Langton Capital – 2015-08-03 – Punch Taverns, Fulham Shore, RCL, Greece & other:
A Day in the Life:
Follow us on Twitter at either @langtoncapital or @brumbymark.
Langton is not in the office this week but should be able to keep the email going though the time difference is a bit of a problem. The Day in the Life might be somewhat sporadic and there will be no Daily Wrap.
Pub, Restaurant & Drinks Producer News:
• Punch Taverns is reported by Sunday Times to be close to selling 150-strong package of bottom end pubs to NewRiver Retail. Value is thought to be around £50m.
• CEO Brigid Simmonds says BBPA supports moves to reduce duty fraud involving alcohol. Ms Simmonds comments ‘I welcome the report’s acknowledgement of the excellent progress across a number of areas. Reducing duty fraud is important for the industry, as well as for HMRC, and the activities which focus on effective and achievable measures to reduce fraud for all parties are welcome.’
• Fulham Shore Friday reported numbers for 9mths to end-March saying revenues were £8.3m against £8.6m for prior 12mth period. The numbers have been rendered somewhat academic by the post-period-end purchase of Franco Manca. The group currently operates 24 restaurants, 9 “The Real Greek” units and 15 “Franco Manca” sites. Chairman David Page comments ‘we are excited about the new financial year with the prospect of expanding our two excellent restaurant businesses, The Real Greek and Franco Manca. Since the year end and the acquisition of Franco Manca, we have opened 1 new Real Greek restaurant in St Martins Lane in Covent Garden, London and 3 new Franco Manca pizzerias in Covent Garden (London), Soho (London) and Ealing (London) which opens today. This takes the total number of restaurants operated by the Group to 24 restaurants today.’ He adds, ‘we are also building
• Chipotle set to open first UK site outside London reports M+C.
• International Beverage Holdings, one of southeast Asia’s largest drinks companies, has partnered with Dhali Beverage to increase its presence in India.
• BrewDog will open sites in York and Norwich as part of its twelve-strong pipeline of units.
• Managing director of Geronimo Inns Ed Turner is to step down from his post and leave the Young’s group.
• China and India are fuelling demand for premium beer as growing middle classes ‘adopt Western culture’, according to a report. APAC Market found that the beer market in the Asia Pacific region could grow to as much as $202.4bn by 2020.
• Lidl is taking on 60 new lines of wine and is planning six ‘wine cellar’ promotions for next year after seeing rapid wine sales growth.
• Sake has been tipped as the next big thing in the US following rising demand due to the popularity of Japanese street food bars.
• The LRI was up 0.38% this week, while the FTSE 100 was up 1.77%. Domino’s Pizza UK was the week’s biggest mover, up 9.92% as the group impressed with its first half numbers which saw pretax profits rise from £25m last year to £32m. MAB was down 5.45% this week and is down some 17% this month. The group’s number’s suggest that it is slightly underperforming its peers, and it has been singled out as one of the big losers as a result of the living wage announcement. Merlin was down another 1.80% last week, the group’s first half numbers being overshadowed by the accident at Alton Towers. Enterprise and Punch ended last week down 4.09% and 0.93% respectively as market awaits more news on the MRO.
• Royal Caribbean reports Q2 numbers saying that earnings rose 26% and that full year earnings should be c40% up. CFO Jason T Liberty comments ‘the trajectory of our brands is firmly on course for another record year of earnings, with healthy trends extending into the first quarter of 2016.”’ He adds ‘while it is too early to provide a detailed picture for 2016, first quarter bookings are running well ahead of last year at higher prices, with improvements in the Caribbean continuing at a robust pace.’
• easyHotel has announced that Guy Parsons is to join group as CEO from 10 August. Chairman Jonathan Lane comments ‘I am delighted to welcome Guy as Chief Executive Officer. As an experienced chief executive in the hotel industry, he is ideally suited to advance the easyHotel brand.’
• Accor Hotels expects operating profits to grow in its second half despite weak trading performance in France and Brazil.
• The boss of IAG has vowed not to help pay for Heathrow’s third runway, which is likely to cost around £18.6bn. CEO Willie Walsh commented: ‘How the hell are they going to finance this? The project as envisioned by Heathrow and the commission is, to our mind, way over the top and extremely inefficient and expensive infrastructure – we can’t see how it can financed in an efficient way.’
Finance & Markets:
• Greece is to seek €24bn in its first tranche of aid from lenders in August according to Greek press reports
• Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has defended ex-finance minister Varoufakis’ Grexit contingency plans, saying it would be irresponsible not to do so.
Leisure – The Week Ahead
It’s a slow week in reported news next week with only Just Eat’s interims of much interest to those this side of the pond, though for those interested in the States, Texas Roadhouse also has Q2 numbers.
Just Eat updates on first half trading on Tuesday, and it will be interesting to see if the promotions the group have been sending to my phone will have made any impact on the numbers. HungryHouse has also been sending me messages, so may be worth looking at both group’s margins.
Will Brumby – email@example.com
Retail Roundup from Nick Bubb:
Sunday Press: The only Sunday paper that had any Retailing stories was the Mail on Sunday, which, out of the blue, picked up on a Shore Capital report that Morrison’s first half profits (due on Sept 10th) will fall by 25% and also flagged that the struggling Matalan hopes to win customers back from the supermarkets etc by appointing ex-Tesco Non-Food executive Bernadette Lusher as Brand Director. However, the Sunday Times “Style” magazine had an interview with Paula Nickolds, the Buying and Brand Director of John Lewis, on how it will launch a revamped Fashion range in its new Birmingham store next month.
JD Sports: Friday’s pre-close update from JD Sports is a bit light on detail, but there is no doubting the message, as the company has flagged that the performance of the business has continued to be strong, with LFL sales remaining in excess of management forecasts. And although, as previously reported, JD has suffered some loss of margin from the weakness in the Euro in JD’s Euro- denominated business, JD says that “we now anticipate that the headline profit before tax for the current year will be approximately 10% ahead of the current consensus market expectations of around £110m”. The shares are over 8% up first thing today on the back of that, with the market cap of the company now approaching £1.6bn…
AO World (aka AO.com):
GFK Consumer Confidence: The widely followed Consumer Confidence figures that came out last week from GFK show a big dip, with the overall index falling back from +7 to +4, on the back of a notable downturn in perceptions of the general economic situation. GFK themselves point to “anxiety over the potential Grexit melt-down and global uncertainty”, but as polling was done between July 1st and July 15th we think the Summer Budget on July 8th, with its big welfare cuts/tax rises, had more impact…
Nick Bubb – firstname.lastname@example.org