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Epwin Group

Doing a decent job in tough markets

Update | Construction & Building Materials | 24 Apr 2018

FY17 was a difficult trading year for Epwin – and some effects flow into this financial year – but management has stuck resolutely to a business improvement programme from which the benefits should also be progressively felt. Slightly lower estimates and a reduced prospective near-term dividend payout are our interpretation of the latest newsflow. As before, Epwin does have the financial flexibility to enhance earnings prospects via acquisitions, which may refocus investor attention back on to low current earnings multiples.


Strong Residential performance

Update | General Industrials | 20 Apr 2018

Newbuild residential was the standout sector for Polypipe in FY17 with relatively subdued performance in Commercial and Infrastructure. Overall, underlying PBT and EPS from ongoing operations rose by 7.9% and 10.1% with full year DPS up by 9.9%. Our estimates are slightly lower adjusted for a non-core business disposal but recent share price weakness is overdone in our view.

Low & Bonar

Transition year

Update | Basic Industries | 17 Apr 2018

A new senior management team is in place with a clear agenda to improve operational and financial performance. FY18 is going to be a transition year but investors will still want to see evidence of progress from the two strongest business units and in addressing specific issues in the other two. We have not changed estimates at this stage, but note the increased H2 bias flagged by management. The attraction of the current valuation will depend on the level of investor confidence in underlying prospects.

Walker Greenbank

Accentuating the positives

Update | General Industrials | 13 Apr 2018

There were a number of headwinds and tailwinds in FY18, in which good growth was delivered, but lower earnings expectations have dominated sentiment. Walker Greenbank has some strong and unique market positions and is becoming increasingly active in broadening its revenue mix into faster-growing segments. Success here and greater stability in UK demand will translate to rating expansion in our view.


On track

Update | General Industrials | 13 Apr 2018

Severfield’s closing FY18 update reiterated latest guidance and management’s confidence in attaining its FY20 PBT target of GBP 26m. As previously noted, sector diversity is allowing the company to focus resources on relatively better areas and sustaining a stable UK order book position. Our estimates are unchanged and FY18 results are scheduled for 20 June 2018.


Steady end to FY18, slower growth expected

Update | Industrial Support Services | 06 Apr 2018

A more settled trading period saw WYG end FY18 in line with market estimates. Management continues to work on improving organisational efficiency and structure including exiting unprofitable business. We have lowered the rate of expected progress beyond the current year – in line with guidance – pending more detailed order book and revenue run rate information with FY18 results, which are scheduled for 5 June.


Decisive steps in UK Municipal

Update | Industrial Support Services | 09 Mar 2018

A review of onerous UK Municipal contracts (flagged on 12 February) has quantified net exceptional costs totalling GBP 73m (including c GBP 49m for three long-term ongoing PFI operating contracts, the remainder for exiting two other operations). There is no change to our headline estimates or any material impact on group net debt or annual cash flows as a result. These actions will allow investors to re-focus on the important merger integration programme, now entering its second year and continuing on track. By the time this completes in FY20, Renewi’s P/E rating will have reduced to 11.0x at the current share price.


In-line trading update

Update | Industrial Support Services | 15 Feb 2018

Having reported good progress in the seasonally stronger H1, Renewi’s latest update for H2 to date reaffirms management expectations for the year. Importantly, the merger integration programme is very much on track and the next significant phases are underway. A UK Municipal contract review has been flagged, but our estimates are unchanged in all respects ahead of more detailed year-end update commentary. Share price weakness has brought forward valuation attractions, in our view.

Epwin Group

FY17 in line with expectations

Update | Construction & Building Materials | 15 Feb 2018

Epwin encountered some turbulence in FY17 arising from customer ownership changes but ended the year in line with company expectations set following H1 results. Self-help initiatives are ongoing and we believe Epwin remains conservatively financed with a positive cash flow outlook. These factors support our assertion that the company is able to sustain its dividend attraction even during a temporary earnings dip in FY18.

Low & Bonar

Mixed trading, change underway

Update | Basic Industries | 12 Feb 2018

A period of stability following management change and delivery on some flagged FY18 group projects would see a good return of interest to the fundamental Low & Bonar investment case, in our view. There are clear markers for tracking progress and, in the near term, a 3.3% yield with the expected final dividend payment is a clear attraction.

Walker Greenbank

Management expectations met

Update | General Industrials | 07 Feb 2018

FY18 closed in line with management expectations showing good top-line progress overall despite some UK market variability. The latter appears to have affected sentiment – as reflected in single-digit prospective P/E multiples – but there are positive mix effects also that should not be overlooked. A rising dividend provides an additional attraction.


Three positive steps

Update | Industrial Support Services | 03 Jan 2018

A number of visible operational actions taken in December 2017 are consistent with the stated business direction in each of the three divisions concerned and reinforce strong positions in their specialist markets. While there is no change to estimates, this activity confirms that steps are being taken on a broader front to drive group progress in addition to identified merger integration plans.