Langton Capital – 2015-08-04 – Heineken, US restaurant chains, Punch Taverns & 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:
• Heineken has recorded better than expected H1 results despite a slowdown in Africa, with operating profit up 3.4% to €1.55 billion.
• Ex-Kopparberg sales director Darryl Moss has launched an affordable range of flavoured spirits called Fantastical Flavours.
• Texas Roadhouse reports Q2, sales +15% but EPS down 9%. CEO Kent Taylor says higher costs impacted numbers. He reports ‘we are pleased to report strong sales momentum through the second quarter, as we generated double digit revenue gains driven by increasing guest counts and strong operating week growth’ but he goes on to say ‘in spite of this solid top-line performance, commodity inflation of 9.4% resulted in earnings per share that were lower than the prior year period as it more than offset modest price increases taken in late 2014.’ Re the outlook, the co concludes ‘we remain focused on providing legendary food and legendary service, as well as a great value proposition to each and every guest, and as a result, we believe we are well-positioned for growth over the long-term’ and says that LfL sales in the first 4wks of Q3 are up by 7.6%.
• Kona Grill Q2 numbers show total sales +21%, same store sales +1.0%. Group lost 1c per share v profit of 11c last year. Group says ‘solid top-line growth exceeded our guidance in spite of wet weather’ and says ‘we have now generated positive same-store sales in nine consecutive quarters and in 19 of the past 20 quarters.’ Margins were higher with exceptional costs holding back reported numbers.
• Fine wine merchant Woolf Sung is looking to PE firms and banks to fund its expansion fund. The company is targeting £10m in annual revenue in the next few years.
• Revolution is launching a new brunch menu focusing on ‘fresh, vibrant dishes packed with worthy ingredients’.
• Glendola Leisure has acquired Saltire Taverns in Edinburgh.
• IHG is reportedly considering bids for Fairmont and Movenpick after ruling itself out of a merger with Starwood Hotels.
• 2015 is set to be a bumper year for hotel deals in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with the UK one of the region’s star performers. The country accounts for nearly 50% of all hotel deals in the region and is up some 172% on last year.
• Easyjet’s employees are no longer set to strike after accepting a new pay proposal.
• Unions have unanimously rejected the latest pay offer from Tube bosses and are planning another day of strikes. Unite, ASLEF, RMT and TSSA said the proposed deal still did not address concerns over pay and conditions on the new night Tube service.
Finance & Markets:
• The government is to sell 600 million RBS shares priced at around 330p, representing 5.2% of the bank at a £2bn loss for the taxpayer. The UK currently owns 78.3% of the part-nationalised bank.
• City trader Tom Hayes has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for fixing the Libor rate.
• UK manufacturing growth increased in July from a 26-month low in June although growth remained ‘near-stagnant’ at 51.9.
Retail Roundup from Nick Bubb:
Grocer 33 Watch: The guest retailer in the widely followed Grocer “33” weekly supermarket pricing survey in the Grocer magazine on Friday afternoon, mighty Lidl, was as much as 13% cheaper than Asda, with a basket of just £43.06, but Tesco and Morrisons weren’t that far behind Asda. However, the Sainsbury basket was as much as £57.81, whilst Waitrose was even more off the pace than usual, with a £67.42 basket nearly £10 more than Sainsbury…There was better news for Asda in the separate Grocer “Mystery Shopper” survey on “Service and Availability” as their Hereford store came top in a very close contest between the majors (with Lidl in Wigton in Cumbria coming a clear bottom, because of poor store standards, layout and availability).