Centrica [LSE: CNA]
Gloomy reading in the full year numbers from Centrica this morning, with the Chief Executive acknowledging that the second half of the year had been a difficult affair for the company. The North American operation is struggling, whilst the threat of government intervention in the UK energy market is also cause for concern. Earnings per share were down 25% on a year ago, but this was actually a shade better than forecast.
Intu Properties [LSE: INTU]
Intu, the owner of shopping centres across the UK and Spain, posted full year numbers today and there was little in the data that gives cause for surprise. Occupancy is stable at an impressive 96% and rent reviews settled last year rose by 9%, but this had little impact on earnings per share, which remain unchanged on a year ago. The dividend is also being held steady. Uncertainty over Brexit remains a concern for businesses like Intu, but the shares currently trade at almost a 50% discount when considering the net asset value of all the property they own.
Serco Group [LSE: SRP]
It has been a period of turmoil for the big outsourcing companies, so numbers from Serco Group this morning would always be closely watched. However, profits came in at the upper end of expectations but although this might be something to cheer, the pipeline of deals is looking a lot thinner than it was a year ago. Yes, some big projects have progressed, but in light of what’s been seen at both Capita and Carillion, the question to ask is whether this model of outsourcing, specifically government contracts, has now run its course.