Tuesday's most followed: Mouchel Group, Carclo, Findel, Ted Baker, Central Rand Gold, Sainsbury’sReported by Proactive Investors on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 (on June 12, 2012)
*Mouchel Group (LON:MCHL)* remained at the centre of attention today after seeing its share price fall further on the back of yesterday’s update on the ongoing strategic review, while today’s most read RNS statements included full year results from *Carclo (LON:CAR) *and *Findel (LON:FDL)*.
The two reports were in contrast to each other as while plastics group Carclo climbed 4.5 percent to 380 pence in early deals, home shopping group Findel dropped nearly four percent to 3.59 pence.
The results from Carclo were “sound”, showing that revenues for the year to end March rose 5.2 percent to £93.3 million, leading to a 12.3 percent surge in underlying profits to £6.6 million.
The group has decided to increase its total dividend by 91 percent to 2.4 pence per share on the back of the strong financial performance.
In addition, Carclo announced that its outgoing chief executive Ian Williamson will be replaced by Chris Malley in March next year.
During the year, the group was focused on its fine line touch screen project with Atmel Corporation, which has taken a major step forward in April with the commercial launch of the XSense touch sensor product based on CIT's fine line technology.
Carclo also reported “excellent” technical progress at its diagnostic solutions business, which has developed a range of single use point-of-care diagnostic devices.
Initial commercial discussions are currently underway with a potential partner, the group told investors today.
The group noted that operating profits at its precision products division has increased to £3.2 million from £2.2 million, helped by strong performances from Wipac's supercar lighting business and its precision engineering business.
While Carclo increased its total dividend by 91 percent to 2.4 pence per share, Findel decided against paying dividend after seeing its pre-tax losses widen to £12.1 million in the year to end March from £1.4 million a year earlier.
The increase in losses came as revenues fell to £537.8 million from £540.7 million.
The group swung to a loss of 0.29 pence per share from earnings of 1.04 pence per share in the previous year.
On a positive side, the group reported a good start t the current year with sales rising 6.5 percent in the first eight weeks and an encouraging performance by all of its businesses.
“During the first year of our full potential plan our focus has been on implementing the key initiatives required to reverse the downward trajectory of the group and bring it back to profitable growth despite an increasingly unstable economic background,” said chief executive of Findel Roger Siddle.
“Overall, we are pleased with the progress that has been made and are particularly encouraged by the good start which has been made to the current year.
Other financial reports that were among the most read statements included a trading update from clothing retailer *Ted Baker (LON:TED)*.
The group reported that its revenues jumped 14.6 percent during the 19 weeks period to June 9 as retail sales rose 16.2 percent from a year earlier despite what the company described as challenging trading conditions.
Sales got a boost from new concessions opened in the US, Spain and Ireland along with a new store on the Brompton Road, London.
Meanwhile, the brand’s expansion into international markets continued with the opening of its first store in Tokyo and new concessions with department stores in the Netherlands and South Korea.
In the coming months, Ted Baker plans to open new stores on New York’s Fifth Avenue, Harbour City, Hong Kong and its first stores in Toronto, Canada, along with Beijing and Shanghai in China.
Wholesale sales rose 8.9 percent from the same period last year, primarily driven by growth in the US with full year growth expected at a similar level, the group added.
Back to Mouchel, the infrastructure group topped the list of the most searched for UK companies on Google Finance with traders looking for more background information about the company and monitoring market reaction to yesterday’s news.
Mouchel shed a further 12 percent, falling to 3.35 pence in early deals, after sliding more than 30 percent on Monday after revealing that all of the restructuring options it is currently considering will result in “there being only limited value for existing shareholders”.
Mouchel added that costs related to the ongoing operational restructuring and upcoming financial restructuring will impact its full year performance.
A balance sheet restructuring is currently expected to be announced before the end of July.
Peel Hunt advised investors to sell the stock;, however, analyst Christopher Bamberry said the company “should be a much more interesting investment proposition” and generate sensible rturns once the balance sheet is restructured.
*Central Rand Gold (LON:CRND) *also fell in early trade, dropping 9.5 percent to 0.72 pence as it downgraded part of the resource estimate at its mining operations in Johannesburg as a result of the rising water level.
The company and consultancy Venmyn have reclassified all mineral resources and reserves deeper than 450 metres below the surface into the SAMREC code compliant exploration target category.
The total SAMREC resource in the measured, indicated and inferred categories now stands at 26.24 million tonnes grading 5.34 grammes per tonne (g/t) gold for total 4.51 million ounces of contained gold.
Meanwhile, the probable reserve estimate for the CMR West area fell to 407,000 ounces from the previous estimate of 482,000 ounces of gold, which had a maximum depth of 900 metres.
Central Rand Gold’s total mineral asset base is now valued at US$202 million.
On message boards, some traders were optimistic, pointing out that the value attributed to the company’s mineral resource dwarfs its current market cap of £11.5 million and the estimates could improve as its operations are dewatered.
In the meantime, retail giant *Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY)* also ranked high among popular searches on Google after acquiring a 64 percent stake in online books platform Anobii through buying HMV Group's shareholding in the firm.
Anobii has more than 600,000 users worldwide, with a library of over 60,000 e-books. Its other shareholders are publishers HarperCollins, Penguin and Random House.
“Anobii's innovative use of social media is a clear differentiator. This acquisition is a valuable addition to our digital portfolio and shows our commitment to becoming a key player in the digital entertainment market,” said Sainsbury’s head of digital entertainment Mark Bennett.
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