Langton Capital – 2021-03-24 – Private co accounts, reopening, staycations, overseas holidays etc.:
Private co accounts, reopening, staycations, overseas holidays etc.:
A DAY IN THE LIFE:
Just heard a nasty rumour that the kids are breaking up for Easter on Friday, this some ten minutes or so after they went back post lockdown.
But time, tide and, apparently, school holidays wait for no man and, as I’m told the clocks go forward this weekend and it’s Easter the one after, the above is only to be expected.
Nonetheless, it’s indicative of the fact that, whilst we’re watching paint dry and waiting for the pubs to reopen, the year is ticking by before our eyes.
Indeed, the jobs are mounting up.
Only a matter of time before I’m told that the grass needs cutting and, as I know the mower currently has three flat tyres and a flat battery, I’d better put a lock on the shed and find somewhere to hide. On to the news:
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PRIVATE COMPANY ACCOUNTS:
Glendola Leisure, Catapult Ventures. See premium email.
PUBS & RESTAURANTS:
• Path to reopening spelled out. Vote in Commons tomorrow.
• The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) 2021 Regulations have been published by the government. Solicitors Poppleston Allen point out that the regs ‘set out a stepped approach to ending the lockdown in England. The regulations come into effect on the 29th March and do not have a timescale for relaxing restrictions, rather they set out that there will be 3 Steps, each with progressively reduced restrictions. On 29th March 2021 all parts of England will enter Step 1, which primarily permits groups of up to six persons to meet outdoors.’
• Step 2 is the 12 April reopening of non-essential shops and outdoor pubs & restaurants. 17 May (at the earliest) should see pubs reopen indoors (step 3) and Poppleston Allen says lockdown should expire on 30th June 2021 (all being well).
• On 12 April, ‘bars and restaurants will have to close any indoor premises for ‘on’ sales but may sell food or drink, including alcohol, for consumption outdoors on the premises if: 1. the food or drink is ordered by, and served to, a customer who is seated outdoors on the premises (table service), and 2. the operator takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the customer remains seated outdoors whilst consuming the food or drink on the premises.
• This is not new news but the proposals are spelled out. There will be maximum fines of £5,000 for people illegally taking foreign holidays before the end of June. The Commons should vote on them tomorrow. Poppleston Allen points out ‘there is no mention of substantial meals or a curfew’ and says ‘under Step 2 toilets will be permitted to remain open (including for premises selling alcohol). For premises not selling alcohol customers may order and pay for food and drinks by entering an indoor part of the premises; it appears for premises selling alcohol that payment will be required at least outside, if not specifically at the table.’ As already announced ‘in Step 2, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys and snooker and pool halls, cinemas and theatres (except drive-ins), will remain closed.’ The regulations will be reviewed every 5wks.
Other Covid news:
• Staycations vs the potential for further lockdowns. Efficacy of the AZN Oxford vaccine. See premium email
Small brewers ‘treated unfairly.’
• SIBA has highlighted once again that small brewers are not in receipt of the same level of support as many other sub-sectors. SIBA says ‘despite pubs being shut and therefore 80% of brewery sales blocked, small brewers have not received the same level of support as the wider hospitality sector and, at their own expense, poured away over 6 million pints of craft beer.’ It says ‘their message is clear, the Chancellor should save local breweries by introducing a Brewers Support Fund similar to what’s been seen in Scotland which provides direct grants of up to £30,000 per small brewery.’ SIBA CEO James Calder says ‘small breweries are the lifeblood of our communities and have seen their businesses and livelihoods going down the drain because of the Covid pandemic and the closure of pubs. Today they are reminding the Chancellor what is at stake and what we’ll lose without direct support
Company & other news:
• Deliveroo. IPO price & rider legal action.
• Deliveroo. The group’s IPO has attracted some criticism due to valuation. The Times also reports that ‘Deliveroo is facing investigations in Europe over the legal status of its riders, potentially casting a shadow over its £9 billion stock market listing.’ It says the company is ‘battling legal claims or regulatory probes in Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy over the classification of its couriers.’ Deliveroo highlights that ‘it may have to rewrite its business model if it was forced to provide riders with holiday and sick pay, minimum wages and other benefits.’ Uber in the UK recently agreed to minimum wages, holiday and sick pay, etc., but it said that its delivery drivers would not be a part of this deal.
• Time Out. Won’t do Waterloo, will do a fund raise.
• Time Out Group yesterday confirmed that it ‘no longer intends to proceed with the development of Time Out Market London (Waterloo) due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.’ The company says ‘this decision does not change the Company’s need to secure additional funding, as a result of the financial impact of repeated periods of pandemic-related containment as previously stated in its interim results on 30 September 2020. Consequently, the Company is currently reviewing an equity funding proposal that would ensure the Group has financial and operational flexibility. It is anticipated that an update will be provided at the time of the Company’s interim results announcement on or around 30 March.’
• Leon shuts down US operations.
• UK fast food operator Leon has shuttered its four U.S. stores, which are located in Washington, D.C., and Virginia. The company has been “devastated by COVID-19.’ Restaurant Dive reports it had only managed to keep one American store — located in the District — open over the last 12 months, with volume down 85%, Edwards wrote in an email. The company says it is ‘focusing on re-building LEON in the UK & Europe, where our journey to make fast food, good food started 17 years ago.” It says ‘for now, we have to focus on survival. The US remains our long term number one priority.’
• Restaurant Dive also points out that Le Pain Quotidien’s U.S. division has filed for Ch11 bankruptcy. The same journal wrote, in December 2019, that ‘there’s a new kind of British invasion afoot in Washington, and it’s changing the way Americans think about fast food.’ It says Leon’s mission was to ‘make U.S. diners fall back in love with fast food…but this time, with better ingredients.’ Co-founder John Vincent said ‘I want to reinvent McDonald’s so that it tastes good, does you good and is kind to the planet. For me, it’s a whole different proposition from fast casual. … There’s a fun element to it.’ Covid has derailed plans.
• Pub & restaurant snippets.
• Starbucks has said it plans to ensure its supplies of unroasted coffee are carbon neutral by 2030. US operator Popeyes fried chicken is to open its first UK restaurant later this year. Tip Jar has announced that Gary Dolman, co-founder of app-based bank Monzo, has joined as an advisor to its board. See yesterday’s premium email for DPEU full year numbers & today’s for comments on M&B AGM.
HOTELS & LEISURE TRAVEL:
Hopes for overseas holidays:
• Growing concern that overseas summer holidays will not be allowed.
• TUI has nonetheless said that it believes overseas summer holidays ‘will be possible this year.’ It says ‘we remain committed to working closely with the government on the Global Travel Taskforce and look forward to understanding more about when international travel can take place when it reports on 12 April.’ The Business Travel Association has focused on practicalities, saying it is important that the UK engineers greater coordination between the UK’s four regions as to what will be allowed and what will not. The BTA says ‘as if the issue isn’t difficult enough, we have the four nations disagreeing and arguing. It’s incredibly unhelpful. If you’re a consumer sat at home, you would think ‘I’m going to leave [overseas travel] for the time being’.’ See our comments on the ‘efficacy of the AZN Oxford vaccine’ above.
• Travel companies’ share prices had another down-day yesterday. Hostelworld was unchanged but Jet2, Carnival, On the Beach and TUI were down by 2.3%, 5.6%, 5.7% and 6.1% respectively.
• Cineworld attracts flack. See yesterday’s premium email for coverage of Cineworld’s reopening plans. The company has attracted criticism as Sky points out that the upbeat announcement comes ‘after effectively axing up to 45,000 workers six months ago.’ There could be some issues with re-staffing. Sky highlights that Cineworld’s ‘update made no mention of the workforce it needs to operate the business of screening movies.’ People who took redundancy (which has favourable tax treatment) could be banned from re-joining their former employer for at least 12mths.
• Aitch Group is to open a new indoor climbing venue in East London.
FINANCE & MARKETS:
• The rate of unemployment in the UK fell from 5.1% to 5.0% in the 3mths to January. Under-25s and staff in London have born the brunt of job losses reports the BBC. The large number of staff still on furlough does mean that the true scale of job losses is perhaps not yet fully apparent.
• The NIESR comments on average wage growth saying it ‘will stay broadly unchanged at 4.8% in the first quarter of 2021, compared to 4.7% in the previous quarter.’ It says ‘the number of furloughed workers increased to 4.8 million in January. We forecast that that number will steadily decline from April to September when restrictions are progressively lifted, subject to the vaccination programme running according to plan and infection rates being kept under control.’ The NIESR says, due to the vaccine rollout, ‘sectors like hospitality will finally be able to resume activity, but the effect of the pandemic on the labour market will probably be felt for years to come. Most furloughed workers will be able to return to their old job, but a significant number will find that their job has disappeared as businesses adjust to a new normal.’
RETAIL WITH NICK BUBB:
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TRADING STATEMENTS & EVENTS:
Upcoming results are set out below:
• 22 Mar 21 888 FY numbers (5.30pm)
• 23 Mar 21 DP Eurasia FY numbers
• 23 Mar 21 McColl’s FY numbers
• 24 Mar 21 M&B AGM
• 25 Mar 21 Compass Group H1 update
• 25 Mar 21 Cineworld FY numbers
• 25 Mar 21 TUI AGM
• 29 Mar 21 Ten Entertainment FY numbers
• 30 Mar 21 AG Barr FY numbers
• Est. 30 Mar 21 Time Out H1 numbers
• 31 Mar 21 Various Eateries AGM
• 1 Apr 21 Sportech FY numbers
• 7 Apr 21 Saga FY numbers
• 8 Apr 21 Sportech FY numbers
• 8 Apr 21 Constellation Brands FY numbers
• Est. 9 Apr 21 Barclaycard Consumer Spending (March)
• 13 Apr 21 Just Eat Q1 numbers
• 15 Apr 21 Pepsi Q1 numbers
• 15 Apr 21 Naked Wines FY trading update
• 22 Apr 21 Domino’s Pizza PLC AGM
• 23 Apr 21 Gear4Music results
• 28 Apr 21 Carlsberg Q1 numbers
• 28 Apr 21 YUM Brands Q1 results
• 4 May 21 Campari Q1 numbers
• 6 May 21 Bank of England MPC meeting
• 7 May 21 Intercontinental Hotels Q1 numbers
• Est 9 May 21 Barclaycard Consumer Spending (Apr)
• 12 May 21 Compass Group H1 numbers
• 12 May 21 Stock Spirits H1 numbers
• 12 May 21 TUI H1 numbers
• 18 May 21 Britvic H1 numbers
• Est 19 May 21 Marston’s H1 numbers
• 26 May 21 C&C FY numbers
• 24 Jun 21 Bank of England MPC meeting
• 27 Jul 21 Campari H1 numbers
• 5 Aug 21 Bank of England MPC meeting
• 10 Aug 21 Intercontinental Hotels H1 numbers
• 12 Aug 21 TUI Q3 numbers
• 18 Aug 21 Carlsberg H1 numbers
• 22 Oct 21 Intercontinental Hotels Q3 numbers
• 26 Oct 21 Campari Q3 numbers
• 8 Dec 21 TUI FY numbers
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