London slowdown indicated by Fuller’s numbers. Statistical blip or the end of an era? Likely neither…
London pubs, bars & restaurants in 60 seconds….
London trading has been great. It might be getting a little less so.
- LfL sales have been chugging along at 4%, 5%, 6%…
- Whilst extremely positive, capacity has been increasing, new units have been going on
- New entrants (vibrant, innovative, relevant) are opening units apace
- Occupancy costs have risen sharply; a lead-indicator, they may be a little off the top
- Hotels have slowed – albeit from record high occupancy, REVPAR levels.
- Partly a supply problem, they are still servicing an increased number of visitors
- Sterling weakness should have been a positive
- But MERL & some shops have suggested numbers aren’t what they might have been
Fuller’s comments today:
- Group reports ‘another excellent year…’
- But FY15 is over & comments re current trading hint at a slowdown
- Managed LfLs +5.6% in H1, +5.3% by wk43 and +4.8% for the FY. To wk10, they are +2.7%
- H1 Tenanted profits were +3% but +2% at FY. To wk10, they are down 2%
- Beer volumes were +1% at H1 but minus 1% for the FY. To wk10, they are down 5%.
- Before leaping to conclusions we should acknowledge:
- April was poor across the industry but May was better.
- Wk10 comps included Easter last year but not this
- The weather can swing numbers +/- 20% LfL on a day-to-day basis
- The group updates analysts at 11am.
- London is not ‘over’ but growth may have, at the very least, slowed
- YNGA & FSTA are obvious players but GNK/MAB are more London-heavy than is MARS