UK pre-market stocks update – Royal Mail, National Grid, Metro Bank, Playtech

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By Samuel Indyk

Investing.com – At 07:46GMT, FTSE 100 futures are trading lower by 0.2% at 7263.

In FX markets, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3510, EUR/GBP is trading at 0.8389. The US Dollar Index is down 0.1%.

Today’s calendar highlights include Turkish interest rate decision, US Jobless Claim, Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing.

Stocks

Royal Mail (LON:RMG) – H1 reported revenue up 7.1% to £6.072 billion. Adjusted operating profit at £404 million with operating margin up 600 basis points to 6.7%. Royal Mail domestic parcel volumes (ex. international) up 33% vs. H1 2019-20; GLS parcel volumes up 30% in the same period. Declared interim dividend of 6.7 pence per share. Returning £400 million capital to shareholders: £200 million share buyback commencing immediately and £200 million special dividend to be paid alongside interim dividend. FY 2021-22 Royal Mail expected to be around £500 million adjusted operating profit, GLS guidance unchanged.

National Grid (LON:NG) – H1 underlying operating profit up 47% to £1.407 billion. Dividend increased by 1% to 17.21 pence per share. Now expect to deliver full year underlying EPS significantly above the top end of 5-7% range.

Flutter Entertainment (LON:FLTRF) – To acquire UK online bingo operator Tombola for an enterprise value of £402 million.

Halma (LON:HLMA) – H1 revenue up 19% to £737.2 million. Adjuster profit before tax up 27% to £154.9 million. Increased dividend by 7% to 7.35 pence per share. Full year outlook is unchanged.

Vodafone (LON:VOD) – Launched a £540 million share buyback programme.

Playtech (LON:PTEC) – Announced it has received a preliminary approach from JKO Play Limited. The company has also previously received takeover approaches from Aristocrat Leisure and Gopher.

Metro Bank (LON:MTRO) – Carlyle has ended talks with Metro Bank over a possible takeover.

Investec (LON:INVP) – H1 revenue up 30.5%. Adjusted EPS up 134.8% to 26.3 pence. Proposed an interim dividend of 11.0p per share. Boosts adjusted EPS guidance to between 48p and 53p (Range guided in May 2021: 36p – 41p).

Dunelm (LON:DNLM) – Intends to commence new £40 million share buyback programme.

Bunzl (LON:BNZL) – Completed the acquisitions of Workwear Express and Hydropac.

Londonmetric Property (LON:LMPL) – Proposed placing of new Ordinary Shares and a retail offer to raise gross proceeds of approximately £175 million. Separately, the company said H1 net rental income was £63.5 million. Total Property Return of 10.4%, outperforming IPD All Property of 7.6%. Declares dividend of 4.4 pence per share. 

Crest Nicholson (LON:CRST) – FY 21 adjusted profit before tax expected to be marginally ahead of consensus of £101.2 million. Forward sales as at 12 November 2021 were 2,502 units and £623.9 million Gross Development Value.

Games Workshop (LON:GAW) – Declares dividend of 35 pence per share.

Biffa PLC (LON:BIFF) – H1 net revenue up 37.9% to £632.8 million. Adjusted EBITDA up 56.6% to £91.3 million. Reinstated dividend of 2.20 pence per share. Reaffirms full year expectations.

Micro Focus International (LON:MCRO) – FY 2021 revenue fell 5% on a constant currency basis to around $2.9 billion. Adjusted EBITDA of around $1.0 billion at a margin of circa 36%.

Hochschild Mining (LON:HOCM) – Announced the launch of the initial public offering of Aclara on the TSX.

Rotork (LON:ROR) – Order intake in four month period up high single digit percentage year on year. Revenues in the four months were down year on year on an OCC basis, due to supply chain issues, with chipsets and electronics the most affected. Expect second half revenue to be similar to the first half with adjusted operating margins slightly ahead of the first half.

Euromoney Institutional Investor (LON:ERM) – FY underlying revenue down 2% to £336.1 million. Underlying adjusted operating profit up 8% to £65.3 million. Boosts dividend by 60% to 18.2 pence per share. Entering FY 2022 with strong momentum and confidence in the opportunity for sustainable growth.

Mitie Group (LON:MTO) – H1 revenue, including share of JVs and associates, up 103% to £1.912 billion. Standalone revenue (excluding Interserve (LON:IRV)) up 36%. Operating profit before other items of £85.0 million, up 367%. Reinstated dividend of 0.4 pence per share. FY 2022 operating profit guidance unchanged.

TBC Bank (LON:TBCG) – Q3 net profit GEL 207.1 million (up by 35.8% YoY). Reiterates medium term guidance of ROE above 20%, a cost to income ratio below 35%, a dividend pay-out ratio of 25-35% and annual loan growth of 10-15%.

Close Brothers (LON:CBRO) – CET1 capital ratio of 15.7% at 31st October. In Banking, the loan book increased 2.4% in Q1. CBAM achieved net inflows of 8% and increased managed assets to £16.0 billion.

Grainger (LON:GRI) – FY adjusted earnings up 2%, profit before tax up 53%. Proposed final dividend of 3.32p per share, with a total dividend for the year of 5.15p per share.

Jet2 (LON:JET2) – H1 revenue up 43% to £429.6 million. Operating loss increased to £170.4 million from £111.2 million. Total cash balances increased 102% at half year end. Forward bookings for Winter 21/22 have been markedly stronger and average load factors much improved.

Daily Mail and General Trust (LON:DMGOa) – FY underlying revenue down 1%, underlying adjusted operating p[rofit up 5%. Declared final dividend of 17.3 pence per share.

UK pre-market stocks update – Royal Mail, National Grid, Metro Bank, Playtech

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