Marshalls upbeat about prospects after strong demand for its landscaping products

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Marshalls (LSE:MSLH) PLC, the specialist in natural stone and concrete hard landscaping products, has built up a good gain after upbeat comments about the outlook.


The company’s half year results showed revenues rose to GBP298.1mln, up 42% on the COVID-19 hit 2020 figures and 6% better than in 2019.


Pretax profits came in at GBP38.9mln, up from just GBP1.6mln last year and GBP37.1mln.


With the company continuing to experience strong demand, it said it was raising its expectations for both 2021 and 2022.


Chief executive Martyn Coffey said: “Trading continues to improve and recent order intake has been good. The Construction Products Association’s recent summer forecast predicts year on year increases in UK market volumes of 13.7 per cent in 2021 and 6.3 per cent in 2022 and the group expects to meet or outperform the market


“Market conditions remain supportive, despite certain supply chain challenges, which are leading to inflationary pressures across the sector. The underlying indicators in our main growth markets, including New Build Housing, Road, Rail and Water Management, remain positive.


“As a result, we remain confident that our strategy will deliver long-term profitable growth and that we are well positioned to cope with the temporary challenges associated with cost and material supply issues.”


Marshalls (LSE:MSLH)’ shares are 4.96% or 37.5p higher at 794p.


2.30pm: Sareum Holdings slides after revealing increased losses and compound delays


Sareum Holdings PLC (AIM:SAR, FRA:RYH) has fallen back after it forecast increased losses and delays in compound supply.


The specialist drug development company said it expected to make a loss of GBP1.6mln this year, up from GBP0.96mln in 2020.


It said the widening losses reflected increased research and development expenditure required for preclinical development


It also revealed its SDC-1801 drug for autoimmune diseases would now commence final preclinical trials at the beginning of the fourth quarter, following the recent delays in compound supply.


The news overshadowed a number of positive statements about other drugs and its financial position following two fundraisings, and its shares are down 6.25% or 0.51p at 7.65p.


12.36pm: BlueRock Diamonds sparkles after third discovery this month


BlueRock Diamonds PLC has announced the discovery of its third high quality stone in August.


This time the company found a 14.3 carat stone at its Kareevlei Diamond Mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa,


Executive chairman Mike Houston said: “The discovery of this diamond, which swiftly follows the discoveries of a 58.6 carat and a 21.6 carat stone in the past few weeks, provides further encouragement for the ‘size frequency distribution forecast’ that indicate our pipes should deliver large carat diamonds.


“I look forward to reporting on the realised value for these three exceptional stones following the conclusion of the August tender at the end of this month.”


The news has sent its shares up 5.32% or 2.5p to 49.5p.


10.41am: McBride drops after warning on profits due to rising costs and driver shortages


McBride PLC (LSE:MCB) has issued a hefty profit warning, hit by rising raw material prices it cannot immediately pass on to customers as well as a shortage of drivers.


The company, which supplies own label hygiene and cleaning products, is actually warning on next year’s profits before it has even put out its 2021 results, which are due to be announced in September.


It now expects to only break even in the first half of its next financial year, so profits for the year to June 2022 will be around 55% – 65% lower than the current market consensus of GBP19.7mln for this year.


Net debt at June 2022 is likely to be 5%-10% higher than the GBP121.5mln forecast for the end of this financial year.


It said: “Although only 7 weeks into the new financial year, the previously highlighted raw material environment remains extremely challenging both in terms of exceptional price increases and supply availability.


“More recently, and in line with the general trading environment experienced by others, the group has also started to experience distribution challenges, particularly in the UK and Germany as a result of the shortage of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers which has impacted upon both transport availability and cost…


“In terms of customer pricing, although discussions have resulted in agreement for price increases, the effective start dates for price increases are later than targeted.”


The news has seen its shares drop 8.49% to 77.6p.


AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould said: “McBride is putting up prices, but these will take effect later than hoped, at least from the company’s point of view. Consumers – and central bankers – will take note, as that means price increases further down the line for them to meet or at least mull over…


“McBride’s role as a contract manufacturer, or at least a maker of own-label cleaning agents for retailers, means it does not have any pricing power from brands, as it has no brands of its own. Many of its customers are larger and have more muscle when it comes to pricing discussions. And there are other suppliers who can be used as a bargaining chip by customers for good measure.2


10.00am: Proton pushes ahead after latest GKN (LSE:GKN) fuel cell order


Proton Motor Power Systems Plc (LSE:PPS) has seen its shares accelerate after winning another order from aerospace and automotive group GKN (LSE:GKN).


The company, which produces fuel cells and electric hybrid systems, will supply eight of its PM Module S8 fuel cell systems to GKN (LSE:GKN) Hydrogen, to be delivered in the first quarter of next year.


So far GKN (LSE:GKN) has ordered 25 of the systems including the latest eight.


The company expects further sales as GKN (LSE:GKN) continues to deploy its technology in its HY2 energy storage systems.


Applications of the HY2 systems include IT back-up systems, off-grid power generation and plug-in electric car charging stations.


The order news has pushed Proton 3.29% higher to 40.28p


9.05am: Tremor International jumps 11% after record results


Tremor International PLC, the advertising technology group, is in demand after reporting record results.


The company, which listed its shares in the US in June, said half year revenues had doubled to US$152.4mln, while it turned a US$31.5mln loss into a US$36.4mln profit.


Chief executive said Ofer Druker said: “The first half of 2021 further validated Tremor’s strategy of developing an end-to-end technology platform and our focus on video, connected TV and data. This impressive revenue growth, which we believe is one of the highest across our peer group, affirms our continued investment in product innovation and business development.


“The entirety of the growth we achieved in the first half of 2021 was organic and as a result of increased client spending on programmatic advertising. Increasingly, Tremor is empowering our clients to deliver impactful brand stories to targeted, relevant audiences globally.


“The successful capital raise through our US. IPO and concurrent listing of our shares on NASDAQ in June represents a milestone achievement for Tremor and a de-facto endorsement from our shareholders.”


Its shares are up 11.33% or 82p to 806p.


One of the day’s biggest risers so far is Helium One Global Ltd (AIM:HE1).


The company has jumped 22.61% to 14.1p on news it has has begun drilling the Tai-2 exploration well at the Rukwa Project in Tanzania.


It comes quickly after the Tai-1 well, which proved a working helium system, encountered helium gas shows but could not be definitively tested due to problem well conditions.


Tai-2 is targeting the same prospects that were identified in the first well.



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