Langton Capital – 2018-07-27 – McDonald’s, Facebook, easyJet & others
A DAY IN THE LIFE:
So, Langton is still pottering around Little Piddleton on the Wold and all those other made-up, chocolate-box pretty places around Bourton on the Water and the Cotswolds but, try as we might, we haven’t been able to antagonise any more locals into giving us a telling off.
• Anheuser-Busch InBev has reported beer volume growth of 0.9%, with global brands revenue up 10.1%. The group reported EBITDA increasing 7% despite higher marketing costs.
• McDonald’s has reported global LfL sales up 4% with UK sales leading the way rising 4.9%, in its Q2 results. Chief executive Steve Easterbrook said: ‘We’re seeing good performance across our business as our customers tell us that they value and appreciate the moves we’re making to elevate the McDonald’s experience’.
• McDonald’s has begun tests into barista offerings at some of its UK branches, after discovering that coffee drinkers are their most loyal and frequent customers.
• Coca-Cola has reported strong diet soft drink sales, posting growth of 5% in retail value of its sparkling portfolio. James Robert B. Quincey, president and CEO stated: ‘The interesting thing is that the success and the turnaround of Diet Coke, or at least the work in progress of the turnaround of Diet Coke, is not coming at the expense of Coke Zero Sugar’.
• Morrisons, Asda and Aldi have relaxed quality specifications for fruit and vegetables as the heatwave reduces volumes of available produce. Warnings of crop shortages have intensified during the past week, with growers of onions and apples reporting crops were being affected by the heatwave.
• Peel Hotels have reported FY figures for the year ending 28 January 2018, with group revenue up 4.1% to £16.1m. Operating profit excluding exceptional declined 29.6% to £893k, and EBITDA was down 18.5% to £1.8m.
• EasyJet has announced it will increase easyJet Holidays operations ‘across source markets’ for summer 2019 with Travel Weekly claiming the airliner will contract directly with selected hotels, emulating Tui’s strategy.
• Wizz Air reports Q1 revenue up 17.9% to €553.4m but profits down €8.1m to €50.0m blaming an early Easter and air traffic strikes. European air traffic control disruptions led to a 426% rise in flight cancellations to 145.
• The ONS reports business trips to the UK declined by 4% to 8.8m in 2017 despite a record number of visitors to the UK, up 3% to 39.2m. Overseas visitors spent £24.5 billion on visits to the country, an increase of 9%.
• For the week ending 21 July, STR reports US hotel occupancy up 0.4% to 78.3%, ADR up 2.6% to $135.18 and RevPAR rising 3% to $105.83.
• H1 2018 investment in UK hotels was up 28% yoy to £3.2bn in the industry, with Savills claiming portfolio sales accounting for 71% (£2.3bn) of transactions. Overseas buyers accounted for 51% of transactions, with Israeli and Canadian investors the most active. London hotels accounted for 38% of the total investment during the period.
• Hilton reports strong group performance in Q2, along with above-outlook performance in several key global regions, leading to 4% RevPAR growth for the company yoy. President and CEO Chris Nassetta said the company pipeline included 362,000 guestrooms at the end of the quarter, representing 9% growth yoy.
• Facebook opened 20% down yesterday after warning investors of slowing revenue gains and increased spending, wiping more than $100bn off the market value of the company. The company said it expected to boost spending by 50% or more, as it tries to improve the way it monitors content, tracks advertisers and treats user data.
• Facebook’s Chinese license to set up an ‘innovation hub to support Chinese developers, innovators and start-ups’ which was granted on Wednesday appears to have been withdrawn from the government database. The revelation stalls the social media platform’s plans for a comeback in the Chinese market.
• Sky reports pre-tax profits up 7.5% over the last twelve months after adding more than 500,000 customers across Europe. The positive results may increase competition in the current bidding war between Comcast and Disney, in which Comcast has lodged the higher bid, valuing Sky at £26bn.
• Starbuck’s reports Q3 net consolidated revenue up 11% to a record $6.3bn with global LfLs up 1%. CFO Scott Maw said ‘We continue to grow share in virtually every market and channel in which we operate at the same time that our streamline initiatives are enabling us to sharpen our focus – and leverage our resources – against our highest value, long-term growth opportunities.’
• Gear4Music updates on trading with CEO Andrew Wass saying ‘I am pleased to report that revenue growth continues to be strong into what is a highly competitive market, and the projects to relocate our Swedish distribution centre and upgrade our UK distribution facilities are on-track to be delivered ahead of our peak trading period. The Board remains confident in meeting their expectations for the financial year.’
Start the day with a song:
Yesterday’s song was Pinball Wizard by The Who. Today, who sang:
You better stop the things you do,
I tell ya I ain’t lyin’
I ain’t lyin’
Retail news with Nick Bubb:
Hotel Chocolat: The Hotel Chocolat share price has continued to wilt since the trading update last week, but perhaps today’s news about a new International franchise agreement will give it a lift, albeit the deal is about Scandinavia rather Asia (which is the big long-term focus for the business). Hotel Chocolat opened its first store in Copenhagen back in 2012, so Denmark has not exactly been a huge success, but the new partner, the Retail Brands group, will take over the 3 existing stores and get on with new openings, with plans to open at the Bruuns Galleri shopping mall in Arhus and Ro’s Torv mall in Roskilde this autumn.
Trade Press: Retail Week magazine has been published today and its front cover flags that Asos has taken the top spot for digital proficiency in the inaugural “Retail Week Indicator” survey: an in-depth study of the customer shopping journey at 180 UK retailers. RW also has a review of the new Sports Direct flagship store in Thurrock, whilst the Editor looks in his column at the news that Ikea will open its first UK city centre store this autumn on Tottenham Court Road and thunders that “Ikea’s city centre push shows brave thinking”.
BDO High Street Sales Tracker: We flagged on Wednesday that sales at John Lewis held up a bit better in the continuing heatwave last week and today’s BDO High Street Sales Tracker for small/medium-sized Non-Food chains for last week, w/e Sunday July 22nd, also looks reasonably solid, given its relatively low exposure to “indoor”/household goods. BDO Fashion Store LFL sales were 1.2% up (albeit against a very soft comp), but including Lifestyle very weak Homewares sales, total Store LFL sales were down a tad. Overall Online sales (which are separately reported by BDO) were up by 17.3%, with Online Fashion sales alone up by 15.1%. However, BDO has also given a weighted average of the Fashion sales for the first time, which shows that its normal methodology of just averaging out the percentage movements in sales may be flawed….as on a weighted basis Fashion Store sales were
News Flow Next Week: Next week is busy again, in terms of Retail news, as August hoves into view, kicking off first thing on Tuesday morning with the monthly GFK Consumer Confidence index. Tuesday also brings the Greggs finals, the Games Workshop finals and the Travis Perkins (Wickes) interims, together with the Apple Q3 out in the US. On Wednesday we get the Next Q2 trading update and the Dignity interims. Thursday brings the much-awaited MPC interest rate meeting and then the Pets at Home Q1 is on Friday.