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Wed 14th Jan 2015 - Results: Just Eat, Christie Group, C&C Group, Cineworld
Just Eat – orders up by 50% on a like-for-like basis in 2014: Just Eat, the online and mobile marketplace for takeaway food, has reported that the strong momentum reported during the year has continued for the year ended 31 December “enabling management to remain highly confident for the full year results both financially and operationally”. Total orders for the 12 months to 31 December 2014 increased by 52% compared to the same period in 2013. This figure includes the benefit of consolidating the orders from our French business (Alloresto.fr) from July 2014 but excludes any Brazilian orders from November 2014 onwards when that business became an associate. On a like-for-like basis (excluding orders in both years for countries where there has been a change in the basis of consolidation) orders increased by 50% in the full year compared to the same period in 2013. The company stated: “This continued excellent performance across all markets has been driven by Just Eat’s ongoing investment in marketing, staff, technology and new products supported by strong underlying momentum in the channel shift to consumers ordering takeaway on mobile devices and online.” Chief executive David Buttress added: “I am delighted with our continued growth in 2014 which provides an excellent base for further development of all our businesses. We enter 2015 with confidence and we will continue to invest to give consumers more reasons to order their takeaway favourites through Just Eat’s online and mobile platforms.” Just Eat will report its 2014 full year results on 17 March 2015.
 
Christie Group – revenue and profit are significantly ahead: Property agent Christie Group has told the stock market this morning that “revenue and profits for the year to 31 December 2014 is now expected to be significantly ahead of market forecast”. The company added: “This is attributable to a strong year end trading performance in the transactional and advisory business, which saw the completion of a number of notable assignments in the final few weeks of the year. Preliminary full year results for the year ended 31 December 2014 are due to be released on Tuesday 31 March 2015.”
 
C&C Group – trading below expectations: Drinks maker C&C Group has reported trading conditions in the third quarter to 30 November were below its expectations – and have been at the same level since. In Ireland, following solid performance in the first six months of the year, volume (excluding Gleesons) was down 3.4% in the quarter. The market was slow in the period with October and November proving to be particularly quiet months. In Scotland, a similar trading profile was evident and volume (excluding Wallaces) in the period was down 2.4%. The Group’s core markets, however, are expected to continue to provide resilient levels of profitability and cash flow. In England and Wales, it reported pressure on pricing increased in the off trade channel, reflecting intensifying competition at both retail and brand owner points in the supply chain. The company stated: “Our cider volume in the quarter was down 9.8% with net revenue down 18.2%. C&C has, and continues to explore, a range of initiatives within these markets to deliver improved profitability. In the US, volume declined 16.2% in the period representing an improvement on the first half but still some way from a return to growth. However, the disruptive impact of new entrants to the market has receded. Retail data for the multi-outlet and convenience retail (‘MULC’) channel since July 2014 highlights that Woodchuck is performing broadly in line with the month-on-month movement in the category. The underlying performance trends of the second half provide increased confidence in the brand’s prospects for FY16. We believe that the opening of the new cidery in August, product innovations and better sales execution are having a positive impact. The US cider category remains very attractive and the Group is firmly committed to capitalising on the long-term growth potential. Excluding the US, underlying performance in other export markets was strong. Volume in Europe increased 18.6% in the quarter with Magners up 7.1% and Tennent’s up 62.1%. Distribution issues in Australia depressed overall volume in the segment for the quarter but those issues are now resolved. We anticipate a solid distribution platform in Australia in FY16 and the removal of the drag that Australia has proven to be over the last 18 months.” Trading over the Christmas period was also below C&C’s expectations in the domestic markets and volume trends are broadly consistent with the third quarter performance. The company added: “Following weaker than expected trading conditions in the third quarter, conditions that continued during the Christmas period, C&C is updating its operating profit guidance for FY15. Operating profit in the region of €115 million is now anticipated. Looking beyond FY15, the Group expects the core markets of Ireland and Scotland to continue delivering resilient performance through strong, brand-led multi-beverage operating models. In the US, the significant investments and focussed activity in FY15 should begin to have a positive impact on performance in FY16.In England and Wales, C&C is advancing plans to significantly reduce costs which will return the cider business to acceptable levels of profitability, expand margins and increase investment behind the brand portfolio.”

Cineworld – profits will be at the top end of expectations: Cineworld has reported that it expects profitability for the year ended 1 January 2015 will be towards the top end of market consensus. The company stated: “The UK & Ireland business continued to outperform the wider market with box office revenues increasing by 0.1%, reflecting a decline in admissions of 3.7% offset by a growth of 4.0% in the average ticket price. Admissions in CEE & Israel increased by 4.0%. Poland has performed particularly strongly during the year, where the increase in both local film product and the slate of popular family films resulted in admissions growth of 6.8%. Overall, the impact of the 53rd week in 2014 resulted in 3.5% of the revenue growth of the Group. During the year we opened two new cinemas in the UK (St Neots and Telford with six and 11 screens respectively) and two new cinemas in Romania (Ploiesti and Targu Jiu, both with six screens). We are currently contracted to open a further 11 cinemas in the UK (84 screens, of which 11 relate to three new Picturehouse cinemas) and ten in CEE & Israel (105 screens) during 2015, of which 18 cinemas (160 screens) are under construction. There is a strong film release programme for 2015 which includes “Avengers: The Age of Ultron”, “Star Wars: Episode VII”, “Jurassic World”, the final Hunger Games title “Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” and the next Bond film “Spectre”. With our plans for continued expansion across the Group, we look forward to delivering further value to shareholders in 2015.”


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