Langton Capital – 2018-03-28 – Time Out, Gfinity, DP Poland, AG Barr, Gfinity and other:
Time Out, Gfinity, DP Poland, AG Barr, Gfinity and other:
A DAY IN THE LIFE:
First of two short weeks this week. The email will be going out in somewhat shortened form as Langton will be away from the office until next Wednesday. On to the news:
PUB, RESTAURANT & DRINK PRODUCERS:
• Time Out Group group revenue up 19% to £44.4m with an EBITDA loss of £14.2m (up from a loss of £10.6m last year) in its results for the year ended 31 December 2017. Julio Bruno, CEO of Time Out Group plc, said: ‘Strong growth in e-commerce and Time Out Market continued in 2017, demonstrating that we are successfully evolving Time Out into a transactional business. Millions of customers now book theatre tickets, attractions and hotels with us, buy exclusive offers and experience one of our Live Events worldwide and Time Out Market’.
• Time Out Group reports that it has signed a conditional lease agreement for a new Time Out Market in New York. It says ‘located at 55 Water Street, Empire Stores in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighbourhood, Time Out Market New York is expected to open in Q4 2018. Built between 1869 and 1885 as a coffee storehouse, the historic Empire Stores have retained their original brick and timber features; recently redeveloped, they have been transformed into a highly desirable retail, office and commercial space. With its unique waterfront position right by the East River, between Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge, Time Out Market New York will be at the heart of an increasingly popular area for locals and visitors.’
• Time Out has announced that Adam Silver will be appointed Chief Financial Officer and to the Board of Directors with effect from 29 March 2018.
• A bottle deposit return scheme is being considered for consultation in the UK, the Government has confirmed. Any consultation will examine the details of how such a scheme would work.
• DP Poland reported full year numbers yesterday saying that its is seeing ‘momentum continuing to build. ‘ The group had a ‘record number of store openings’ last year with a 51% growth in System Sales.
• DPP CEO Peter Shaw reports ‘the Group EBITDA loss increased, 2017 on 2016, impacted by the high number of new corporate store openings in 2017 (stores are initially loss making), margin pressures from inflation in food and labour costs and more aggressive price promotion as we responded to competitive marketing activity.’
• AG Barr reported full year numbers yesterday with CEO Roger White saying ‘over the past 12 months we have delivered consistent broad-based sales growth across our portfolio, well ahead of the soft drinks market performance throughout the year, supported by successful innovation, strong core brands and further development of our partnerships.
• AG Barr reports ‘the UK economic landscape is expected to remain uncertain for business as a whole, with regulation, changing customer dynamics and consumer preferences adding further volatility for the soft drinks industry.’
• £13m is the price reportedly paid by Brewdog for Draft House.
• MCA reports the Institute of Competitive Socialising is to open its first overseas site for golf concept Swingers in New York. The 22,000 square foot site will be the largest to date. It should open in September next year.
• BBPA comments on Migration Advisory Committee interim report saying that it ‘highlights the importance of migrant workers in the hospitality sector.’ Some 17% of the UK’s hospitality workforce is thought to be from overseas. This is greater in kitchen staff (up to 80%) and it is higher in London than it is in the regions.
• UKHospitality says re the above ‘we are particularly pleased that the MAC’s report recognised that the “vast majority of employers do not deliberately seek to fill vacancies with migrant workers’’, but that, in some cases, these are the only available candidates.’
• The WWF has forecast that the use of plastic straws in the UK will rise by 41% by 2030. It says that there will be 34% more crisp packets and 9% more drinks bottles purchased (and discarded) by consumers.
• SIBA has said that the consumer thirst for craft beer is showing no signs of abating
• Delivery company Kerryfresh has gone into administration
• A French waiter sacked in Canada for being rude has said that he is a victim of cultural discrimination.
• McDonald’s has announced that it will begin phasing out plastic straws from its UK restaurants and has stated that it is ‘really close’ to getting all its packaging recyclable.
• Fuller, Smith & Turner has registered all of its 397 pubs as Refill stations on the Refill campaign app that aims to promote the refilling of water bottles with tap water. The director of Fuller’s, Jonathon Swaine said: ‘This is a fantastic initiative and a great cause. I am thrilled that we are the first pub company to be working with the team at Refill and I am keen to help them spread the word of this campaign. It is proving popular in our pubs, with our teams welcoming new customers and giving them another reason to visit a Fuller’s pub’.
• Starbucks has introduced an invitation-only happy hour, were selected drinks will be 50% off for digital customers.
• Amazon has advanced into the French grocery market, with Casino’s upmarket Monoprix chain becoming the first local retailer to agree to sell groceries via Amazon.
HOLIDAYS & LEISURE TRAVEL:
• Research from On the Beach has suggested that many of the most popular Greek Islands are cheaper this year for summer holidays that they were in 2017
• STR has said that the global inventory of hotel bedrooms has increased by 18% over the last 10yrs
• Uber has been refused permission to re-start driverless car trials in Arizona
• Air France is set to be hit by further strikes later this week. Good Friday will be impacted.
• Gfinity has confirmed that it ‘is currently working on completing a placing of new shares at 12p per share to raise approximately £6.7 million.’ It says ‘there can be no certainty that such fundraising will be concluded nor as to the timing or terms of such, but a further announcement will be made as required as soon as possible.’
• Gfinity has reported H1 numbers to end-Dec. Revenue rose to £1.8m from £0.9m but the loss before tax rose to £7.7m from £1.7m. The company says it has ‘made significant strategic progress and gained strong momentum against its objective of creating a world leading esports business. Key highlights during the period included:’
• Gfinity reports the ‘momentum created through the period has placed the Company in a very strong position to capitalise on the enormous growth opportunity that esports presents in 2018 and beyond. This has been further evidenced by a number of major announcements following the period end, including:’
• Gfinity CEO Neville Upton reports ‘during the six months to 31 December 2017, we made major progress in achieving our strategy to create a world leading esports business’. He says ‘we continue to invest in the quality of our people and technology, which has resulted in an increase in our cost base, which is in line with delivering our growth strategy. This has allowed us to build a leading position in the esports market and positions us well to take advantage of the commercial opportunities that the considerable expected growth in the esports market will present.’
• Paddy Power Betfair has announce that Jonathan Hill is to be appointed CFO.
• Game Digital has reported that it has benefited from demand for the Nintendo Switch console but it says that its roll-out of esports gaming arenas may be slower than expected. CEO Martyn Gibbs says there has been ‘strong customer demand for consoles…[and] a stronger line-up of new software releases.’
• Mark Zuckerberg has refused to appear before MPs in the UK.
FINANCE & MARKETS:
• The Migration Advisory Committee has said that employers are “fearful” about diminished access to labour post Brexit
• The BBC has reported that homeowners are moving house only half as often now as they were prior to the credit crunch. It quotes Savills as saying ‘those not trading up are the forgotten people of the housing market.’ Savills says ‘we’ve concentrated on first-time buyers. They get the concessions and all the focus has been on getting people onto the housing ladder.’
• Sterling $1.4196 and €1.1444.
• Oil $69.59
• UK 10yr gilt yield 1.41%
• World markets: UK higher yesterday with Europe up but US down. Far East mostly down in Wednesday trade
START THE DAY WITH A SONG:
Yesterday’s song was Beck’s ‘Loser’. Today who sang:
In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle, ah-ah, ah-ah
In the centre of it all, in the centre of it all
RETAIL NEWS WITH NICK BUBB:
• “The Daily Retailer” is going to be on holiday now until after Easter. Nick will be back, bright and early, on Tuesday April 3rd.