Hi, it's Paul here.

I've been busy setting up a new computer this morning, and it seems to be working OK now. When I say new, it's actually a refurbished Dell, from Ebay. For about £150 you can get a desktop that has the same performance as a £500 new laptop, and a bigger screen. Now all I need, is to work out how to increase the screen brightness, and find my reading glasses, then everything will be perfect. In the meantime, I'll struggle on with varifocals and a rather dim screen.

Let's start with a couple of reader requests, Tristel (LON:TSTL) and Tracsis (LON:TRCS) .

I shall be updating this article throughout the afternoon, as I'm house-bound today, due to being on dog-sitting duties.

Tristel (LON:TSTL)

Share price: 275p (unchanged today)
No. shares: 43.0m
Market cap: £118.3m

Interim results

Tristel plc (AIM: TSTL), the manufacturer of infection prevention and contamination control products, announces its interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2017, ahead of guidance at the AGM.

Key points;

Revenues up only 10%, but this figure masks stronger growth overseas (up 28%, now half of total sales), offset by a 4% fall in the UK, where it sounds like the market is saturated. These are niche products after all.

Profit margins are excellent, at 18% of revenues.

Pre-tax profits (before share-based payments) up 18% to £2m

Balance sheet is excellent, e.g. current assets of £11.0m dwarfs current liabilities of £2.9m. The only long-term creditor is £185k deferred tax - balance sheets don't come much better than this. So there are no solvency worries whatsoever. Also the company has the capacity to pay decent dividends, which it has in the past. Although the high valuation (forward PER of about 30) means that the dividend yield is modest.

USA launch - this is the main reason that Tristel shares were re-rated a while ago. The £0.5m costs in this half year have been absorbed without hurting profitability. The update today reassures that this new market should be opening up soon;

We are also investing heavily to enter new geographical markets including North America.  During the period we spent £0.5m on our North American market entry plan compared to £0.2m in…

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