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28 Mar 2021 | 11:53

Sunday share tips: Kingfisher, In The Style

(Sharecast News) - Kingfisher was one of the businesses to cash in on people's desire to make the best of an otherwise horrible situation, Covid-19 pandemic. But management had also nailed the best strategy and there was now more growth to come, said the Financial Mail on Sunday's Midas column said.

The DIY specialist's full-year adjusted profits before tax jumped by 44%, leaving it sitting atop a £1.1bn cash pile.

Commenting on the company's results for the year ending on 31 to January, Midas emphasised Kingfisher boss, Thierry Garnier's decision to focus on Kingfisher's French arm, Castorama, streamlining some initiatives while pushing on the digital front.

More broadly speaking, Garnier made the case that the firm's different brands should not pursue a one size fits all approach.

Instead, they should offer more personalised solutions, based on their various models and customer segments.

Garnier's was also convinced that a younger generation of home improvers would make the business even stronger, Midas pointed out.

Not surprisingly, Kingfisher reinstated its dividend payout, which was at a "comfortable" yield of 3.0%.

"DIY demand looks set to continue especially since there has been a boom in house moves caused by the stamp duty holiday," the tipster added.

"At £3.25, the firm is valued at just 14 times expected profits, against a sector average of 18.2 times expected profits.

"With plenty of cash, a strategy that seems to be paying off and a summer set fair for many more patio conversions the company could give your portfolio a makeover. Buy."

The Sunday Times's Sam Chambers heaped praise on recently-floated online fashion retailer In The Style, but nevertheless told readers the stock was best avoided for now.

Over the 12 months to April 2020, the company posted sales of £19.3m for a pre-tax loss of £2.2m.

In the nine months that followed however, sales jumped to £35.4m on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic and the firm raked in £2m in profits.

But there may be more to it that that. The company's boss and founder, Adam Frisby, credits the firm's quick switch from selling dresses to lockdown friendly items like jogging bottoms and the decision to ramp up new collections for the upturn.

In The Style also enjoys quick lead times, thanks to the fact that half its garments are made in the UK.

That is still slower than rival Boohoo, although Chambers pointed out that independent auditors had found there was no reason to worry about potential exposure to slave labour.

Even so, said Chambers: "after floating at £2 a share, In The Style closed last Friday at 235p a share, valuing the business at £123 million. So far, so good - but investors should wait for evidence that recent performance isn't just a passing fad. Avoid."

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