Langton Capital – 2016-08-09 – Marriott, July spending, craft beers, & other:
A Day in the Life:
Langton is now back in Arizona with Vegas and a 10hr flight to look forward to later on. It’s been interesting & we’ll share some thoughts either later in the week or next week.
Anyway, a shortened email – with perhaps some delay – will be going out for a couple more days. On to the news:
A Question for our Readers:
The explosion in craft beer, and the ‘local’ focus of many of these breweries has left Langton wondering whether there has been any impact on the hotel industry. As such we’d just like to ask if any readers in the Hotel segment would mind taking a minute to answer these questions for us.
• What type of craft brewers fit best into your hotels? Does their ‘localness’ play a part?
• How is the offer of these breweries different/better than their competition?
• What are other small breweries not doing that they should be doing in order to get your business?
PUB, RESTAURANT & DRINKS PRODUCERS:
• Comptoir Libanais operator, Comptoir Group, has secured two London sites from YO! Sushi in Poland Street, Soho and at 57 Haymarket, writes MCA.
• Research from Ortus Secured Finance shows that turnover across the UK’s top 100 nightclubs fell 9% last year as the sector struggles against increased competition from bars and pubs. Turnover for the UK’s most popular nightclubs was £340m in 2015, down from £373m the year before, which itself had fallen from $428m, according to the group’s figures.
• Official stats could be underestimating the total calories consumed per person by as much as 1,000 calories per day
• CBRE has reported that pub assets are ‘moving to mainstream real estate and are now being viewed as valid alternatives to offices and shops by investors’.
• Visa has reported a 1.6% increase in expenditure in July. Markit, which produces the data, reports that July beat June (at +0.9%) and May at +0.8%. The report suggests that hotels, restaurants and bars sector saw the strongest on-year growth of 8.9% amongst the eight monitored broad sectors.
• Visa comments ‘July’s data suggests that UK consumer spending is holding up despite the ongoing uncertainty following the referendum, albeit at lower levels of growth than we’ve seen in the last couple of years. Looking at the last three months, the Index indicates that consumers remain cautious with their spending. Overall growth is hovering nearly one percentage point below the average seen over the past two years.’ It concludes ‘looking at the sectors, the longer term trend we’ve seen for increased spending on leisure and recreation is enduring. And the high street saw its strongest annual growth rate in five months with clothing retailers in particular bouncing back after a fall in June.’
• Brewdog has hit $1m in its quest to raise $50m for US expansion.
• Warmer weather is thought responsible for an increase in retail spending in July. Brexit fears may have pulled in the opposite direction.
• Leon, the 37-strong chain of fast food outlets, is set to open 50 new sites over the next four years after securing £19m of funding from OakNorth.
• A Taunton multiple-site operator has become the first to sign up to Enterprise Inns’ Partnership Tenancy Plus agreement, launched in June. Under the initiative, which is designed to strengthen the range of agreements on offer to publicans, Enterprise takes responsibility for internal and external repair along with contributing up to £1,000 a year towards maintenance costs.
• More than 70% of smokers are now buying tobacco from ‘non-shop’ sources such as the internet in order to avoid high prices, according to the TMA. The survey of 12,000 smokers by the Tobacco Manufacturers Association concluded that 20% of all tobacco consumed in the UK now avoids paying UK taxes.
LEISURE TRAVEL & HOTELS:
• Monarch has cancelled all bookings to Sharm el Sheikh into next year following a lack of guidance from the government as to when the airport will be safe to fly into.
• Flight bookings to the UK jumped in June and rose 4.3% in the 28 days following the EU referendum, as overseas holidaymakers took advantage of the fall in the pound. Bookings from Hong Kong leapt by 30.1%, while bookings from the US were up by 9.2%, and those from Europe grew by 5%.
• Marriott has announced that, at the request of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), they have agreed to extend the time period for MOFCOM to complete its review of the Marriott-Starwood merger transaction. This additional review period, known as phase three, could last up to 60 days.
• Marriott goes on to say ‘Marriott and Starwood continue to believe that their planned merger transaction poses no anti-competitive issues in China. Approval by China’s Ministry of Commerce is the only remaining merger clearance required before the transaction may close.’
• Nearly a quarter of the 1.9 million flights to and from the UK in the year ending March 2016 were delayed by 15 minutes or more, according to Which? research.
• Sales at Center Parcs increased by almost 10% last year, from £385m to £420m, although one-off financing costs and losses on hedging led to a £6m loss. Accounting for the £42m financing cost and £16.8m paper loss on financial derivatives, underlying pre-tax profits jumped from £22.8m to £57.3m.
FINANCE & MARKETS:
• Chinese exports declined by 4.4% in July. Numbers fell by 4.8% in June. Imports fell by 12.5%. The country’s exports have now fallen in 12 of the last 13 months.
RETAIL NEWS WITH NICK BUBB:
• BRC-KPMG Retail Sales figures for July (4 weeks to July 30th): We said yesterday that the July figures should make for better reading than the June figures did, given heavy Sale promotions and the much improved weather in the second half of the month, and so they did, with overall LFL sales up by 1.1%, after a 0.5% LFL sales drop in June. The Head of Retail at KPMG, David McCorquodale, flagged that “Warmer weather helped blow away some of the post-Referendum blues, boosting the UK feel good factor and giving consumers a sense that ‘life goes on’ following the initial shock of the Brexit vote. The July heatwave put picnics and barbeques high on the agenda lifting sales of food and drink back into the black. Meanwhile, fashion sales improved markedly versus June and…sales of jewellery and watches also improved as International consumers took advantage of the weaker