Langton Capital – 2019-12-24 – PREMIUM – Loungers, Nichols, confidence, Happy Christmas etc.:
Loungers, Nichols, confidence, Happy Christmas etc.:
PREMIUM EMAIL – PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD:
A DAY IN THE LIFE:
This is a shortened email. Happy Christmas to all & let’s move onto the rather thin news:
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PUBS & RESTAURANTS:
• Lion Capital gets out of more Lounger’s shares.
• Lion Capital, the company that owned the majority of equity in bar chain Lounger’s prior to its IPO earlier this year, has sold 9m shares in the latter (c9.7% of the group’s equity) via an accelerated bookbuild at a price of 210p per share. It had scaled back the number of shares it wished to sell in the IPO.
• Peel Hunt and Liberum acted for Lion in connection with the Placing. The ‘remainder of the Company’s shares held by Lion following the Placing will be subject to a lock-up which ends 3 months after completion of the Placing (subject to waiver by the Joint Bookrunners and to certain customary exceptions).’
• The company says ‘following the Placing, Lion will continue to hold approximately 28.9% of the issued share capital of the Company.’ Loungers ‘is not a party to the Placing and will not receive any proceeds from the Placing.’
• March year end companies continue to report numbers to Companies’ House but, with Christmas and the holidays around the corner, attention is perhaps elsewhere. Will look at Pie Minister, New World Trading, Drake & Morgan, Rosa’s Thai and others in the New Year.
• ASK is offering 30% off mains until and including Boxing Day. Café Rouge is offering 25% off food until New Year’s Eve.
• Despite saying that it expects this year’s profits to be in line with market expectations, Vimto maker Nichols has said that sugar taxes in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which ‘will be applied to all non-carbonated drinks containing either natural or artificial sweeteners, including sales of Vimto products…will have a negative impact from 2020.’
• Vimto says ‘the actual impact on sales in the Middle East will not be known until after the Ramadan trading period, which accounts for approximately 80% of annual in-country revenues, and we will update the market accordingly in our 2020 Interim Results Announcement in July.’
• The company says nonetheless that ‘we believe the impact of the tax could be material to the Group and may result in Profit Before Tax for FY20 being materially below current expectations.’
• Greene King has reported that it expects to serve 150,000 meals this Christmas Day.
• Waitrose has stated in its food and drink trend report that small ABV drinks and big flavours are growing in importance. The report commented: ‘Many people have a broader repertoire than ever before, and think carefully about what they’re drinking, looking for an experience and a sense of the occasion, company or season’.
• The brand developer and wine distributer, Off-Piste Wines has received an £8m investment from the BGF.
• Pizza Pilgrims has announced its intentions to open its next London site in Victoria in January.
• Punch has completed a £240,000 refurbishment of The Rocket in Prescot, with Sue Gilbertson set to operate the pub.
HOLIDAYS & LEISURE TRAVEL:
• The ONS has reported that UK tourists travelling overseas spent £5.8 billion overseas in September 2019. This is up 10% on September 2018, despite that UK residents only made 2% more trips in that period. Commenting on the data, Barclays says ‘once Christmas Day is done and dusted for another year, consumers’ thoughts will turn very quickly to their next holiday in sunnier climes and with today’s ONS figures showing that almost eight million of us headed overseas in September alone, the end of the summer break for many, travel operators will be rubbing their hands at the prospect of a rush of bookings for next summer.’
• Venice could be under water this Christmas as more floods have engulfed the historic city, a month after a record high tide caused damage estimated at €1 billion.
• The CAA says that it has settled 90% of refund claims from Thomas Cook customers.
• Uber has won a court case in New York city striking down a new rule limiting how much time drivers for ride-hailing services can spend cruising streets in busy areas of Manhattan without passengers.
• Carnival reports $427m of net income in Q4, crediting the ‘robustness’ of the company’s business model despite ‘negative headwinds’ facing European source markets. Net income in Q4 was down $65m year on year, but across 2019, Carnival achieved record total revenues of $20.8bn.
• The inaugural sailing of Carnival Mardi Gras has been delayed after Carnival received a notification from the Meyer Turku shipyard where the vessel is being built. The ship will now take to the water on November 14th instead of August 31st.
• Heathrow landing charges could rise by up to a quarter, from £21.75 to £27.19, if a business plan prioritising services for the third runway is chosen.
• US fantasy sports and gambling company DraftKings is to IPO in a deal valuing the company $3.3 billion.
FINANCE & ECONOMICS:
• The Institute of Directors has reported that business confidence in the British economy has leaped to its highest level for more than three years following the Conservatives’ general election victory.
• The IoD’s key confidence measure swung to positive 21% in December, up from minus 18% in November. The IoD cautions ‘our members’ confidence has proven sensitive to Brexit developments over the past few years, and this is likely to continue during negotiations in the year ahead.’
• The IoD says ‘Britain’s directors will be entering 2020 with a little more festive cheer than might have been expected only a few weeks ago.’
• Sterling weaker again at $1.2943 and €1.1673. Oil higher at $66.58. UK 10yr gilt yield unchanged at 0.78%. World markets mixed with most near all-time highs.
START THE DAY WITH A SONG:
Yesterday’s song was Do They Know Its Christmas by Band Aid. Today who sang:
You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear,
Voices singing, let’s be jolly
Deck the halls with boughs of holly
RETAIL WITH NICK BUBB:
Nick is back in the New Year.