Somero shares hit record highs as first half numbers anything but flat

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Somero Enterprises Inc shares have risen to all-time highs this afternoon, up 14% to 536.51p, on the back of the concrete-levelling equipment specialist’s half-year results.


The Florida based company’s technology, which enables construction companies to install high-quality horizontal concrete floors faster, flatter and with fewer people, has benefitted from strong demand for new warehousing, aided by the trend towards online shopping.


Underlying profits (EBITDA) of US$24.6mln and operating cash flow of US$16mln for the first six months of 2021 were the highest in the company’s time on AIM, having floated in 2006.


Confident about the remainder of the year, the board now expects revenues of roughly US$120mln, EBITDA of around US$42mln and year-end net cash of close to US$36mln.


Directors also declared a US$0.09 per share interim dividend, up 125% on this time a year ago.


Chief executive officer Jack Cooney called the period “amazingly active”, with the rapid acceleration of US non-residential construction driving “unprecedented demand for our products” as customers looked to catch up on projects previously slowed by COVID-19 restrictions.


While he expects supply chain challenges will continue in the second half 2021, said mitigation plans were in place, with product development initiatives expected to help, with June’s launch of the ‘SkyStrip high-rise structural shoring plywood removal solution’ and development of a new product that will extend reach to another market segment due for release at the end of 2021 or in early 2022.


“We are entering the second half of 2021 with positive momentum in our largest market, the US, with opportunities for further growth in our international markets and from new products, and with a strong financial position to invest in driving and supporting long-term growth.”


12.06: Halfords punctured by bike supply chain issues


Halfords Group PLC (LSE:HFD) shed 3% to 340.2p at noon after it became yet another UK company struggling with supply chain issues.


The retailer said its cycling business was the one being affected, as continuing capacity constraints led to low availability of bikes throughout the period, which contributed to materially lower growth rates towards the end of the 20-week period to 20 August.


The group as a whole is still trading well, in fact the FTSE 250 firm repeated its full-year profit guidance.


11am: Anglesey Mining surges after returning to profit


Anglesey Mining PLC (LSE:AYM, FRA:4AO) surged 14% to 4.2p after returning to profit in the year ending March 2021.


The exploration and development company reported a GBP3.7mln profit, compared to a loss of GBP0.3mln the previous year, thanks to its 12% stake in Labrador Iron Mines Holdings Ltd. It made no revenue from its own projects.


The miner added it made significant progress in its Parys Mountain copper-zinc-lead project in North Wales.


10am: Biffa slips after admitting HGV driver shortage issues


Biffa PLC (LSE:BIFF) slipped 2% to 397p in mid-morning after admitting that a shortage of HGV drivers is having an impact on bin and waste collections.


The group, which collects waste for more than 30 councils across the country, did not say if it has been affected directly but noted it was “working hard to mitigate the impact of the national shortage of HGV drivers, along with other supply chain challenges, on our services.”


Some eighteen councils in the UK recently reported collection problems due to a lack of drivers for lorries.


Elsewhere, Arbuthnot Banking Group (AIM:ARBB) PLC shed 3% to 930p after selling 200,000 shares in Secure Trust Bank PLC (LSE:STB) at 40p, raising GBP2.5mln.


The private London bank retains 619,538 in Secure Trust, corresponding to 3.32% of its issued share capital.


It will also still receive the interim dividend of 20p for the year ending December 2021 in respect of the shares just offloaded, which corresponds to GBP40,000.


8.50am: Accesso Technology early riser after forecast upgrade


Accesso Technology Group PLC (AIM:ACSO, FRA:LQG, OTC:LOQPF) was an early riser on Wednesday morning, jumping by a tenth to 910p on the back of a forecast upgrade.


The technology solutions provider said performance in the first half has been excellent thanks to high demand, so revenue will recover to 2019 trading levels, around US$117mln.


Cash underlying earnings (EBITDA) will be significantly ahead of current market expectations for both the half and the full year, as the extra investments planned to meet demand will be recognised in 2022.


Dunelm Group PLC (LSE:DNLM) was also lifted by an upgrade of profit expectations, jumping 7% to 1,375.2p.


The homewares retailer said sales growth in the first ten weeks of the new financial year has been encouraging, including a positive response from customers to its Summer Sale in July.


It added that it is well-placed to manage the supply chain disruption and inflationary pressures from raw materials, freight costs and driver shortages that have hit several businesses in the UK.

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