Equity Briefing: Ferrexpo, Robert Walters and Ten Entertainment

Miner Ferrexpo will provide a production update this morning, while recruitment specialist Robert Walters and bowling alley operator Ten Entertainment are both due to publish trading updates today.

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Iron ore pellet producer Ferrexpo is scheduled to release a second-quarter production report this morning. These updates are usually short and sweet and focus on operational progress rather than financials.

The miner, which produces the pellets from a series of mines based in Ukraine so companies from around the world can make steel, has largely managed to avert any significant disruption to its operations during the pandemic but has been busy upgrading pelletiser lines. This has temporarily lowered output. Overall production was down 12% quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of 2021 as a result, but was still 2% higher than the year before.

Work is ongoing in the second quarter so it should be a similar scenario, but it will boost capacity by 500,000 to 1.0 million tonnes per year once completed.

The production report will set the stage for its interim results that will be published on August 4.

Robert Walters

Robert Walters is set to publish a trading update today covering the second-quarter of 2021.

The specialist recruitment company was hit hard by the pandemic last year as businesses halted hiring and job losses increased. Although the market remains tough, things are improving. Net fee income in the first quarter was down 11% year-on-year compared to the 26% drop reported in 2020 as a whole, and Robert Walters said in June that the positive momentum had continued into the second quarter.

Asia, its biggest market, has been leading the steady recovery and it has returned to growth in countries like Spain, China and New Zealand this year. Notably, the company raised its full-year expectations as a result and its second-quarter results should benefit from weaker comparatives as it starts to come up against pandemic-hit periods.

Ten Entertainment

Ten Entertainment is due to release a first-half trading update this morning.

Investors have not been updated since March, when it published annual 2020 results that revealed revenue more than halved and losses widened as its bowling alleys were forced shut for much of the year.

That will have remained the situation for most of the first-half of 2021 considering sites were only reopened on May 17. Therefore, the focus will be on how it has performed since then, having previously said it expected to benefit from strong pent-up demand as lockdown eased, and on the outlook going forward – especially after the government announced all legal coronavirus restrictions will be removed on July 19 and allow businesses like Ten Entertainment to operate as normal.

It will also be the first update since independent director Adam Bellamy became non-executive chairman to help oversee the company’s reopening and return to growth.

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