Results round-up

Alexander Bueso Sharecast | 19 May, 2017 17:37 | | |

Jefferies downgraded credit checking company Experian to 'hold' from 'buy' and cut the price target to 1,550p from 1,670p following the company's preliminary full-year results on Thursday.

Although increased innovation should help the group to grow at least in line with end markets, Jefferies pointed out that US credit momentum is slowing and said it is unclear whether Consumer Services can revive after more than two years of disruption.

Newspaper publisher Johnston Press posted a 0.2% rise in total revenues for the 17-week period to the end of April as it noted that trading conditions for regional newspapers remain challenging.

Excluding sales of the i newspaper, which continues to perform well, total revenues were down 12%. Sales volumes for the i were up 4% in the 12 months since its acquisition, with circulation revenues up 23% and average website unique users 12% higher from February to March.

Digital advertising revenues were up 10%, or 3% higher including classifieds. Meanwhile, on-network digital audiences were up 11% to 26m, with average page views up 17%.

Circulation volumes of The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post continued to improve, while other large dailies such as the Sheffield Star, Evening Post and the Edinburgh News also saw some improvement.

"The board notes that trading conditions for regional newspapers in the UK remain challenging and, while encouraged by improving trends across the group, the management team continues to take actions to manage its costs tightly."

John Laing Infrastructure Fund said its underlying portfolio value grew 1.9% in the first quarter to £1.2bn on a rebased value of £1.19bn and in line with expectations.

JLIF said the rebased portfolio value reflected cash received from investments during the period and the appreciation of sterling against the Euro, Canadian dollar and US dollar.

Net Asset Value (NAV) was £1.2bn, including £31.3m of cash allocated to the dividend to be paid in May 2017.

The NAV per share rose 2.7p to 122.9 pence due to underlying portfolio growth over the period, and the NAV accretive equity issuance in March 2017, JLIF added.

In a separate announcement , JLIF said Andrew Charlesworth, investment adviser at John Laing Capital Management (JLCM) would be leaving on May 26 to "pursue opportunities in the global infrastructure market".

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