Homeserve higher after upbeat trading news


Homeserve PLC (LSE:HSV) has moved higher after improved results and a positive outlook statement.

The home repairs and improvements business – which includes Checkatrade in the UK – saw half year revenues rise by 14% to GBP610.5mln, while pretax profits nearly doubled at GBP18.9mln.

There was a good performance from its north American business, which is ahead of expectations, while it is moving ahead with plans to broaden its operations in the UK and Europe.

It said: “HomeServe is emerging strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic, with the resilience of its business models proven and headwinds such as the threat of inflation, labour shortages and supply chain disruption having minimal effect to date. The company has moved forward in its three key areas of strategic focus – driving growth in North America, transforming and broadening the UK business and developing a market-leading home experts platform.

“The board’s guidance in May 2021 was that HomeServe expects to deliver an acceleration in performance in the 2022 full year compared to 2021. The first half has delivered early evidence of this, financially and strategically, and there has been good progress in the period to enable continued growth.”

The company’s shares have climbed 67.5p or 7.88% to 924p.

12.40pm: Trakm8 accelerates after returning to profit

Trakm8 Holdings PLC (AIM:TRAK) has seen its shares accelerate after returning to profit and issuing a positive update.

The vehicle telematics equipment said half year revenues rose 23% to GBP9.02mln and it turned an GBP845,000 loss into a GBP45,000 profit.

It said it had a high level of orders from existing and new fleet customers, but insurance telematics policy sales had plateaued.

On the outlook it said: “Despite additional costs associated with mitigating supply chain challenges and expected significant component price increases, the board remains confident that for the full year ending 31st March 2022, the group will be slightly ahead of current market expectations on all profit measures

“It is expected that this will be achieved on lower than previously expected revenues of circa GBP18mln due to softening of the telematics insurance market.”

Its share are up 1.5p or 5.77% at 27.5p.

11.23am: Universe Group on the rise after deal for outdoor payment terminals

Universe Group PLC (AIM:UNG), a specialist in retail payment and loyalty systems, has rung up a good rise after a new contract win.

It has agreed a GBP4.4mln deal to supply outdoor payment terminals for the forecourt estate of a major existing retail customer of the group.

It added that there would be further discussions regarding the timing of the contract, but the revenue and profit from the deal would be incremental to its existing expectations.

Chief executive Neil Radley said: “We are very pleased to announce this contract, which emphasises our strong market position in this area. This contract will deliver either an outperformance to our expectations for this financial year or, dependent on timing and the outcome of other customer proposals, provide a firm foundation as we enter the next financial year. We remain a business committed to a transition to a software as a service model focussed on recurring revenues and look forward to reporting further progress in that regard in due course.”

Universe is up 0.9p or 19.57% at 5.5p.

10.38am: Gear4music warns of Brexit hit to profits

Gear4music Holdings PLC (AIM:G4M) has struck a discordant note with its latest update.

The company, which sells own-brand musical instruments and music equipment alongside third-party brands including Fender, Yamaha and Roland, warned full year profits would be below expectations.

First half revenues fell 8% to GBP64.7mln while earnings dropped from GBP8.5mln to GBP4.8mln, due to the impact of COVID-19.

It said those results were in line with its forecasts.

But since then revenues have been worse than expected due to Brexit-related supply chain issues.

So it is now predicting full year earnings of GBP12mln compared to the GBP14mln pencilled in by City analysts.

Chief executive Andrew Wass said: “First quarter sales were stronger than expected, which provided the basis for the board to upgrade its expectations on 22 June 2021.

“However, Brexit related supply chain challenges are persisting for longer than we had previously anticipated, and European third quarter sales to date have been slower than previously expected. As a result, the group is trading below full year consensus market expectations….

“As our new hubs in Ireland and Spain scale-up to build upon our existing European infrastructure, we are confident that the remaining Brexit related challenges will be resolved by the fourth quarter and our European customer proposition will be significantly strengthened.”

It also has hopes for its acquisition of AV Distribution which is due to complete next month.

But the profit news has seen its shares drop 13.13% or 105p to 695p.

9.29am: Victoria Oil & Gas surges after Cameroon well update

Victoria Oil & Gas PLC (AIM:VOG) has seen its shares flare up after a positive well update.

The company said the Logbaba well La-108 in Cameroon had successfully restarted production following its closure in June to perform a pressure build-up, and in the first few days had supplied 5.7mln standard cubic feet per day.

Chief executive Roy Kelly said: “I am absolutely delighted with this result, delivered safely and efficiently by our excellent team of staff and contractors, which included a local oilfield services company providing the wireline services. We saved time, money and any environmental risks by omitting any testing to flare, and the well was handed over to the production department straight after the perforating phase.”

Victoria’s shares are up 19.3% at 3.4p.

8.55am: Zenova climbs after Redbridge approves its fire resistant paint

Fire safety and heat management specialist Zenova Group PLC (AIM:ZED) is among the day’s top gainers.

Its shares are up 1.5p or 8.11% at 20p after it received approval from another London local authority for its FP fire-resistant paint.

The move by the London Borough of Redbridge came after Pelling LLP included the paint in the specification for the refurbishment of Ilford High Road Deco Building, a project being managed by the consultancy group.

Zenova chief executive Tony Crawley said: “Whilst we have long known of Zenova FP’s excellent abilities to prevent ignition and the spread of fire, its inclusion by Pelling LLP in the specification for the refurbishment of publicly owned buildings, and Zenova FP becoming specified for use by local authorities, confirms both the confidence others have in Zenova FP and that it is rapidly becoming a leading fire protection paint.

“Achieving local authority specified status for Zenova FP as a fire protection product is incredibly important as, without it, contractors cannot use it in local authority owned buildings. As knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Zenova FP grows, we are targeting for Zenova FP to become a specified product with local authorities throughout the UK.

“This news quickly follows Zenova FP becoming a specified product in the London Borough of Enfield, and a relatively short time after Zenova’s admission to AIM. We are pleased with the progress we are making in introducing our products to new markets and it is particularly satisfying that local authorities are beginning to recognise the crucial role Zenova FP can play in improving fire safety in local authority owned buildings.”

Elsewhere investors were tuning in to Focusrite PLC (AIM:TUNE), the music and audio products company.

Its full year revenues rose 34% to GBP173.9mln while operating profits surged from GBP7.9mln to GBP35.8mln.

Executive chairman Phil Dudderidge said: “We are delighted with these outstanding results, having overcome disruption to component suppliers, factories, logistics and changes to working practices.

“With so many lockdowns around the world, musicians, podcasters, and other creatives in audio and sound have been investing in Focusrite interfaces and studio packs in record numbers while we work hard to meet that challenging demand.

“Major global take-up in home recording has also resulted in significant growth in demand for ADAM Audio monitor loudspeakers and Novation products. In the professional audio industry, renewed demand from the live sound market promises further growth in 2022 and 2023 as sound service companies reinvest in the new generation of Martin Audio event systems”.

The company’s shares have climbed by 105p or 7% to 1605p.


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