Langton Capital – 2017-02-27 – Staycations, costs, inflation, VAT cuts, migration & other:
Staycations, costs, inflation, VAT cuts, migration & other:
A DAY IN THE LIFE:
Langton is doing its staycation bit for Britain. However, the internet’s not working very well so let’s move straight on to the news:
PUB, RESTAURANT & DRINK MANUFACTURERS:
• Sunday Times reports Caffe Nero paid no tax last year due to losses elsewhere in its ownership structure.
• Caffe Nero made profits of £25.5m in the year to end-May off turnover of £257.6m, up 6.7% year on year.
• A €100m lawsuit has been filed against Heineken’s Greek subsidiary, Athenian Brewery, following a 12-year investigation by the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) that found the company to be in breach of Greek and EU competition law. Athenian Brewery has also been fined £25m for abusing ‘its dominant position’ in the market over a 15-year period, squeezing out competitors through exclusivity agreements. The HCC added that Athenian Brewery had forced publicans to stock Heineken brands and had offered wholesalers ‘significant economic motives’ to promote exclusivity and refrain from introducing competing products. Heineken has recently sought to reassure Punch tenants that no such actions will be taken in the UK following its joint acquisition of the pub company.
• The Wine & Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) has predicted British gin exports will hit £500m by this summer. Figures from HMRC show £474m worth of British gin was sold abroad in 2016, up 12% and worth £53m more than the previous year.
• Restaurant, bar, and coffee roasting concept, Caravan, is preparing to open in London’s Fitzrovia, per MCA.
• B of England governor Mark Carney has said that whether or not workers are able to demand pay rises or not will be critical in determining the path of inflation
• Retailers are reported to be planning their larges price increases in 6yrs
• Public Health England has suggested that shrinkflation could be good for the nation’s health. Paying more for less could lead to cuts in consumption. That’s one way to look at it
• The price of stamps will rise by 1p from end-March. A first class stamp will cost 65p.
• Hometrack has reported that house price growth in London was 6.4% for the year to January. This is the lowest level in 4yrs
• O2 has said that it is jacking prices from this month for users. Including Langton Capital.
HOLIDAYS & LEISURE TRAVEL:
• Butlins owner Bourne Leisure boss Dermot King has called on the government to cut VAT on tourist spending.
• HVS’ latest annual hotel lending survey shows an upturn in Europe in the availability of hotel financing due to low interest rates and strong performance. The survey of leading European banks found that debt for hotels has become more widely available (although there are regional differences in lending activity), while debt funding was also found to be easier to obtain for existing property acquisitions, refinancing, renovations and expansions, than new hotel constructions.
• Hollywood Bowl Group is to open a £2.4m site in Derby’s city centre in April, which will be the UK’s ‘most technologically advanced bowling venue’. Steve Burns, CEO at The Hollywood Bowl Group said: ‘When work completes on Hollywood Bowl Derby, it will be our 56th centre in the UK and our second new centre to launch this year. Designed as a ‘next generation’ Hollywood Bowl, it is set to be one of the most innovative bowling centres in the country’
• Brexit will mean the ‘end of freedom of movement as we know it’ reports Home Secretary Amber Rudd. Whether that is a good or a bad thing will sharply divide opinion.
• New figures have shown the c100k EU workers left the UK in the 3mths post the 23 June Brexit vote.
• The Sunday Times has reported that benefits for migrants faces the axe.
• The BHA has suggested that top chefs are being put off from coming to London due to Brexit fears.
• Nigel Farage has posted a picture of him having dinner with Donald Trump on Twitter.
FINANCE & MARKETS:
• Brent c$55.99
• Sterling down a little at 117.99c per Euro & 124.68c vs US$
• UK 10yr gilt yield collapsing down to 1.08%
YESTERDAY’S LATER TWEETS:
• Tweets: It’s official, Stoke voters couldn’t really give a bugger. Unknown loser pips ditto in battle to keep people awake. Turnout 36%
• Industrial metal prices still on the up. Inflation heading downstream. Particularly when Sterling weakness is taken into account
• Dow hits 10th record high on the trot. What could go wrong? Nonetheless, rally maybe looks to be running out of steam
• Online sales +31% after +18% in 2016 per BDO non-food tracker. CBI’s retail ‘rebound’ in Feb could be premature or selective
• Holidays. Will we need visas to visit Spain. Iberian tourism industry will resist but it could be used as a bargaining chip
• HMG trumpets Rates concessions & snazzy shape of new Pound coin. Suggests we ignore Brexit, NHS, education, demographic time-bomb etc.
• Day-old, stone-cold, thick, Guinness-black, fizzy coffee being marketed by Starbucks. Give it a posh name & what’s not to like?
• Blindfolded coffee guru accidentally drinks dishwater. Trumpets it as the next big thing.
• RBS in the news so watched BBC’s 2011 Bank That Ran Out of Money again. Losses by 2011, £24bn. Cumulative losses now? Some £58bn. Ta, Fred
RETAIL NEWS WITH NICK BUBB:
• Saturday Press: There wasn’t much Retailing news for the Saturday papers to get their teeth into and the row over higher Business Rates remained the main focus: the Guardian highlighted the cry of anguish from the Bookseller’s Association that High Street “book shops will be driven into extinction” by higher Business Rates, but Lex column in the FT thundered that this tax on property values may be the “least worst option” for raising £28bn, short of raising council tax for households…The Times flagged that Mike Ashley is hoping to add Agent Provocateur to his collection of upscale brands in Sports Direct after lodging a £27.5 million bid for the struggling lingerie chain, although he is up against private equity fund competition. And the Times’ “Share of the Week” was the London property company Capital & Counties (of Covent Garden and Earl’s Court fame), concluding that it is a
• Sunday Press: The growing pressure on mighty Unilever to break itself up was the subject of several articles in the Sunday papers, along with more focus on the iniquities of the Business Rates system: the Sunday Telegraph had a big feature headlined “Snakes and ladders: the business rates game where few are winners”, accompanied by a photo of an independent food store called Brixton Supermarket, whilst the “Quote of the Week” in the Observer was the comment from Intu Properties boss David Fischel that “the UK is way out of line with its international peers on business rates”. In other news, the Observer flagged that the City is concerned about the pressure on Primark’s margins ahead of tomorrow’s trading update from parent ABF, whilst the Sunday Times highlighted that the embattled Philip Green is demanding millions in rent from the BHS liquidator over an obscure row about the