Good morning! It's Paul here.

There are only 4 companies reporting today which are of interest to me, so I'll handle that on my own. Graham's having the day off.

I intend reporting today on;

Norcros (LON:NXR) - in line trading update, and upbeat commentary

D4T4 (LON:D4T4) - trading update - positive (ahead of expectations), and confident outlook

Comptoir (LON:COM) - recently floated small chain of restaurants. First full year results as listed company.

(sorry, I didn't get round to looking at Carrs)




Norcros (LON:NXR)

Share price: 168p (up 10.5% today)
No. shares: 61.3m
Market cap: £103.0m

Trading update - for the year ended 31 Mar 2017.

A refreshingly simple description of the group in today's update;

...the market leading supplier of innovative branded showers, taps, bathroom accessories, tiles and adhesives...


Trading looks solid;

Group underlying operating profit1 for the year is expected to be in line with the Board's expectations reflecting a robust performance and demonstrating the Group's resilience.


It always pays to check the footnote, which in this case says;

1 Underlying operating profit excludes IAS 19R administrative expenses, acquisition related costs and exceptional operating items


The pension fund administrative expenses are non-trading costs, but I dispute whether they should be ignored. After all, the pension fund isn't going away any time soon, so these are costs the company must bear, and for many years to come.

Acquisition-related costs and exceptional items are OK to adjust out, providing they're not used as "soft codes" to absorb a multitude of other costs, which can happen at some companies. I'm not suggesting anything of that sort goes on at Norcros, it's more a general point.

I've mentioned it before, but a new CEO of a different company once told me how he asked what the profit for the year was likely to be. His FD replied, "Whatever you want it to be - exceptionals will take up the strain!" So we should always question the underlying & exceptional adjustments.

Overall, I'm happy with the accounting at Norcros, which seems fairly sensible.


Other points from today's update;

UK division performed much better in H2 (LFL sales +8.3% in H2, versus -5.0% in H1 - that's a good turnaround)

Acquisitions doing well (crucial, as the group is growing by acquisition)

UK tile business is being restructured, resulting in a £2.3m…

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