FirstGroup PLC (LON: FGP)
West Sussex, United Kingdom-headquartered, FirstGroup PLC is a provider of transport services in the United Kingdom and North American region, which seeks to cater to the transportation needs of universities, school boards, local and state authorities, and national governments. The company has a great expertise across different contractual and regulatory frameworks in designing and operating transportation networks. First Student, First Bus, First Rail, First Transit, Greyhound are some of its divisions.
The company has taken several important steps to rationalise its portfolio. The company is looking forward to the monetisation of the North American businesses to maximise value for its shareholders. This reflects the resolute focus of the board on generating value for its shareholders.
FGP-Business performance H1 FY19
(Source: Company’s filings, London Stock Exchange)
The company’s revenue surged by 4.1 per cent (on constant currency basis) with the increase in the Road divisions by 1.8 per cent. This was complemented by sound growth in First Student, First Transit and First Rail. The company’s revenue surged by 6.9 per cent (on actual currency basis) to £3,531.9 million in the first half of the fiscal year 2019.
Due to poorer UK summer weather and lesser First Student operating days, the adjusted operating profit decreased by 7.3 per cent excluding the effect of transitioning to IFRS 16, while the company’s operating profit (adjusted) surged by 2.1 per cent on constant currency basis to £97.7 million in the first half of the fiscal year 2019 as compared to £92.4 million in the first half of the fiscal year 2018.
The company’s operating loss (statutory) was recorded at £118.1 million in the first half of the fiscal year 2019 in comparison to profit of £46.3 million in the first half of the fiscal year 2018. This loss reflected the reorganisation and restructuring costs of £15.4 million, the Greyhound impairment charge of £124.4 million and North American self-insurance reserve charge of £59.3 million.
The company’s adjusted profit before taxation dipped by 35.9 per cent to £28.7 million and adjusted EPS plunged by 35.5 per cent to 2 pence per share, due to the first-time adoption of IFRS 16 and dollar-denominated financing costs.
The company’s loss before taxation (statutory) was recorded at £187.1 million and loss per share stood at 14.3 pence in the fiscal year 2019 in contrast to a loss of 0.6 pence in the prior year.
The company’s net debt surged to £2,084.1 million in the first half of the fiscal year 2019 from £1,047.7 million in the first half of the fiscal year 2018. The company’s cash outflow (adjusted) was around £78.0 million in the first half of the fiscal year 2019 as against an inflow of £50.6 million in the first half of the fiscal year 2018.
FGP-Stock price performance
On 20th December 2019, the shares of FirstGroup PLC last traded at GBX 125.60 per share, which were up by 2.53 per cent from the last closing price on the previous day. The group’s market capitalisation was approximately £1.49 billion. The shares of FirstGroup PLC traded at a high-price mark of GBX 138.80 on 01st October 2019 and at a low-price mark of GBX 78.30 on 27th December 2018 in the last twelve-month period.
Cineworld Group PLC (LON: CINE)
Brentford, UK-based international cinema chain, Cineworld Group PLC has presence in more than nine nations. Incepted in 1995, it is now one of the leading cinema groups in Europe. As far as number of screens are concerned, due to the acquisition of Regal Entertainment Group, the company became the second largest cinema group across the world. Its geographical segments are divided into the United Kingdom, Ireland; the United States and ROW. The company’s operating segments are differentiated into Box office, Retail, and other income. In May 2007, the company got it shares quoted on the London Stock Exchange.
The company is looking forward to acquiring Cineplex, the largest cinema operator in Canada with a highly attractive, well-invested portfolio and a 75 per cent box office market share for C$34 per share in cash, which garnered unanimous support from the Board of Directors of the company. The Enterprise Value (EV) for Cineplex is C$2.8 billion and EBITDA multiple of 6.3x which includes combination benefits.
(Source: Company’s filings, London Stock Exchange)
The company released its trading update for the period from 01st January 2019 to 01st December 2019 on 3rd December 2019. The group’s total revenue in actual terms slumped by 9.7 per cent, due to plunge of 10.9 per cent in the total US revenue, fall of 9.7 per cent in the UK and Ireland’s total revenue and slippage of 0.5 per cent in ROW total revenue for the period from 01st January 2019 to 01st December 2019.
The major Box office revenue plunged 12.8 per cent (figures are quoted on actual basis) in comparison to the corresponding previous period, this can be attributed to the phasing of major releases and postponement of some highly anticipated movies to 2020 as per the group.
Retail segment's total revenue was down by 7.4 per cent (actual basis), due to slump of 8.7 per cent (actual basis) in the UK and Ireland, followed by 8.3 per cent (actual basis) of decline in revenue in the United States.
However, US-based Regal integration reported that it can achieve synergies between $150 million to $190 million, which were ahead of the management expectations, post necessary improvements in contractual terms and the elimination of excess costs.
CINE-Stock price performance
On 20th December 2019, the shares of Cineworld Group PLC last traded at a market price of GBX 220.30 per share, which were down by 0.32 per cent from the last closing price on the previous day. The group’s market capitalisation was approximately £3.05 billion. The shares of Cineworld Group PLC traded at a high-price mark of GBX 303.99 on 08th May 2019 and at a low-price mark of GBX 188.40 on 16th December 2019 in the last twelve-month period.
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