Premarket London: CRH Forecasts Solid 2020; Compass Takes a Hit

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© Reuters. © Reuters. — Here is a summary of regulatory news releases from the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday, 26th November. Please refresh for updates.

  • Catering provider Compass Group (LON:) said it will take a charge of around 300 million pounds to slim down its European operations, in response to a slowdown that has hit demand and margins.
  • Around 190 million pounds in restructuring costs have hit the full-year results, announced on Tuesday. The rest will be booked in the fiscal 2020 year.
    • The charges meant that reported operating profit fell 5.4% on the year, while earnings per share fell 1.8%. Even so, the company raised its dividend by 6.1%.
  • For the coming year, Compass expects organic sales growth in the middle of its 4%-6% range, down from 6.4% in the fiscal year just ended. It said it expects margins to stay “strong”.
  • Building materials group CRH (LON:) said it expects full-year EBITDA to be over 4.15 billion euros ($4.21 billion) after a strong third quarter and said “solid market fundamentals” across its key markets will ensure another good year in 2020.
  • Profit before tax from continued and discontinued operations is seen up from 2018’s 1.8 billion euros, helped by around 400 million euros in gains from disposals. Net debt is expected around 7 billion euros, below the forecast 2x EBITDA level.
  • Like-for-like sales growth in the third quarter rose to 5% from 3% in the first half of the year, as its Americas division lived up to expectations with a 7% surge.
  • EBITDA rose 27% to 3.2 billion euros ($3.5 billion), although on a like-for-like basis the gain was a more modest 7%.

Passport maker De La Rue (LON:) said on Tuesday it will suspend dividend payments after swinging to a loss of 9.2 million pounds in the six months through September, and will present a thorough strategic review by the end of the first quarter to address its worsening performance.

The company, which also prints banknotes, said it faced competition from increased usage of digital payments.

It now expects an adjusted profit between 20 and 25 million pounds for the full year 2019-20.

  • Pets at Home (LON:) said it expects full-year profit “toward the top end of market consensus” after posting like-for-like growth of 7.6% in the first half of its fiscal 2020 year.
  • The underlying gross margin edged down to 49.0% from 50.3%, while statutory profit before tax rose to 37.3 million pounds from 8 million a year earlier.
  • The group also said it had begun a search for a new chairman, as Tony DeNunzio is stepping down after nine years in the post.
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