Science In Sport (LSE: SIS) moved 3% higher on Thursday, and within striking distance of February’s summit around 96p per share, following the release of perky trading numbers.
The protein powder play announced that sales jumped 28% in the six months to June, to £8.27m, with its e-commerce enjoying growth of 78% across all of its markets. The London business also reported growth in all of its retail channels in the period.
Chief executive Steven Moon commented that “we have had a strong start to the year in a difficult market, and have made very good progress, particularly when many of our competitors continue to face growth challenges.”
He celebrated the huge investment Science In Sport has made in international markets as well as in its online proposition, the success of which has been highlighted by today’s terrific results.
And Moon struck a confident tone looking ahead, noting that “we have good momentum and together with our healthy innovation pipeline, we expect to have a strong second half.”
The City expects it to remain lossmaking for some time yet however, although the bottom line is expected to keep on improving as revenues steadily rise. Losses of 4p per share are predicted for 2017, narrowing from 6.2p last year. And further progress, to 2.1p, is estimated for 2018.
Sports nutrition is clearly big business, as underscored by a report released this week by Mintel which showed that more than a quarter of all Britons now take protein and energy supplements in a bid to acquire ‘the body beautiful.’
And Science In Sport is putting itself in the frame to lasso this surging demand through its huge investment drive. I reckon the fitness giant could be one to watch in the years ahead.
Build a fortune
Grafton Group (LSE: GFTU) is a share that the Square Mile believes should continue to deliver solid earnings growth.
While difficult trading conditions are expected to see profits slow from the double-digit increases of recent years, the FTSE 250 star is expected to keep firing with increases of 3% and 8% in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
As a consequence, Grafton deals on a forward P/E ratio of 14.9 times, roughly in line with the value yardstick of 15 times.
The Dublin firm saw revenues soar 6.2% at constant currencies, or 9% at actual rates, in the six months to June, it advised earlier this month. A strong performance and new branch openings at its Selco arm helping to lift profits in Britain 4% higher.
But Grafton has really put the pedal down on foreign shores. In Ireland, like-for-like turnover soared 10.6% in the first half, the company noting that “the recovery in the residential and commercial new build markets [had] gathered pace.” And in The Netherlands, like-for-like revenues jumped 38.1% thanks to a resilient Dutch economy and a healthy housing market.
The company is not without its share of risk, of course, given the prospect of a sharp cooldown in the UK economy. Indeed, chief executive Gavin Slark commented that “while we remain optimistic on the medium-term outlook for the UK, we are cautious about the shorter-term impact of current uncertainty and pressure on real incomes which may temper growth in spending on housing RMI.”
Still, I am confident Grafton’s impressive progress on the continent and robust market positions should keep earnings on an upward bent.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes