February 9, 2010 6:18 pm
Revenues for Chemring, which supplies flares, decoys and other countermeasures to the military, rose from £354m to £504m in the year to October 31, while pre-tax profits rose from £57.7m to £95.8m. The star performer was the company’s energetics business, which supplies pyrotechnic devices used in ejector seats and missiles. After a $280m fundraising last November, bolt-on acquisitions are on the
cards for 2010.
Domino’s Pizza UK & IRL
Traditional wisdom has it that recessions are usually bad news for restaurant groups, as consumers cut back on discretionary spending. Domino’s made a mockery of that idea in 2009 by persuading customers that ordering pizza was a good substitute for eating out. It expanded like for like sales and pressed ahead with its store opening programme. Sponsorship of Britain’s Got Talent has helped, as has its online growth.
Dunelm started life in 1979 as a market stall selling ready-made curtains. Now it is a £424m turnover company with a market capitalisation of £720m. Its performance in 2009 suggests that the growth has some way to run. The demise of rivals such as Woolworths and Roseby’s has helped, but Dunelm’s success is based on a value-for-money offering and a store expansion programme is still under way.
Mothercare has proved that parents are likely to prioritise spending on their children whatever the economic conditions. But the company has not been content simply to rely on demand from eager parents. Through its acquisition of Early Learning Centre in 2007, the expansion of its out-of-town superstores and its growth in emerging markets – especially Russia, India and China – the company’s management has turned a high street stalwart into one of the few genuine retail growth stories available to investors today.
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