FTSE 250: 18,774.07 +0.09% at 1515 GMT
Gas producer Energean on Thursday almost doubled annual 2022 profits and said it expected output this year would reach 131,000-158,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boed) per day after the launch of its main Karish field off Israel.
Core earnings at the Eastern Mediterranean-focused company rose 99% to $421.6m as revenues surged 48.3% to $737m.
Karish, which uses a floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO), was forecast to deliver 4.5-5.5bn (bcm) of gas to Israel this year, with Energean increasing capacity to 8 bcm. It expects its production to reach 200,000 boed by the second half of 2024.
“The first quarter of 2023 has continued the positive trend. Production from Karish is in line with our expectations, and in February we supplied the first Israeli hydrocarbon liquids export cargo to international markets.”
“In Egypt, we achieved first gas at NEA/NI with three further wells due to come onstream during the year. In Italy, we are the third largest producer of natural gas and look forward to increasing our contribution towards the country’s energy supply and in Greece, we are continuing our efforts to explore the untapped resources of the country,” the company said on Thursday.
“The remainder of 2023 will see us present the development concept for the Olympus Area, offshore Israel, and increase the capacity of the Energean Power FPSO to 8 bcm/yr. Through our gas contracting strategy we are in a unique position to have a very predictable and stable cashflow despite turbulence and challenges in the international financial markets.”
Shares in Inchcape fell sharply on Thursday, despite the automotive distributor reporting a rise in annual earnings driven by growth in new and used vehicle sales and higher prices.
Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 50% to £373m, while revenue grew 8% to £8.1bn. The total dividend was lifted 28% to 28.8p a share. However, the shares fell 8% in London trade.
“While we are mindful of the changeable economic environment, the strength of our business model and diversification benefits of our global operations are expected to support the group’s performance in 2023, with trading to date in line with our expectations,” the company said on Thursday.
“We anticipate that new vehicle supply will continue to improve throughout 2023, and support a normalisation of order books. In 2023 we expect to make strategic, operational and financial progress, underpinned by the integration of Derco.”
Bulmers and Magners owner C&C Group said on Thursday that it expects to report a jump in full-year revenues and operating profit despite a challenging backdrop, and to resume dividend payments later in the year.
In an update for the year to 28 February, the company said it expects to report an 18% year-on-year rise in revenues to around €1.69bn, with volumes up 4%. Meanwhile, operating profit is expected to come in at €84m, up from €48m a year earlier.
“This outcome reflects a number of factors, including the previously noted softer than expected Christmas trading and the impact of the various strikes in the UK,” it said.
“In February, the group commenced a significant technology project in our GB operations, a key step in the digital transformation and optimisation of the business. The implementation phase of the project is taking longer than originally envisaged, with some consequent impact on service and profitability, however, encouragingly service levels have largely returned to normal levels.”
C&C said it was pleased with the performance of its core brands – Bulmers and Tennent’s – despite a “challenging” backdrop. It pointed out that according to the latest MAT volume data, both are continuing to grow category share.
The group said net debt reduced to around €150 from €271m at the end of FY2022, while the leverage multiple fell to 1.3x from 3.x4.
“Given the strength of the balance sheet and cash flow generation, C&C intends to recommence dividend payments following the announcement of its FY2023 results and will evaluate the potential for further capital returns to shareholders in due course,” it said.
FTSE 250 – Risers
Energean (ENOG) 1,245.00p 11.46%
PureTech Health (PRTC) 225.00p 10.84%
C&C Group (CDI) (CCR) 156.40p 4.41%
TP Icap Group (TCAP) 183.80p 3.67%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 103.40p 3.50%
Vistry Group (VTY) 757.00p 3.27%
Ithaca Energy (ITH) 155.25p 3.22%
Vanquis Banking Group 20 (VANQ) 224.80p 2.93%
Darktrace (DARK) 278.30p 2.88%
Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 112.00p 2.75%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Inchcape (INCH) 773.50p -10.78%
OSB Group (OSB) 473.00p -5.59%
NB Private Equity Partners Ltd. (NBPE) 1,480.00p -3.58%
IWG (IWG) 153.90p -3.36%
Chemring Group (CHG) 273.50p -3.19%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,707.00p -2.84%
Hammerson (HMSO) 22.48p -2.43%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 144.00p -2.37%
Derwent London (DLN) 2,252.00p -2.26%
Currys (CURY) 57.30p -2.13%