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In a trading update in April 2009 SSL expects total reported sales for the period up to 31 March 2009 to be approximately Â£640m. This is more than 20% ahead of last year, or 6% on an underlying basis after adjusting for favourable foreign currency movements. Branded consumer sales are expected to reach an estimated Â£577m, showing an underlying sales growth rate of over 6%. This increase has been driven by continuing strong growth in the major categories of Durex, Scholl Footcare and Scholl Footwear. Durex has benefited from good growth in the condom business and another strong performance from the Durex Play range, which reflects the launch of Play O and the continuing advance of the Durex Play Massage range. Scholl Footcare has performed well due in part to the success of Scholl Perfect Nail Treatment and the initial roll out of the Scholl Biomechanics range. Scholl Footwear benefited from strong growth in Asia, coupled with solid performance in the major European territories. SSL is confident it will achieve double digit operating profit growth by March 2009 from investment in innovative new product developments, expanding distribution into new and developing territories and continued focus on cost control.
CSS Pertners Director Andrew Dyer commented on the improvements in operation this week, âSSL restructured the European supply chain by transferring production to the companyâs existing facilities in Thailand and India. This rationalisation of manufacturing capacity saw SSLâs gross profit margin hit 60.8% compared with 60.3% in prior year. The improvement was also supplemented by profit generation from Durex, Scholl and other brands. Weakness in the pound against dollar and euro will also improve operating margins. The technical outlook on daily chart, SSL is trading in the range of 450.0p and 500.0p with a small correction with upside trend intact. Stock has strong support near 450.0p and resistance near 500.0p. MACD (moving average convergence/divergence) is positive and 12 day EMA (exponential moving average) has cross below 26 day EMA, indicating correction. 14 day RSI (relative strength index) is above 50 showing strength in trend. 14 day positive DMI (directional moving index) is below 14 day negative and DMI is near 20, indicating consolidation. Stock is also above 20 day and 50 day EMA which supports strength in trend. With the trading strategy the stock can be bought around 449.0p with a profit target 500.76p and stop loss of 426.49p. (Hedge position: short position in spread betting with Â£2.78 bet per point).â
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