Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021

Future Plc FY20 Pretax Profit Rises, Organic Revenue Growth At 6%; Future To Acquire GoCo Group

AA Announces Recommended Cash Acquisition By Consortium Of TowerBrook Funds, Warburg Pincus Funds

AA Plc (AA.L) said the boards of the Group and Bidco have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition pursuant to which Bidco shall acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of the AA. Bidco is a newly formed joint venture company owned in equal shares by: funds advised by TowerBrook or its affiliates; and private equity funds managed by Warburg Pincus LLC or its affiliates. As per the terms, AA shareholders shall be entitled to receive: for each AA Share 35 pence in cash. The deal values the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of the AA at approximately 219 million pounds. The Group noted that eligible AA shareholders may elect for the alternative offer, pursuant to which they would receive unlisted securities.

The AA Directors recommended unanimously that scheme shareholders vote in favour of the scheme at the Court Meeting and AA shareholders vote in favour of the resolutions to be proposed at the General Meeting.

Bidco has received support for the deal from AA shareholders interested in a total of 96,484,690 AA shares, representing, in aggregate, approximately 15.5 percent of the AA’s ordinary share capital.

Google Plans $400 Mln Fiber-Optic Network To Connect Through Saudi Arabia, Israel : WSJ

U.S. tech giant Google is laying the groundwork for a fiber-optic network that will connect the first time through Saudi Arabia and Israel, opening a new global internet traffic corridor, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the plans.

According to the report, the link would be established as part of an optical-fiber cable line connecting Europe with India.

The news came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Saudi Arabia on Monday.

The underwater cable project, called Blue Raman route, is said to be more than 8,000 kilometers long and is expected to cost $400 million.

It is said be that Google is partnering with Telecom Italia and Omantel for the project.

Google has yet to receive final approval from the government of Saudi Arabia for connecting the Blue Raman project.

Rotork Says Q3 Group Revenues At 97% Of 2019 Level On OCC Basis

Rotork Plc (ROR.L), a manufacturer of industrial flow control equipment, reported that its third quarter group revenues were at 97% of the 2019 level on an OCC basis. The third quarter performance largely reflected reduced activity at Rotork Site Services.

OCC is organic constant currency results excluding discontinued businesses and restated at 2019 exchange rates.

The company said its performance in the first ten months has demonstrated the improved resilience of the business.

In its trading update covering the four months to 1 November 2020, the company said that order intake in the third quarter showed sequential improvement, whilst remaining lower year-on-year on an OCC basis.

Oil & Gas sales declined more than the Group, with revenue higher year-on-year in the quarter in EMEA and Asia Pacific, but lower in the Americas.

The company expects 2020 adjusted operating profit to be at, or slightly above, the top end of the range of current market expectations of 124 million pounds -136 million pounds.

De La Rue Swings To Profit In H1

De La Rue plc (DLAR.L) reported a profit of £2.9 million or 0.9p per share compared to a loss of £10.8 million or 10.4p per share last year.

Earnings from continuing operations totaled 1.0p per share compared to a loss of 9.8p per share incurred a year ago.

IFRS revenue for the period declined 22.6% to £179.7 million from £232.3 million generated in the prior year period.

Adjusted revenue totaled £174.7 million, 15.1% lower than the previous year’s revenue of £205.9 million.

The company’s net debt reduced to £21.6 million, primarily due to equity capital raise, offset in part by cash spend on the Turnaround Plan.

United Utilities H1 Profit Rises, Revenue Down; Lifts Dividend; Sees Weak Revenues In FY21

United Utilities Group Plc (UU.L,UUGRY.PK) reported Wednesday that its first-half profit after tax grew to 162.0 million pounds from 158.6 million pounds last year.

Underlying profit after tax was 174.0 million pounds, compared to 207.2 million pounds a year ago.

Revenue declined to 894.4 million pounds from 935.5 million pounds last year.

Further, the company announced interim dividend of 14.41 pence per ordinary share, higher than last year’s 14.20 pence, to be paid on February 1, 2021 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on December 18.

Looking ahead for fiscal 2021, revenue is expected to be in the range of 1.75 billion pounds to 1.80 billion pounds reflecting the known bill reduction for 2020/21 and the net impact of COVID-19 on both household and non-household consumption. In fiscal 2020, revenue was 1.86 billion pounds.

The company said, “Customer satisfaction remains high, we are delivering resilient operational performance and this is reflected in a positive ODI forecast for the 2020/21 financial year. We now also have a clearer understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on our business which remains robust and supported by a strong balance sheet.”

Future Plc FY20 Pretax Profit Rises, Organic Revenue Growth At 6%; Future To Acquire GoCo Group

Future plc (FUTR.L) reported profit before tax of 52.0 million pounds for the year ended 30 September 2020 compared to 12.7 million pounds, previous year. Earnings per share was 45.4 pence compared to 9.3 pence. Adjusted profit before tax increased to 90.9 million pounds from 50.3 million pounds. Adjusted earnings per share was 74.7 pence compared to 47.5 pence.

Fiscal year Group revenue was up 53% to 339.6 million pounds, driven by a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. Group organic revenue growth was 6%, for the fiscal year.

The Board recommended a final dividend of 1.6 pence per share for the year ended 30 September 2020, payable on 16 February 2021 to all shareholders on the register at close of business on 15 January 2021.

Future plc also announced that it has agreed the terms of a recommended offer to acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of GoCo Group plc. GoCo shareholders will be entitled to receive 0.052497 new future shares and 33 pence in cash valuing each GoCo Group Share at 136 pence. The deal values the entire issued and to be issued share capital of GoCo at 594 million pounds on a fully diluted basis. Following completion, GoCo shareholders will own approximately 19% of the combined Group.

The Future Board expects the combination to be immediately earnings per share accretive and materially earnings per share accretive in the first full year post the combination becoming effective.

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