Science in Sport ambassador Mark Cavendish

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Science in Sport (SIS) has widened pre-tax losses from £2.6m to £3.1m in the half-year to the end of June on revenue that soared from £9.9m to £24.9m.

The leap in revenue at the premium performance nutrition company that serves elite athletes, sports enthusiasts and the gym lifestyle community, reflected the first full six-month contribution from PhD Nutrition which it bought on 6 December as well as strong organic growth from the SiS brand.

PhD enjoyed a 16% like-for like increase in revenue to £12.4m while SIS revenue jumped 26% to £12.5m.

The AIM-listed company said PhD was performing in line with expectations and the integration of PhD and SiS was progressing well.

Both brands were benefiting from shared distribution channels and the opening of an e-commerce fulfilment facility at its Nelson, Lancashire, site. SiS said online sales were up 52%.

New product development remained a key growth driver for both brands and new products delivered 32% of total group sales growth in the first half.

Successful product launches included PhD’s Smart Bar Plant and SiS’s Football range.

Like-for-like group gross margin fell from 45.9% to 44.8%. Underlying operating loss of £600,000 compared with a loss of £1.7m last year – in line with expectations and reflecting the EBITDA contribution from PhD in the first six months of 2019.

Stephen Moon, SiS chief executive, said: “The integration of the PhD and SiS brands remains firmly on track and we are particularly excited by the potential of the e-commerce business.”

Important milestones achieved in the first half included relaunching the website, opening an e-commerce fulfilment facility and exploiting international distribution synergies, as well as the integration of teams across both brands.

“Introduction of the new protein powder line at our Nelson site remains on track to enable in-house PhD powder manufacture with a go-live date of November 2019,” Moon said.

“We remain confident of delivering on full year expectations, and of the future growth of both our brands. Investment in performance innovation, brand awareness, e-commerce, international and effective manufacturing will underpin expected growth in 2020 and beyond.”

Science in Sport shares are up 2.8% this morning to 55p.

Morning update

Warehouse REIT has bought a portfolio of eight fully-let reversionary warehouses and distribution depots from Aviva Investors.

Occupants include Direct Wines and Amazon.

The specialist warehouse investor bought the assets for £70m.

The warehouse are in Reading and Gloucester in the South; Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham in the Midlands; Grimsby and the Humber Docks in the North East; and Warrington in the North West.

Local Shopping Reit requested the suspension of its listing following the purchase and cancellation of its shares.

It said it no longer met its continuing obligations for listing because it had insufficient shares in public hands.

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 slipped 0.2% to 7,304.2pts in early trading before quickly recovering 0.2% to 7,331.7pts.

Early risers include Science in Sport (SIS), up 2.8% to 55p following this morning’s interims, PZ Cussons (PZC), up 2.6% to 217p, PureCircle (PURE), up 2.4% to 251p and Stock Spirits Group (STCK), up 1.7% to 241p.

Fallers so far today include Marks and Spencer Group, off 1.2% at 201.7p, Cranswick (CWK), down 1.1% to 2,998p, Hotel Chocolat Group (HOTC), down 0.9% to 363.1p and DS Smith (SMDS), down 0.8% to 355.7p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 closed down a marginal 0.01% yesterday at 7,320.4pts.

FTSE 100 fallers included Nichols (NICL), down 3.1% to 1,590p, Wm Morrison Supermarkets (MRW), down 2.7% to 202.7p, DS Smith (SMDS), down 2.5% to 358.5p and Sainsbury (SBRY), down 2.2% to 215.3p.

Stocks on the up included Finsbury Food Group (FIF), up 5% to 73.5p, Premier Foods, (PFD), up 4.7% to 33.5p, Fevertree Drinks (FEVR), up 4.7% to 2,395p, Applegreen (APGN), up 3.2% to 48p and Glanbia (GLB), up 2.9% to €11.3p.