News & Tips: GVC, Evraz, Marshalls & More


Evraz (EVR) will sell off its US vanadium processing operation to the US Vanadium consortium, which includes Traxys and Brian Menell’s Techmet vehicle. The steelmaker and coal miner said in its interim results last week it would sell the Evraz Stratcor unit, based in Arkansas, but did not name the buyer or the price. The price is still undisclosed. In the interim results, Evraz said it made $343m (£284m) from vanadium in alloys and chemicals, a 13 per cent drop due to vanadium pentoxide prices falling steeply from major highs last year. Buy.

Marshalls (MSLH) reported a 15 per cent rise in revenue during the first half and pushed operating margins ahead to 13.9 per cent, from 13.7 per cent. That helped boost operating profits by 16 per cent. The landscape product specialist launched a new five-year growth strategy, under which it will invest in £23m this year in improving organic growth and improve the profitability of the emerging UK business. Buy.


GVC (GVC) reported a 61 per cent increase in net gaming revenue (NGR) to £1.81bn during the first half, with underlying pre-tax profits up by nearly a third to £212m. Online generated the highest rate of growth in NGR, up 17 per cent, followed by European retail up 7 per cent, with both divisions reporting growth in all regions. UK retail like-for-like NGR fell 10 per cent, ahead of expectations, due in part to the maximum stake cut on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2 that took effect in April. In the US, the full launch of online sports betting in New Jersey is on-track for the start of the 2019 NFL season in September. Full-year cash profits and operating profit are now expected to be a further £10m ahead of expectations. Shares were up 4 per cent in early trading.


FirstGroup (FGP) has appointed David Martin to the board with immediate effect. Mr Martin is the former chief executive of Arriva, a transport group with bus, rail and coach operations across 14 countries, generating revenue of €6bn (£5.54bn). FirstGroup interim chairman David Robbie said Mr Martin has “significant experience in business turnaround and performance improvement” within the transport sector. Yesterday it was announced that FirstGroup had been awarded the West Coast Partnership franchise via its joint venture with Trenitalia. Shares were up more than 5 per cent in early trading.

Half-year results from Camellia (CAM) indicate revenue has fallen by 8 per cent to £117m in the six months to 30 June, with a swing to an underlying pre-tax loss of £4.1m. This comes on the back of record global tea production in 2018, an oversupplied market and significantly lower average prices. The group has benefited from the release of £8m of wage provisions following settlements with workers in Kenya and India. Net cash has dropped by 19 per cent to £89m. Shares are down 3 per cent this morning.