Langton Capital – 2021-04-01 – Deliveroo, property vacancies, Bank Holiday hopes, FSTA, MARS etc.:
Deliveroo, property vacancies, Bank Holiday hopes, FSTA, MARS etc.:
A DAY IN THE LIFE:
We chickened out of driving through a ford the other day. It’s at location 54.437853 north, -0.731731 west if you want to have a look on Google Street view HERE.
Just a couple of points in my defence. Yes, there are wet tyre marks coming out of the ford but:
a. This is a river, not a stream (it’s the River Esk. It runs through Whitby a few miles further on where, though it’s admittedly tidal, it’s 20 feet deep).
b. The Google photo was taken in August. This is not August.
c. Somebody may well have splashed what look like wet tyre marks on the road in order to sit back, film the subsequent carnage and put it on YouTube.
d. Even in August 2011, when the Google photo was taken, the river looks to be about a foot deep by the marker with the water bubbling past. The marker may be a poor joke. It might be the edge of the river, not the middle. Somebody may have changed the digits and anyway, a foot of water moving at 20 miles an hour could probably shift a car, certainly enough to wedge it under the footbridge and make a fool of its occupants.
e. 5pm on a chilly evening when it’s getting dark in the middle of a pandemic isn’t a good time to be ringing the emergency services (the members of whom also have smart phones, could load you up to YouTube etc.)
f. If there’s a reason that the Street View doesn’t go through the ford. it’s probably that the driver didn’t think he was paid enough or he was using his own vehicle or he didn’t want to be uploaded to YouTube etc.
g. The sign on the other side, the side that we actually approached from, said Ford Ahead: Frequently Impassable’. And, stop me if I’m wrong, but the only way to be sure a ford is impassable is to try it and find out.
And we could go on but, suffice to say, we live to fight another day. On to the news:
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DELIVEROO SINKS TO 27% DAY ONE DISCOUNT.
Shares in Deliveroo opened badly and got worse.
They had been sliding (in the pre-pre-grey market) when the a) the company stopped saying they would be priced at the top of the range then b) cut the range and then c) announced the IPO would be at 390p, the absolute low point of expectations.
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PROPERTY – VACANCY RATES, REOPENING PLANS ETC.
Property specialists The Local Data Company look at retail and leisure usage across the country. The analyst hosted a webinar for interested parties last week. See premium email.
PUBS & RESTAURANTS:
• Travel Weekly says there are calls for a new bank holiday in September to help the domestic tourism industry recover from a “devastatingly hard year”. There has been a 66% slump in visitor numbers to leading attractions in the UK. Visitor numbers to Edinburgh Castle were down by 87% and visits to the Royal Museums Greenwich were some 96% down.
• The BII says ‘the pandemic has caused an unprecedented fall in volumes of cask beer being sold, down over 60% in 2020 versus the previous year. The widespread impact on the nations’ brewers has put many of these unique suppliers to the pub sector at risk of business failure.’ It says ‘over 76% of respondents to the BII’s recent survey, said that Cask Ale was very or extremely important to the offering on their bar, but 43% have also said that they will reopen with less pumps than they had previous to the pandemic.’
• Calls for a VAT cut on beer.
• The BII says ‘critical support of our pubs is required through a long term extension of the VAT cut to 5% which should include alcoholic beverages and not just food and soft drinks. We also recognise the need for a fundamental reform of beer duty, which is essentially an unfair tax on pubs and the wider brewery sector. However, a critical early step ahead of that full reform, would be to place a lower differential rate of duty on draft beer in pubs and bars, to support independent brewers at a time critical to their businesses, and allow pubs to continue offering a full range of cask ales on the bar.’
• Cask Marque says moving an OK cellar up to a 5-star cellar will increase lager yields by 3% and cask yields by 8%. Analysis from Vianet shows that a great cellar can increase sales volume by 5%. Paul Nunny Director of Cask Marque said “We have successful trailed the course modules and now held a first live event. The feedback from the 25 delegates attending was very rewarding and 100% of the delegates said they would recommend the training to their colleagues.’ See more on Cask Marque’s website or find them on 01206 752212
• Sky reports ‘most Britons support the idea of vaccine passports, according to a new poll – with 62% saying they would be fine with using one to get into a pub or restaurant.’
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• Working from home:
• PwC is telling staff that they can work from home a couple of days a week and start as early or late as they like, reports the BBC.
• The consumer:
• Households saved a record £238bn last year per the ONS. The Bank’s Andy Haldane says this wall of money will be spent in short order. Others are not so sure, saying that much of it has been saved by relatively wealthy and relatively old consumers, who may simply leave the cash unspent.
Company & other news:
• Fuller, Smith & Turner announced yesterday that it had completed the placing of new ‘A’ Ordinary Shares at 830p to raise around £53.6m. CEO Simon Emeny subscribed to 6,024 of the A ordinary shares.
• Marston’s operations team has launched a nationwide project to help equip pubs with alternative outdoor spaces to safely welcome back guests. Head of Property Andy Kershaw says ‘outdoor seating at our pubs has become more important than ever, especially as we come out of lockdown. We already have some of the best outdoor spaces in UK hospitality and as much as we wanted to expand, we also needed to.’ Kershaw adds ‘so far we have worked on almost 300 pubs. We have worked closely with our contractors and suppliers, as well as our property team to ensure that we are meeting not only government guidelines on outdoor social spaces, but also ensuring that we don’t compromise on pub operations and customer experience.’
• A group of Leeds hospitality outlets are intending to create one, substantial, outdoor drinking area in Merrion Street, covered by a 50 metre canopy. Separately, Leeds brewery North Brewing Co has been awarded Best Brewing Pub Company at the Morning Advertiser’s Publican Awards.
• Vinexpo Paris and Wine Paris 2021 have been cancelled.
HOTELS & LEISURE TRAVEL:
• ABTA research has suggested that the Covid-19 pandemic has made it more likely that holidaymakers will book with a travel professional and book a package holiday than organise a DIY holiday. The main reason cited was the importance of feeling protected and reassured. ABTA says ‘travel professionals and package holidays have an important role to play in helping people feel reassured and confident to book and travel this year.’
• Cruise capacity. MSC Cruises has told Travel Weekly there will not be an overcapacity problem in UK waters this summer. This despite Disney and others announcing UK cruises, RCL yesterday saying it was bringing Anthem of the Seas back to the UK and MSC itself saying that it will offer UK cruises.
• Malta is reported set to reopen to vaccinated British travellers and tourists from 1 June. It is far from clear whether or not Brits will be allowed to travel from that date.
• Spain is to require people to wear a face covering at all times when they are outside.
• HVS Europe has said that hotel valuations have fallen in the past 12 months, although not as steeply as some had initially anticipated. It says hotel values declined by between 5% and 15% compared with the previous year. HVS says ‘the impact of the pandemic on cash flows and profits has been dramatic, although government support and payroll subsidies helped to soften the blow. All tiers of hotel have been affected, but particularly the upscale and luxury properties as they tend to be more exposed to group and convention demand as well as international visitors.’
• The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions is looking for the silver lining when it says that this could be a “phenomenal” summer of culture in the UK without crowds, queues or inbound tourists. Domestic tourists could have many venues to themselves. The ALVA’s Bernard Donoghue says this will be ‘culture without crowds. You will be up close and personal with animals or art in a way you would never have experienced before and possibly won’t in the future. If you were ever going to have a holiday in Britain, this is the time to do it.’ We may not, for all that, have much choice.
FINANCE & MARKETS:
• The ONS has reported that GDP fell by 9.8% last year with rises in Q3 and Q4 of 16.9 per cent and 1.3 per cent partially offsetting the Q2 drop. The OECD confirms that the UK economy registered the heaviest fall of all countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development except for Argentina and Spain last year.
• The Nationwide reports that UK annual house price growth slowed in March with prices down by 0.2% in March versus February. Over the last twelve months, the average house price was 5.7% higher. The Nationwide says ‘given that the wider economy and the labour market has performed better than expected in recent months, the slowdown in March probably reflects a softening of demand ahead of the original end of the stamp duty holiday before the Chancellor announced the extension in the Budget.’
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• 29 Mar 21 Ten Entertainment FY numbers
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• Est. 9 Apr 21 Barclaycard Consumer Spending (March)
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• 15 Apr 21 Heavitree Brewery AGM
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• 6 May 21 Bank of England MPC meeting
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• Est 9 May 21 Barclaycard Consumer Spending (Apr)
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• 12 May 21 Just Eat AGM
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• 24 Jun 21 Bank of England MPC meeting
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