Langton Capital – 2021-03-29 – Private Co’s, reopening plans, outside eating, WFH, staycations etc.:
Private Co’s, reopening plans, outside eating, WFH, staycations etc.:
A DAY IN THE LIFE:
Language is important because it can influence the way you view the world. It frames discussion and the interpretation of facts and that is very important.
For example, Covid-19 may be three times as bad as the flu or one tenth as bad as the Black Death but, even if both of the above approximate to the same level of risk to health, you could expect the one to be taken much more seriously than the other – and that matters.
That’s a hot political potato so we’ll change tack slightly.
Don’t you find it annoying when politicians introduce a statement with the word ‘clearly’ because it means so very little. It could be replaced by a burp or a giggle and it would enhance what follows no less but, unfortunately, words such as clearly (or worse still, the tautologous ‘let me be clear…’) do frame it.
Similarly, the way in which the words hope (or wish), think, believe and know are used interchangeably is also a bit disturbing.
I hope it will be warm today, I think it will be warmer tomorrow and I believe it will be warmer still in July than it is this month but I actually know very little. Shakespeare had Prince Hal’s dad saying ‘thy wish…was father to the thought’ and, for all our technology and sophistication, not much has changed.
Anyway, a four day week, a four day weekend and another four day week. That and 22 degrees tomorrow. Can’t be all bad. On to the news:
ADVERTISE WITH US:
Langton’s free email now carries adverts. See front page of website for today’s copy & contact us for further details.
CHANGED EMAIL FORMAT:
The Premium Email is unchanged. The Free Email is written and pre-sent the evening before. It may not include breaking stories nor Langton comment. See Twitter for in-day comment. Let us know if you would like an example of the Premium Email.
Prices: £295 for one subscription, £495 for multiple, both plus VAT. Or sign up for easy in, easy out monthly option:
PRIVATE COMPANY ACCOUNTS:
Gregg’s doesn’t have the field entirely to itself north of the Humber. Anyone familiar with Hull in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s will know Skelton’s, Wallis’s, Fletcher’s and Woodhead’s.
There are, admittedly, fewer large independent chains around now, but here are the accounts from a couple of them, bakeries & sandwich shop chains in the north of England. Coopland (Scarborough) and Thomas the Baker (York & Helmsely). See premium email.
PUBS & RESTAURANTS:
12 April reopening plans:
• The latest Market Recovery Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners strikes an upbeat note saying that there are ‘signs of resilience in the managed sector and big cities as reopening nears.’ It says ‘around two in five licensed premises will have some kind of space to trade from when the market reopens for outside trading.’ It says ‘around 41,100 premises in Britain have a garden, terrace, car park or other area in which they could potentially seat guests—38.2% of all sites.’ The opportunity to trade outdoors is not evenly spread by product type or by geography. The Recovery Monitor says over 80% of community pubs in England are ‘able to offer beer gardens, patios or other outside space, compared to just 11.9% of casual dining restaurants.’
• Scope for outside trading also varies by region with 51% of all outlet types in the south west of England having space but just 33% in London. CGA says ‘with huge pent-up demand for hospitality and consumers’ confidence rising, outside trading could give sales a useful kickstart—but there are a lot of variables at play. Pubs with beer gardens will be popular if the sun shines, but some restaurants may find it harder to recoup the costs of reopening, especially if the April weather isn’t favourable. Well over half of licensed premises have no space at all in which to trade, though they could yet reopen in April if local authorities take a proactive approach and open up street space to serve on.’
• Langton comment: See premium email.
• CGA comments in its Recovery Monitor on closed units suggesting that large provincial towns have performed relatively well. It says ‘there are other signs of durability in the market despite the challenges of the last year, including in major city centres. The Monitor shows that five big regional hubs—Bristol, Liverpool, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Sheffield—have all lost fewer than 3% of their licensed premises since March 2020, while many smaller cities including Plymouth, Aberdeen, Worcester, Exeter and Swansea have all lost more than 10%.’
• There are some suggestions that the idea of vaccine certificates being necessary to allow entry to a pub is a cunning way of encouraging young people to get the jab. However, this is not without risk as they may simply choose not to go to the pub. Israel has reported apathy among u35s. Opinions are divided. Publicans, who would have to do the work, are not keen and the GMB Union has said that plans for pub vaccine passports were “reckless” and a “fast track to undo the gains of the present lockdown”.
• See Holidays & Leisure Travel Below. The pendulum is swinging away from overseas holidays & back towards staycations.
Working from Home:
• This will influence demand for some city-centre and travel hub outlets and it is consequently a hot topic. PM Boris Johnson is suggesting people have had enough “days off” at home and should return to their workplaces. Chancellor Rishi Sunak used different words to say the same thing. The official advice, on the other hand, is still to work from home where possible.
• Langton comment: See premium email.
Other Covid news:
• CGA suggests that ‘consumers will have a renewed emphasis on brands’ contributions to local communities and environmental change when they return to eating and drinking out after lockdown.’
• The Pub Governing Body has confirmed that ‘rent review negotiations that were suspended can recommence from 31st March 2021, following the government’s decision to allow pubs that are able to comply with specific safeguarding measures to reopen.’
• KAM Media has reported that one in four visits to pubs, and one in three visits to restaurants last year did not involve alcohol.
• Retailers will be able to stay open until 10pm six days a week says Robert Jenrick. This may lead to further questions as to why no equivalent stimulus is being planned for the on-trade. Jenrick says ‘this will provide a much-needed boost for many businesses – protecting jobs, reducing pressure on public transport and supporting people and communities to continue to visit their high streets safely and shop locally.’ A bit of that would be nice.
Track & Trace:
• Hospitality venues will need to take a note of contact details for guests until at least September. Hospitality tech platform Airship has relaunched its track and trace solution. CEO Dan Brookman says ‘I’m truly disappointed that track and trace will be required for re-opening the sector. The contact data previously gathered was not used and the effort of operators and inconvenience to customers went to waste. The only benefit for businesses is that they will be able to include an option for customers to opt-in to receive communications which will help to grow databases that have been decimated over the last 12 months.’
Company & other news:
• Marston’s commented on the request it had made for covenant waivers on Friday, saying ‘the waivers being requested are required solely as a consequence of the enforced temporary re-closure of its pubs in England and Wales by the UK Government as a result of the COVID–19 pandemic measures.’ The meeting of noteholders took place on Friday with 92.63 per cent voting in favour of the Extraordinary Resolution regarding the Proposals.
• Molson Coors Beverage Company updated on Friday saying it ‘reaffirms key financial guidance for full year 2021.’ CEO Gavin Hattersley says ‘oover the past few weeks, we have faced significant and unforeseeable obstacles. While these obstacles will have a negative impact on our first quarter shipments and financial results, we believe the fundamentals of our revitalization plan are strong and our future remains bright. We continue to build on the strength of our core brands, aggressively grow our above premium portfolio, expand beyond beer, invest in our capabilities and support our people and our communities.’
• The Oakman Group has announced it has acquired The Woburn Hotel after signing a 25-year lease with The Bedford Estates. The unit is ‘a charming 18th-century property with 48 luxury bedrooms and seven individual cottages within the grounds, as well as three conference and events spaces, a restaurant and a large bar.’
• High Street photographic equipment chain Jessops has filed a notice to appoint administrators.
HOTELS & LEISURE TRAVEL:
Drop off in demand:
• Travel Weekly says ‘travel agents have reported a fall in bookings following reports at the start of the week that overseas trips this summer may be unlikely due to a surge in Covid cases in Europe.’ Various ministers have suggested booking overseas holidays could be premature and £5,000 fines have been introduced for breaching no-holiday regs. The roadmap out of lockdown led to a sharp rise in sales, which has subsequently dropped off. The government will update on overseas travel on 12 April.
Other travel news:
• Jet2Villas has added capacity in Greece and Spain in response to a sharp rise in bookings. CEO Steve Heapy comments ‘all the package holiday benefits that customers get through booking with Jet2Villas is proving to be extremely attractive, as is the privacy that they can enjoy, and this has fuelled strong demand for our villa holidays. Knowing they can book a villa holiday with Atol protection, car hire and Jet2.com flights included is obviously a popular proposition for customers who are looking for that sense of freedom.’
• Langton comment: See premium email.
• TUI has confirmed that former CEO and deputy chairman Peter Long is to leave the group’s supervisory board.
• Cruises from the UK.
• Carnival-owned Cunard has confirmed it will run ‘ten British Isles Voyages and three Sun Voyages, lasting between three and twelve nights’ from the UK. It says ‘British Isles Voyages include scenic sailings along Britain’s coastline including The Jurassic Coast, England’s only natural UNESCO world heritage site, Cornwall including Land’s End and Scotland including the Isle of Arran, Mull of Kintyre and Sound of Mull.’ Disney Cruise Line has also said it will offer trips for UK residents this summer. Passengers will remain onboard Disney Magic throughout a series of short trips from Tilbury, Newcastle, Liverpool and Southampton in summer 2021.
• Eurostar is reported to be in ‘crisis talks over [its] £400m June debt deadline.’ The Telegraph says the operator is in ‘crunch talks with banks over £400m debt pile as British and French governments resist bailout.’
• STR has confirmed that it expects 2021 to be a better year for the US hotel industry than 2020. It says average daily rate is expected to increase 4.2% this year with room demand rising by 18% this year and 25% next.
FINANCE & MARKETS:
• See premium email.
RETAIL WITH NICK BUBB:
• See premium email.
TRADING STATEMENTS & EVENTS:
Upcoming results are set out below:
• 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
• 29 Apr 21 Molson Coors Q1 numbers
• 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
LANGTON CAPITAL: Made in Hull. Like all the best things. Langton Capital is a financial advisory company providing insightful views on the UK and global leisure industry and the wider consumer sector in general. Subscription to the daily email is free. Unsubscribing is painless. We provide daily off the shelf and bespoke research. We have helped with transactions, fund-raisings, disposals and other corporate issues. We have a good ear, we are impartial, independent and not half bad at what we do. If you think that we could help you or your business, drop us a line.