Langton Capital – 2016-05-27 – Greene King, hotels, Brexit, Goals Soccer & other:
A Day in the Life:
I’m not a big believer in heaven and hell and all that good stuff but I have to admit that, if the latter exists, I hope there’s a particularly unpleasant spot being reserved for computer hackers, virus writers and the like.
Because, after being put out of action by a virus for a few hours yesterday, I would have little sympathy for the dirty little garden-shed dwelling little blighters if they ended up in some dark pit as it wasn’t big and it wasn’t funny.
It might well have been clever (one of the little worms dictated that every incoming email with ‘Mark’ or ‘Brumby’ in them (which is all of them) should be sent straight to trash so even warnings from recipients of spam from my email address couldn’t be heeded and then, to add insult to injury, the spammer breached my daily sending limits and ensured that I was sent to the email sin-bin for 24hrs as a result of ‘me’ having abused the system.
But we managed to get around that with a few tricks of our own and here we are, Friday, we’ve made it to the end of the week.
A chunk of Langton will miss the vital Hull City match tomorrow as it is in Kent, France, Belgium, Holland and then Germany visiting another chunk of said firm. But good luck to the lads, enjoy the Long Weekend all and back on Tuesday. On to the news:
RECENT WEBSITE ARTICLES:
• New article. Recent market entrants causing a headache? See here
• Market getting tougher? See here
• Main features London hotels, slowing markets, Restaurant Group etc. Link to index page – here
• Ongoing tweets found – here
PUB, RESTAURANT & DRINKS PRODUCER NEWS:
• Enterprise Inns Weds bought back 101,500 shares at around 99p per share. Yesterday it bought back 98,604.
• Enterprise Inns has announced a 4th ‘managed expert’ partnership, this one with Oakman Inns & Restaurants to be named Hunky Dory Pubs. Group says ‘Hunky Dory will open its first pub, The Beech House in Solihull, in August, and expects to announce further sites in the coming months.’ ETI’s CEO Simon Townsend reports ‘we are delighted to have created a new business with the team at Oakman Inns. We have the highest regard for Peter and his colleagues, and are excited about the prospect of building the Hunky Dory business together. It is a key part of our strategy to bring the Managed Expert Programme into the Midlands and we look forward to opening our first site during the summer.’ For Oakman, Peter Borg-Neal says ‘at Oakman we have some amazing people, considerable management expertise and a first class set of operating systems.
• Greene King has announced that it has finalised the terms of a tap of its secured financing vehicle. It will raise c£300m. CEO Rooney Anand comments ‘the completion of this transaction and the attractive price achieved is testament to the strength of the Greene King business, the quality of our pub estate and the security of its cash flows. Through this transaction we have strengthened the Greene King capital structure and increased longer-term funding for general business requirements including ongoing investment in our business’.
• Insurance company Aviva reports that a million more young people aged 21-34 will be living with their parents over the next decade. Around 2.8m people within that age group are currently at home and the number is expected to rise to around 3.8m. Youngsters are being kept off the housing ladder and this may influence spending patterns over time.
• Brewdog is to distil spirits under the Lone Wolf name. The division’s mission is to ‘disrupt the spirits category’. The PMA quotes company co-founder James Watt s saying ‘the Lone Wolf identity created by B&B (a design agency) fits our maverick brand personality perfectly.’ He continues ‘it manages to capture the craft essence of the brand, but presents it in a clean, stealthy, understated way, which will make the Lone Wolf instantly recognisable.’
• Mitchells & Butler has launched a wine range that gives advice on what drink to pick with its menus after finding only a quarter of its customers know what wines they like. The operator is teaming up with South African winery Gabb Family Vineyards on the Feast & Vine range, which has been created to match specific items on its Harvester and Toby Carvery restaurants.
• US pizza chains are enjoying a boom in popularity, with consumption at its highest level in four years, according to Technomic’s latest Trend Report. The research firm says chains have responded to calls to improve the ‘quality and uniqueness’ of their offers, with the fast-casual pizza segment increasing turnover by 22% and store count by 27% in 2014.
• A survey of 31,000 users of the Mappiness app which tracked their moods at various times of the day has found that alcohol makes people approximately 10% happier. More than two million responses were recorded over three years, showing that when users were drinking, their happiness levels increased by 10.79 points on a scale of 1 to 100.
• POD has reported a 9.1% rise in revenue to £17.3m and a near-doubling of EBITDA to £631k for the financial year.
• Propel writes that Euphorium Bakery is aiming to take its ‘modern carvery’ concept to 30 sites.
• Deliverd’s Chef Box, which brings re-heatable restaurant-prepared meals to homes and offices, is ready to expand beyond its North of England base into other parts of the UK.
• Royal Caribbean reports its vessel Harmony of the Seas (the world’s largest cruise ship) is to feature a 10-storey water slide. It says ‘the hair-raising, 10-story slide is “possibly the most thrilling manmade adventure at sea,” according to thrill engineer Professor Brendan Walker, Thrill Laboratory, U.K., director.
• It’s been a long week but can I work for Thrill Laboratory, please?
• The US hotel industry’s occupancy fell 0.9% to 70.7% in the week of 15-21 May, although average daily rate was up 2.7% to $125.76 and RevPAR rose 1.9% to $88.88.
• On The Beach boss Simon Cooper has not ruled out acquisitions in the future, but for now is focusing on organic growth. ‘Up to this point in time, certainly it [growth] has been via organic means rather than acquisitions. That’s not to say [that] were the right opportunity available at the right price, and it made sense, we wouldn’t look at acquisitions,’ commented Cooper.
• France is struggling with a host of strikes across the company, with oil refineries, nuclear power stations, and transport hubs all affected.
• Brazilian business travel will remain in the doldrums for the rest of 2016, according to a report from the GBTA. The report, which cites factors including a domestic recession, slow global growth, and lower commodity prices, forecasts an 8.5% drop in business travel spend in the country in 2016.
• Goals Soccer reports appointment of Mark Jones, latterly Yates, Ultimate Leisure & Rank Group, as CEO. Mr Jones will join the board on 1 July. The group says ‘Mark is a highly experienced and exceptional operator of nationwide leisure businesses and joins from the Rank Group plc, where he was Managing Director of Grosvenor Casinos, the largest casino business by locations and revenue in the UK, in addition to sitting on the company’s Executive Committee. Prior to this, he held numerous senior roles within the leisure industry, including being the Managing Director of Mecca Bingo, Chairman and CEO of Premium Bars and Restaurants, CEO of Yates Group and various roles within Whitbread PLC.’
• Goals appointment: Chairman Nick Basing reports ‘I am delighted Mark is joining to lead the Company through its next phase of development. Mark has an exceptional and experienced track record of managing leisure brands and growing businesses. Mark’s appointment further strengthens the calibre of the Board, following the other appointments announced recently.’ Mark Jones reports ‘whilst the Company has experienced its recent issues, it remains an excellent business with significant potential both here in the UK and in the US. I look forward to working with the Goals team and driving the business forward’.
FINANCE & MARKETS:
• HM Treasury has warned that pensioners, present and future, will be worse off if the UK leaves the EU. Brexit campaigners have labelled the comments “utterly outrageous”.
• UK tax revenues from the North Sea have fallen to a 50yr low as rebates to companies exceeded income
• A senior policymaker at the US Federal Reserve has said the central bank will be ready to raise interest rates ‘fairly soon’.
• The G7 has warned in its final statement of its meeting in Japan that a vote by the UK to leave the EU would pose a ‘serious threat to global growth’.
• World markets: UK mixed yesterday but Europe up. US down but Far East higher in Friday trade
• Oil price fails to hold $50. Price currently around $49.20 per barrel
Retail Roundup from Nick Bubb:
John Lewis Partnership Sales Watch:
News Flow Next Week: Things are quiet after the Bank Holiday on Monday in terms of company news, but the Halfords final results are on Wednesday and the latest Kantar and Nielsen grocery market share figures will also be out on Wednesday morning. Nick Bubb – firstname.lastname@example.org
Yester-tweet – Yesterday in a Nutshell: Live Tweets on Website:
Some of the early tweets:
• The head of Coca-Cola UK & Ireland has criticised George Osborne’s sugar tax, saying it will not work and will hit the poorest hardest
• Pure, the healthy food-to-go concept 49%-owned by Whitbread, generated £1m on over £10m of turnover for the year to end-2015
• New figures from an NHS Scotland report show Scottish alcohol sales rose last year to the equivalent of 41 bottles of vodka per adult
• Overseas visitors to UK? How many of the top 10 countries can you name? This by number not spend. See below this story on website here
• Hostelworld says ‘reflecting recent geo-political events, particularly in Europe, trading over Q2 has been at a level below our expectations’
• Thomas Cook cabin crew voted in favour of a strike is a dispute over health and safety, with 74% of voters in favour of industrial action
• The number of overseas package holidays being booked by UK residents is failing to keep pace with the overall leisure market
• German business confidence at 8mth high. I’m guessing we think that’s a good thing.
• Gold / Oil (no. of barrels per ounce) not a perfect measure but speaks to risk appetite. Is 24.6 & was c10.0 pts higher early March