Benefiting from the strong market recovery, EssilorLuxottica witnessed an acceleration in sales in Q2 with optical growing faster than the sun category. Interestingly, the outperformance was led by the US-heavy retail business. Wholesale also witnessed a step-up, though it lagged due to its European exposure. Robust sales growth and strict cost management ensured a beat on profitability too. Given the sturdy results, the FY21 outlook has been raised. With GrandVision now in the bag and governanc
Companies: EssilorLuxottica SA
After two failed attempts, EssilorLuxottica has finally won the legal battle against GrandVision. While the French-Italian giant now has the option to pull the plug on the deal without paying any penalties, we believe it would instead go-ahead with the deal but at a lower price. Importantly, EssilorLuxottica now has an upper hand to renegotiate terms and, considering that GrandVision is no longer in a position to dictate the terms, it might agree a lower price.
2021 has got off to an encouraging start with the group capitalising on the rebound in the US and Chinese markets. Interestingly, strong momentum was visible in prescription lenses and optical retail and sun business was also back on track. Note that Q1 21 sales reported growth above Q1 19 levels and management is now confident to deliver a FY21 performance at least comparable to pre-pandemic levels. The integration process continued to gain momentum and full-year synergy targets were reiterated
Sales (at CER) were back in the black in Q4 20, driven by the resilience of the lenses segment and the acceleration in the retail segment, led by e-commerce. Management believes that the business environment will begin to normalise from Q2 21 and, combined with an innovative product pipeline, it has the ambition to deliver a performance comparable to pre-pandemic levels. Importantly, the governance structure is being overhauled and Del Vecchio is set to tighten his grip over the company.
The Q3 beat was driven by the ‘resilient’ lenses segment. Wholesale saw a significant improvement, led by the independent channel, and retail bounced back with optical banners and e-commerce leading the pack. Developed markets returned to positive growth while emerging markets remained a drag. A further acceleration was visible in October but, due to fresh lockdowns, the management remains prudently confident. With optical considered as an ‘essential’ category, the sales impact could be less sev
As expected, Q2 was worse than Q1 with sales plummeting 46.1%. However, revenue hit a trough in April, followed by a marked sequential recovery in May and June. Lenses saw almost flat sales in June, benefiting from pent-up in demand for prescription products and new product launches. Retail is approaching normalcy on the back of progressive improvements in traffic and higher conversion rates. Wholesale is a bit behind, though the progressive recovery of independents and key accounts should provi
Q1 was weak as the solid growth witnessed in January-February was offset by a material decline in March due to COVID-19. Despite the acceleration in online sales, Q2 should be worse. However, considering that c.70% of group sales are exposed to resilient optical prescription products, one could see a pent-up in demand when the situation normalises. Early signs from China have been encouraging and, if the recovery is solid, the board might consider a special dividend, though the FY19 dividend has
FY19 ended on a high with an acceleration in sales in Retail, Wholesale and Sunglasses and a steady show in Lenses in Q4. However, given the COVID-19 outbreak, momentum could lose pace in H1 20. Margins should also remain in check as the benefits of synergies would be reinvested into future growth opportunities. Unfortunately, a fraud at the Thailand plant has brought governance issues at the forefront once again. Nonetheless, a go-ahead for the GrandVision deal should come on time.
EssilorLuxottica witnessed a robust acceleration in sales in Q3 (+5.2% at CER), driven by new product launches in the lenses business, good dynamics in retail (both offline and online) and steady growth in fast-growing markets. However, the wholesale business lost pace due to softer demand in the Asia-Pacific region. Given 9M 19 sales of +4.3% and considering the ongoing launch of the next-gen Transitions lens in other countries, the FY19 sales growth target of +3.5-5% is comfortably within reac
EL is likely to outpace the eyewear/eyecare industry in the mid/long term, driven by a shift towards an integrated network business model and an increasing focus on innovation and digitalisation. Geographically, the fast-growing markets would be a key source of growth, benefiting from a growing middle class. Growth in profits would be higher than sales on the back of operational leverage, favourable product mix and synergies from the mega-merger.
Sales momentum accelerated in Q2 led by lenses, sunglasses and wholesale, though retail saw a deceleration. Given the new product launches, momentum is likely to accelerate further in H2 and thus the FY19 sales targets seem attainable. As anticipated, profitability slumped in H1, due to an increased marketing spend to support new product launches and, given the seasonality of the business, we foresee margin compression on a sequential basis. Note that the EssilorLuxottica integration process has
After putting lenses into frames, EL’s decision to augment the retail presence, particularly in Europe, looks like a strategic move. Given that EL and GV have limited business overlap, the antitrust approvals should be obtained in a timely fashion. Also, the integration process between the French and Italians is now in full swing and the amalgamation of GV should be smooth, given Luxottica has a history of incorporating retail networks. With so much on its plate, the appointment of a new CEO has
EssilorLuxottica is considering a takeover of Dutch eyewear retailer, GrandVision. Although the deal seems a good strategic fit, given GrandVision’s mass market business model and increasing focus on emerging markets, we have concerns with respect to the potential integration of the deal. Anti-trust authorities might also be a spoilsport once again.
A decent Q1 in which Luxottica witnessed acceleration in sales, driven by retail, while Essilor lost pace, due to unfavourable weather in the US. Given the new product launches, which are backed by effective marketing campaigns, Q2 has got off to a good start and we anticipate an acceleration in sales from hereon. Re-activation of the bolt-on acquisition strategy would provide a further push. With FY19 financial targets within reach and synergies now in execution mode, we eagerly await the upcom
As both the French and the Italian groups accused each other of trying to gain the upper hand at EssilorLuxottica’s leadership, the governance crisis has become uglier and the stock slumped c.6% on 21 March 2019 to hit a two-year low.
The pain aggravated when the executive chairman of EssilorLuxottica, Leonardo Del Vecchio (also the biggest shareholder of EssilorLuxottica and founder of Luxottica), accused its deputy, Hubert Sagnieres (vice chairman of the new entity and ex-CEO of Essilor) of a
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Yourgene has experienced strong demand for its Covid-19 tests, which propelled H1’22 revenues to £17.5m, ahead of the >£15.0m indicated at the AGM last month. This is more than double the revenues booked in H1’21 and close to the whole of FY21. Both Genomic Services and Genomic Technologies grew strongly in the period, with Covid-related revenues now acting as much more than a natural hedge in both segments. Despite the ongoing uncertainties and lack of forward visibility around Covid-testing vo
Companies: Yourgene Health Plc
Recruitment resumed the Phase 2a trial of the lead programme hRPC in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) with the treatment of the first UK-patient in Oxford. The protocol gives greater infection control after the safety issue (a possible infection) in June. Five patients were treated up to mid-October and the remaining four could be treated by December 2021. By late March 2022, ReNeuron expects to give an interim update. The full data set should be available around mid-2022. This will enable regulatory d
Companies: ReNeuron Group plc
Softline, the global solutions and services provider in digital transformation and cybersecurity, with its headquarters in London, has issued GDRs to the Standard Listing Segment of the Official List, and on the Moscow Exchange. The Group had a turnover of US$1.8bn for the year ended 31 March 2021, employs c.6,000 people globally, and operates in more than 50 countries across emerging markets. Primary proceeds from the Offer are expected to be around US$400m. At the $7.5 offer price. Mkt
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Devolver Digital to join AIM, an award-winning digital video games publisher and developer in the indie games space. Recently awarded indie 'Publisher of the Year 2021' by GamesIndustry.biz. Offer TBA. Due early Nov.
Life Science REIT to join AIM raising up to £100m. This will be the first London listed real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on UK life science properties providing investors with exposure
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SkinBioTherapeutics has made significant progress through 2021, and ahead of the launch of its first product, AxisBiotix-Ps on World Psoriasis Day, we provide an overview of the company, its commercial channels and its progress. With the imminent launch of AxisBiotix-Ps, the company is at a significant inflection point, transitioning from a development organisation to a commercial operation. Importantly SkinBioTherapeutics has four further commercial channels in progress behind this lead opportu
Companies: SkinBioTherapeutics Plc
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ATOM headquartered in Leeds, focussed on the large-scale production of green hydrogen and ammonia intends to join AIM towards the end of the year. ATOME intends to be spun-out from AIM-listed President Energy Plc, an oil and gas company which has incubated and financially supported ATOME to date, by way of a dividend in specie and flotation.
Devolver Digital to join AIM, an award-winning digital video games pu
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IXICO has announced that one of its clients has put an indefinite halt on a clinical trial for which the company was providing its artificial intelligence medical image analysis. The halt is the result of unexpected preclinical data. IXICO had expected the contract to deliver £0.8m of revenues in FY22E and it represented £3.3m of the £18.8m order book as of the close September 2021. While this news is disappointing, clearly the trial halt has no reflection on the capability of IXICO's technology
Companies: IXICO Plc
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Arrow Exploration Corp. (AIM: AXL ; TSXV: AXL) , the oil and gas exploration and production company, has conditionally raised approximately £8.8m and is due to complete its dual listing on AIM on 25 Oct. Market cap c£13.1m.
Devolver Digital to join AIM, an award-winning digital video games publisher and developer in the indie games space. Recently awarded indie 'Publisher of the Year 2021' by GamesIndustry.biz.
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H1 EBITDA declined by 45% YoY, albeit this was slightly better than we had anticipated after the pre-close update in August. The beat was cost related (efficiencies/savings). There was a significant gross margin drag though and, while transitory in nature and diminishing in H2, this means further savings need to be realised to hit full year forecasts. This is our view and we retain a good level of confidence in next year’s forecasts. Having de-rated, valuation looks very undemanding now on just
Companies: Venture Life Group Plc
CareTech is a specialist social care and educational services provider. This morning, the group has announced an update for the year to 30 September pointing to the fact that results will be in line with market expectations. The net debt position of £259m illustrates a further reduction since the end of H1 (31 March £263.1m) and implying a reduction to 2.7x adjusted EBITDA. During the year, seven new developments have opened, with a further eight properties purchased in H2. The group's freehold
Companies: CareTech Holdings PLC
Positive headline results announcement, showing a statistically significant and clinically meaningful difference between Grass MATA MPL and placebo in hayfever patients in the exploratory field study (G309), is considered a major de-risking event. Not only does it increase the probability of successfully completing the pivotal Phase III study (G306) in the US and EU, but it underpins the broader MATA MPL platform, which includes tree and ragweed pollen, and increases the likelihood of completing
Companies: Allergy Therapeutics plc
Venture Life has announced its interim results for the six months to June 2021. As previously announced in the August trading statement, revenues were down YoY due to lower HSG sales and sales to the Chinese partner, though revenues are expected to grow subsequently, benefiting from the two recent acquisitions. H1/21 gross margin was impacted by a number of factors including supply chain costs and stockholding costs; however, the company expect margins to improve in H2/21E. Despite the set-backs
NetScientific plc (NSCI) an active transatlantic life sciences/healthcare, sustainability and technology investment and commercialisation group announces that its corporate finance and venture capital division EMV Capital Ltd (EMVC) has advised on a £843k fundraise, into Sofant Technologies, the leading 5G and Satcom antenna developer based in Edinburgh. The fundraise consists of £300k direct investment from NetScientific, £343k from private clients and £200k matched funding from the British Bus
Companies: NetScientific plc
Q3 sales up 13%
Q3 sales were up 13% (+15% organic) to EUR37.2m of which Medical up 5% to EUR19.3m and Photonics up 27% to EUR18m. For Photonics, we note that Industrial and Scientific was up c50%, Defence and Spatial remained well oriented at +3.8% (with a stable contribution from the megajoule contract) while LIDAR was up a robust 22% in the quarter as production issues are abating.
Lumibird is comfortable with the consensus estimates for FY sales at EUR160m. It implies
Companies: Lumibird SA
Hikma’s H1 20 top-line acceleration was driven by COVID-19-related demand in Injectables and Generics and the economic recovery in Algeria propelled growth in the Branded segment. Combined with a favourable product-mix, the operating margin was up 1.5ppt. In the near term, new launches across segments should provide some respite against the ongoing pricing pressure. Given the company’s thin R&D pipeline and a robust balance sheet, M&A (probably in the biosimilars space) seems on the cards.
Companies: Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc