Langton Capital – 2016-01-04 – Alcohol limits, older drinkers, Xmas trading & other:
A Day in the Life:
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So it’s 2016.
In fact it’s the first working day of 2016 and, if the choice is between hitting the ground running and hitting the ground with a stumble, a sloppy cartwheel and a nose-first uncontrolled flight into terrain, then floods, power outages, internet problems and a leaking office roof are inclined to ensure the latter.
Indeed York is as wet as we’ve ever seen it.
Flooding caused initially simply by the weight of rainfall and subsequently by backed up rivers has meant that we’ve seen more water recently than has been healthy for us and, as the internet went down for 48hrs across the whole of the city, we were faced Boxing Day with shops (and pubs and restaurants) unable to take plastic (as the EPOS systems were down) and banks unable to dispense cash (for much the same reason).
Which all meant that there was something of a Dunkirk atmosphere about the Christmas period but, as it’s over, let’s move on to the news:
Pub, Restaurant & Drinks Producer News:
• The chief medical officer for England, Dame Sally Davies, is expected to recommend people abstain from alcohol for at least two days a week. Davies’ review was launched in 2013 after the Department of Health said it had heard ‘sufficient concerns’ from experts to suggest a thorough examination of the evidence on alcohol and health risks was needed.
• Alcohol Concern is attempting to get people to take part in Dry January by saying that drinking less will help you lose weight and improve your sleep.
• Drinking – older consumers. A leading doctor has warned Britain faces a ‘timebomb’ of serious illnesses such as dementia, brain damage and liver disease due to an aging population drinking too much. Dr Tony Rao, the nation’s leading expert on older people’s drinking habits, commented: ‘The number of older people drinking unsafely and unhealthily is rising at an alarming rate, putting their health at risk and further strain on NHS services.’ The number of 60 to 74-year-olds treated as in-patients for mental and behavioural disorders – including alcohol dependence and alcohol withdrawal – has almost doubled over the past ten years, from 5,074 in 2005-06 to 9,492 in 2014-15.
• The CEO of YO! Sushi Robin Rowland and former Ed’s Easy Diner CEO Andrew Guy have been included in the New Year’s Honours list.
• Red’s True Barbecue has secured an additional £9m of investment and is the second deal it has struck with Santander in the space of a year. The smokehouse concept is looking to open eight to ten sites over the next two years, including in Shoreditch, Liverpool and Nottingham, and is backed by a ‘Super 8’ group of industry leaders including Brandon Stephens of Tortilla and Stephen Wall of Pho.
• Morrisons has lowered the price of diesel to below £1 a litre, with Asda and Tesco set to follow suit today. This means fuel at Morrisons is being sold at its cheapest level since 2009 – a move which the RAC believes is overdue considering persistent low oil prices.
• The cost of train tickets in England, Wales and Scotland has gone up by just 1.1%, marking the smallest rise in six years.
• Rics data shows that the proportion of young people in the UK who own their own home is at its joint lowest level since 1996. The amount of 20 to 30-year-olds who are homeowners stands at 44.9%, but, with demand continuing to outstrip supply and set to push prices up another 6% this year, younger people may struggle to get a foot on the ladder.
• Coaching Inn Group reports 10.7% increase in LfL sales over Christmas, Oakman Inns sees ‘fantastic’ Xmas trading reports Propel
• UK High Streets weaker over Xmas per report from retail data firm Springboard. High Street down 3% in footfall, retail parks up 3.6%. Overall numbers down 0.3%
• Hyatt has suffered a security breach of its computer systems used to operate payment processing systems but the problem has now been fixed. Chuck Floyd, Hyatt’s global president of operations, said: ‘As soon as we discovered the activity, we launched an investigation and engaged leading third-party cyber security experts. We have taken steps to strengthen the security of our systems, and customers can feel confident using payment cards at Hyatt hotels worldwide.’
• VisitBritain predicts overseas tourists will spend up to £23bn in the UK in 2016 (up 4.2%) on the back of 36.7 million visitors (up 3.8%). If this proves to be the case, then VisitBritain is well on track to meet its stated aim of growing visitor numbers by more than 20% in the next five years to 42 million by 2020 and increasing spending to £4.5bn.
• VisitBritain CEO Sally Balcombe commented on the industry’s progress: ‘We are competing in a tough international environment and these results highlight how strongly the tourism sector, one of the UK’s fastest growing export industries, has performed and how the Government’s tourism strategy, supported by the GREAT campaign, is producing results.’
• Thomas Cook is relaunching its Airtours programme as a value sun and beach holiday brand targeting young families and couples. Destinations will include Spain, the Balearics, Canary Islands, Greece and Mexico and routes will fly from regional airports. The move comes following market research that suggests consumers are looking for flexibility, choice and the ability to customise their trips.
• Easyjet chief exec Carolyn McCall has been made a Dame in the New Year Honours list.
Finance & Markets:
• US jobs growth data points to second rate riser perhaps sooner than later. US added 200k jobs in Dec per official data
• London share prices lost 5% of their value over 2015. Given a yield of perhaps 3%, the net loss was somewhat smaller
• China’s factories are experiencing their longest period of contraction in at least 6yrs per official data
• Average house prices rose strongly per Nationwide. Prices up 0.8% in the month vs a rise of 0.1% in Nov.
• Nationwide says house prices rose 4.5% over 2015 as a whole. Land Registry says prices in Eng & Wales were +5.6%
• The Labour Party has suggested that young people are being priced off the housing ladder. Rents now a major burden
• UK markets lower on Thursday, Europe also down. US lower Thursday and Far East weaker in Monday trading
• China stock trading halted as shares him down-limits. CSI 300 Index down by 7% at one point per Bloomberg
• Oil price little-changed over festive period, up a little for choice. Trading at around $38.15 per barrel
Retail Roundup from Nick Bubb:
New Year Press Tips:
Today’s Press and News:
Upcoming News Flow: This week, as we move into early January 2016, the scheduled Christmas trading updates will come thick and fast, beginning with mighty Next tomorrow, quickly followed by the John Lewis Partnership (including Waitrose) on Wednesday and then Marks & Spencer (Q3) on Thursday. We also get the Topps Tiles Q1 update on Wednesday and the Poundland Q3 and the Signet Xmas update on Thursday…and a few unscheduled announcements as well, no doubt. Nick Bubb – firstname.lastname@example.org
Christmas Eve Tweets:
Greene King Tracker reports Nov drop in leisure spending, says ‘pre-Christmas belt-tightening contributes to a fall in leisure spending’
GNK Tracker: Says the average British household spent 8%, or £17, less on leisure in November than in the previous month.
GNK Tracker: Says amount spent on drinking out fell by 15% in Nov vs Oct. Rugby World Cup was held in Oct.
GNK Tracker: Spend on eating out and other leisure fell by 7% and 6% respectively in Nov vs Oct.
GNK Tracker: Y-o-y spend fell 2% on eating out and 3% on drinking out whilst other leisure remained unchanged.
M&B CEO Phil Urban has purchased 18,706 shares in M&B at 318.75p. This takes his holding to 31,306 shares.
The European Court of Justice has ruled that Scotland’s proposed minimum unit pricing of alcohol would ‘significantly restrict the market’
Job Exodus Trends 2016 indicates that some 47% of retail workers are unhappy with pay and could look for new jobs next year.
Brewdog has described 2015 as ‘a bad year for craft beer’ following a spate of brewery acquisitions by larger corporations.
EasyJet is offering 500,000 seats at 20% off to celebrate its 20th birthday and has cut prices to many of its most popular destinations.
Park Resorts will open during February half-term for the first time next year as the firm looks to invest more than £25m during 2016.
UK GDP numbers revised down. Q3 estimate cut to 0.4% from prior 0.5% & Q2 performance down to 0.5% from prior 0.7%
Opec has suggested that the price of oil could recover to around $70 by 2020. It was $110 and is $37.