Updates from Severn Trent and Britvic
The Dow Jones, with little corporate news to absorb on Monday, inched up 7.77 points to 16,072.5. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
We kick off with an interim from Severn Trent for the six months to 30 September. Underlying group profit before tax was cut 5.8% to £141.3m. Group profit before tax came in at £191.2m (2012: £113.4m). Bad debt is stable and amongst lowest in industry claims Severn.
Operating costs for adoption of Private Drains and Sewer - water and sewerage companies in England and Wales became responsible for private sewers in 2011 - were up an estimated £41 million in total over the current period.
"In the first six months Severn Trent Water," says boss Tony Wray, "invested £269 million in capital projects, an increase of 12.5%, resulting in improved performance in serious pollution incidents, supply interruptions and sewer flooding, a key priority for this year."
Next, drinks maker Britvic. There's full year revenue growth of 4.4% to £1,321.9m with EBITA growth of 18.4% to £137.9m. Adjusted earnings per share climb 27.5% to 35.2p while the full year dividend is upped 4.0% to 18.4p.
Following last year's recall Fruit Shoot market share in GB is back at pre-recall levels and ahead internationally claims Britvic; brand contribution growth spreads across all units.
"We have grown revenue and price in all of our business units," says chief exec Simon Litherland, "and gained market value share, resulting in operating profit growth in excess of 18%. We have also reduced debt by nearly 10% on the back of improved free cash flow generation."
We end with another glass in the hand - pubs group Mitchells & Butlers. Final numbers for the 52 weeks to 28 September sees pre-tax profits climb to £150m compared to £83m in 2012 while basic earnings per share rise to 32.9p.
Total revenues rise +2.2% to £1,895m with like-for-like sales growth of 0.4%. Sixteen new sites have been opened across more upmarket social, family and special market spaces, claims the company.
"We are proud that," says Alistair Darby, chief exec, "through the measures we have taken, we have been able to grow sales and build our margins in a challenging and competitive consumer environment, leading to EPS growth of 17%."