Langton Capital – 2020-02-10 – Quentin Rests, West Berks Brewery, Jan holiday bookings etc.:
Quentin Rests, West Berks Brewery, Jan holiday bookings etc.:
A DAY IN THE LIFE:
Storm Clara could be about to cause Langton some problems getting down to London today but, for the retailers, it proved to be something of a disaster yesterday.
Langton made it past the fallen branches and flooded drains into York City centre on Sunday (risking he health and well-being of its 12yr old Skoda Fabia into the bargain) where parking was plentiful and the pavements were empty.
Even the stag and hen parties, usually a very washed-out but still visible presence on a Sunday were absent, the panhandlers were looking even more forlorn than usual and we were thanked, yes thanked, in one shop for venturing out and making it worth their while opening.
The shop in question maybe spoke too soon as it was the retail outlet attached to the Art Gallery where they were selling mugs for £32 and keyrings and the like for not much less.
Not quite our scene but still, the serious point to be made is that, when the public has a reason to remain in front of the fire and order online, it seems to be pretty willing to do so. The movement of some of the High Street burden from business rates (still high) to corporate profits (low or non-existent for many retailers) can’t come soon enough. On to the news:
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PRIVATE COMPANY ACCOUNTS: WEST BERKSHIRE BREWERY. West Berkshire Brewery has reported (somewhat late) its numbers to end-March 2019 to Companies’ House. 10 Feb 2020:
• West Berkshire Brewery, where industry veteran David Bruce is chairman and Tom Lucas is MD, has reported end-March 2019 numbers to Companies’ House.
• It should have reported these numbers by end-December.
• A Compulsory Strike Off notice against the company was discontinued on 14 December.
• The accounts were signed on 6 February 2020.
• We would suggest that the first half of the chairman’s statement is markedly more optimistic than the second. The numbers do not look too rosy
Company Comment (Part I):
• West Berkshire chairman David Bruce says in his 6th chairman’s statement that the group has turned its attention to sales and marketing.
• He says ‘we introduced a comprehensive, insight-driven, sales and marketing strategy and set about recruiting, developing and training a high-calibre sales team for both the on and off-trade channels.’ The company continues in a more cautious tone. See Premium Email.
PUBS & RESTAURANTS:
• Quentin Restaurants, which operates the Pizza East, Chicken Shop & Dirty Burger restaurant chains amongst other units (14 in total) has reported late numbers for the rather historic year to December 2018.
• More detail in the premium email tomorrow but, in brief, the group reports revenues down by nearly 12% at £23.4m with headline losses of £13.4m against a loss of £4.9m in the prior year. In the year to December 2018 there were exceptional charges of some £10.7m against charges of £1.8m in 2017.
• Quentin Restaurants closed two Chicken Shop units and one Dirty Burger site in 2017. This was largely behind the drop in turnover and the exceptional costs. It helps highlight the difference between Going Concern and disposal values when restaurants are closed. Quentin refers to ‘challenging trading conditions across the casual dining sector.’ More tomorrow.
• See comments on West Berkshire Brewery above.
• Research from Shoppercentric shows ‘food-to-go’ has reduced spending on household food, with 80% of UK shoppers saying they’ve eaten a meal which wasn’t prepared at home over the past month.
• In the US, Black Box Intelligence reports restaurant comp sales were up 2.25% on a rolling six month average ending January, the highest sales growth in 4 years. Sales have been driven by good weather and a milder winter during January.
• The MCA & HIM Food To Go Market Report 2020 reveals that consumers with a dietary requirement spend 35% more on food to go (FTG) than the average FTG consumer. The amounts are £7.14 on average, compared to the FTG average of £5.29.
• KAM Media comments on Pub20 saying that 15m adults visit at least one of the 49,500 British pubs every week. Some 95% of pub goers believe that the pub is the centre of the community. They may be partisan. Some 1-in-5 people met their partner in a pub.
• Jaguar Land Rover is shutting down production at two of its UK plants on some days now as a result of sluggish sales.
• Fourth has launched a report in partnership with sustainability platform Footprint, analysing how specific job roles within the industry can help reduce food waste. Catherine Marshall, Communications Director at Fourth said: ‘There is no silver bullet or quick fix to reducing food waste – tackling it requires a concerted effort from across the industry and at Fourth we’re determined to do our bit’.
• Research from Travelodge has found that only 28% of British families still get together round a table to eat dinner.
• Pret A Manger has announced another four new Veggie Pret stores to open by this summer, bringing the total to 14.
• BrewDog has released new branding alongside several commitments to commit to making the group more sustainable.
• The North Yorkshire brewery, Rooster’s Brewing Co has invested £850k into a new brewery taproom three times the size of its previous premises, at 20,000 square feet.
• The average price of a bottle of wine in the UK is anticipated to exceed £6 for the first time this year, research from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association has indicated.
• Restaurant sales in the US have seen sales increase 2.3% LfL in January, according to research from Black Box Intelligence.
• Yum Brands’ Pizza Hut reported a 2% drop in global same-store sales and a 4% decrease in the U.S. with CEO David Gibbs saying the company is working “urgently” to fix its Pizza Hut division. Yum reached 50,000 global restaurants by the end of Q4.
HOLIDAYS & LEISURE TRAVEL:
• January UK outbound holiday bookings have been up yoy, despite Britain leaving the EU at the end of the month.
• The International Air Transport Association reports demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, rose by 4.2% in 2019, compared to 2018.
• The number of infected people on the Diamond Princess in Japan has risen to 61 people.
• In the States, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said that inbound travel from China to the U.S. will be ‘temporarily affected’ and that ‘Previous events tell us that travel is quick to rebound after health-related downturns.’
• Melco Resorts and Entertainment has abandoned its plans to raise its stake in Australian rival Crown Resorts to 19.99%. The gaming and tourism industries have been hit hard by quarantines and travel bans due to the coronavirus outbreak.
• Amazon has pulled out of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona over risks posed by Coronavirus. However, the organiser said the event, which attracts 100,000 people, will go ahead.
• The FT reports that tighter regulation, higher taxes and negative media coverage contributed to the UK gambling sector’s first ever decline last year, with revenues down from £5.6bn to £5.3bn in the year to March 2019.
FINANCE & ECONOMICS:
• Sterling down vs dollar at $1.2906 but unchanged vs Euro at €1.1781. Oil lower at $54.49 and UK 10yr gilt yield down 2bps at 0.57%. World markets lower on Friday and Far East down in today’s trade.
START THE DAY WITH A SONG:
Last Friday’s song was Dreams by Fleetwood Mac. Today, who sang:
“There’s a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin’ like a toad,
Take a long holiday
Let your children play”
RETAIL WITH NICK BUBB:
• Nick is on a short break. Back Wednesday.
TRADING STATEMENTS & EVENTS:
Upcoming results are set out below:
• 6 Feb 20 Stock Spirits AGM
• 6 Feb 20 On the Beach AGM
• 6 Feb 20 Compass Group AGM
• 7 Feb 20 DP Poland FY update
• 11 Feb 20 Cineworld AGM
• 20 Feb 20 Texas Roadhouse Q4 & FY numbers
• 25 Feb 20 Hotel Chocolat FY numbers
• 26 Feb 20 Revolution Bar Group H1 numbers
• 26 Feb 20 Wm Hill FY numbers
• 26 Feb 20 SSP Group AGM (no trading statement expected)
• 27 Feb 20 Marriott Q4 numbers
• 3 Mar 20 Gregg’s FY numbers
• 4 Mar 20 Hostelworld FY numbers
• 4 Mar 20 Gfinity H1 numbers
• 11 Mar 20 Sajid Javid Budget
• 19 Mar 20 Everyman Media FY numbers
• 20 Mar 20 JD Wetherspoon H1 numbers
• 24 Mar 20 888 Holdings FY numbers
• 26 Mar 20 Bank of England MPC meeting
• 9 Apr 20 Hollywood Bowl H1 trading update
• 12 May 20 On the Beach H1
• 13 May 20 Marston’s H1 numbers
• 13 May 20 Stock Spirits H1
• 11 Jun 20 Fuller’s FY numbers
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