Coronavirus has made a severe mark on the business across the globe, lots of companies are on the verge of collapse, while many others are going for serious restructuring to sustain the storm. In the UK, the government has announced several schemes and based on the demands of the different industries have been making modifications in them as well, recently there was an announcement of increasing the limit of Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme to £200 million from the earlier announced £50 million, however, the firms availing the scheme benefits have been banned from paying bonuses and dividends. Meanwhile, there has been a slew of earnings announcements from different companies, let us discuss the latest earning of three London Stock Exchange-listed companies, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, Marks and Spencer Group Plc and Severn Trent Plc.
Overview of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (LON: BMY) is a prominent publishing house. The company was founded in the year 1986. Bloomsbury has its offices in New Delhi, Oxford, London, Sydney and New York. The company was established with authors recipients of Nobel Prizes, Booker Prizes and Pulitzer prizes. Famous Harry Potter series too comes from the stables of the company.
BMY – Financial Highlights
On 20th May 2020, the company released its preliminary results for the period ended 29th February 2020.
- The company's profit before taxation increased by 9 per cent to £15.7 million as compared to £14.4 million in FY2019. The company witnessed a strong performance but also experienced the impact of coronavirus in China in the last two months of FY2020.
- Revenues rose marginally to £162.8 million as compared to £162.7 million, even though there were challenges in the Chinese sales in the months of January and February 2020.
- The board expects the Print revenues to decrease by 60 per cent to 65 per cent in the three months due to global coronavirus restrictions to July 2020 and expects it to improve by March 2021.
- During December 2019, the company completed the purchase of the drama publisher Oberon’s rights for £1.2 million, strengthening its position in the performing arts and drama.
- During the FY2020, the company spent £1.8 million of capital expenditure in BDR.
- The Net cash improved by 14 per cent to £31.3 million as at 29th February 2020 (2018: £27.6 million).
- The company announced the appointment of Paul Baggaley as Editor-In-Chief of Bloomsbury Adult in March 2020.
- As per the company’s information, the recommended bonus issue will be rendered on 28th August 2020 to Investors on the register on the record date of 31st July 2020.
- The post-year-end in March 2020, the company purchased some assets of Zed Books Limited. Zed will function in the segment of Academic & Professional in the company.
BMY – Share Price Performance
(Source: Thomson Reuters)
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc’s stock price is trading at GBX 211.0 as on 20th May 2020 (at around 12:08 PM GMT). The company’s one year high/low price is GBX 304.00 / GBX 165.0, which were reported on 07th January 2020 and 17th March 2020, respectively.
At the time of writing, the company’s Market Capitalisation was reported to be at £166.89 million, and the beta was reported at 0.67, which shows the lower volatility of the stock versus the benchmark.
Overview of Marks and Spencer Group Plc
Marks and Spencer Group Plc (LON: MKS) is one of the prominent retailers of the UK, which brings great value food, clothing & Homeware to millions of the consumer across the globe. The company’s food products are famous for freshness, quality, and innovative reputations. Also, the company sells modern, wearable style clothes at competent prices. The company’s stock is listed on LSE and trade under the FTSE 250 index, FTSE 350 index and FTSE 350 High Yield index on the London Stock Exchange.
MKS – Financial Highlights
The company released its full-year result for 52 Weeks Ended 28th March 2020.
(Source: Company Release)
- During the FY2020, the profit before tax & adjusting items decreased by 21.2 per cent to £403.1 million, there was an unfavourable profit effect of £52 million in March 2020, mainly due to novel coronavirus.
- Like for like Food revenue remained robust with an increase of 1.9 per cent, while operating profit increased by 11.2 per cent due to volume outpacing the market during the FY2020.
- Store sales in the United Kingdom's Clothing & Home decreased due to the closure of space running down.
- The company purchased 50 per cent of Ocado Retail during the FY2020, which is a significant investment in online grocery. 40.4 per cent revenue growth for the nine weeks to 3rd May 2020 was witnessed from the business.
- The company has taken several initiatives worth £1 billion to withstand the crunch; these initiatives include £500 million of strategic cost reductions.
- The company's Liquidity was safeguarded, including significant easing of contracts on the £1.1 billion loans. The company has been confirmed for the UK Government's Coronavirus Corporate Financing Facility in which £300 million allocated.
- The company decided to withdraw the final dividend of £130 million, which will produce additional cash reserves after year-end of 2020.
MKS – Share Price Performance
(Source: Thomson Reuters)
Marks and Spencer Group Plc’s stock price is trading at GBX 93.99 as on 20th May 2020 (at around 02:08 PM GMT). The stock price of the company has increased by 9.55 per cent or 8.19 points from the last day’s closing price. The company’s one year high/low price stood at GBX 261.87 / GBX 73.90, which were reported on 21st May 2019 and 16th March 2020, respectively.
At the time of writing, the company’s Market Capitalisation was reported to be at £1.67 billion, and the beta stood at 1.39, which shows the higher volatility of the stock as compared to the benchmark.
Overview of Severn Trent Plc
Severn Trent Plc (LON: SVT) is one of the prominent water companies in England. The company provides its services to around eight million people around the region with clean and fresh water every day. The company is going to invest over £6 billion from 2020 to the year 2025 on existing and new assets like treatment works, pipes and an artificial lake.
SVT – Financial Highlights
On 20th May 2020, the company released the final result for the period ended 31st March 2020.
- During the FY2020, the Group turnover increased by 4.3 per cent to £1,844 million as Regulated Water, and Wastewater revenue improved by 2.4 per cent due to the RPI-linked tariff gains, and Business Services' turnover rose by 19.7 per cent.
- The company's reported Group PBIT increased by 0.9 per cent to £568.2 million during the FY2020 (2018/19: £563.3 million).
- The effective interest cost decreased to 3.7 per cent aided by churning expensive fixed-rate debts with low rate debts and minimal RPI inflation on index-linked debt.
- The total profit decreased substantially to £158.8 million during the FY20 as compared to £315.3 million in the FY2019.
- The company is comfortably placed to manage the impact of a novel coronavirus with £755 million undrawn debt facilities, £200 million raised on US Private Placement market and less than 2.5 per cent of debt maturing in FY21.
SVT – Share Price Performance
(Source: Thomson Reuters)
Severn Trent Plc’s stock price is trading at GBX 2,443.0 as on 20th May 2020 (at around 02:33 PM GMT). The stock price of the company has increased by 1.62 per cent or 39.0 points from the last day’s closing price. The company’s one year high/low price is GBX 2,716.0 / GBX 1,899.50, which were reported on 19th February 2020 and 20th May 2019, respectively.
At the time of writing, the company’s Market Capitalisation was reported to be at £5.72 billion, and the beta stood at 0.67, which shows the lower volatility of the stock as compared to the benchmark.
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