62.3m
Market cap: £157.4m

Trading update - for the half year to 31 Mar 2016. The company owns & operates specialist social care facilities - e.g. for children & adults with learning difficulties. The customers are therefore local authorities, and health service commissioners, out-sourcing to CareTech.

The company (or group rather) appears to be trading well:

The Board confirms that trading for the half year is in line with its expectations. This performance has been underpinned by the strategic initiatives undertaken over recent years which have delivered a stronger performance compared with the same period last year on all of the key financial metrics.

Clearly then, the success or failure of the business will depend on the willingness of local authorities to accept fee increases. This is especially important, as Living Wage will be a constant ratchet up in costs between now and 2020.

Annual fee rate negotiations with local authorities remain at an early stage and this year are against the backdrop of the Living Wage, which was introduced on 1 April 2016.  The Board anticipates that a more positive outcome will be achieved than in recent years and that the Living Wage costs will be covered by fee increases.

That sounds encouraging.

Net debt - is reported at £156.6m, slightly down in the last 6 months. Whilst that might sound a lot, it's supported by freehold property with a Net Book Value (NBV) of £234.8m, as…

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