B&M European Value Retail (BME) has disclosed it is on track for a net 24 new B&M UK fascia stores in is full financial year and 15-20 Heron Foods.
The pipeline of new stores for the following financial year also looked healthy it said in a trading update this morning in which it reported that it opened 12 new B&M UK fascia store in the first quarter of its financial year to 29 June.
Its Heron Foods value convenience store division, which includes B&M Express fascia c-stores in the UK, opened six new stores in the quarter and this continued to trade well, it said.
Total group revenues increased 21.4% at constant currency from £797.2m to £967.7m in the first quarter. This included £5.6m of wholesale revenue in the quarter, up from £900,000 in the same period the previous year.
Like-for like (LFL) revenue growth of 3.9% compared with 1.6% growth in the same quarter last year.
B&M UK sales revenue for the 13 week period increased 13.8% to £738.9m (2018: £649.2m), with like-for-like sales growth of 3.9% in the quarter.
The group said the performance reflected its new store opening programme and continued like-for-like sales growth.
B&M UK had 632 stores trading at the end of the quarter.
Jawoll sales revenue in the group’s German business increased 1.9% to £63.1m (2018: £61.9m). There was a small negative like-for-like performance after the business had a particularly strong like-for-like performance in April 2018.
The French business, Babou, generated £72.6m of revenue in the quarter, despite the planned declining sales performance in clothing and also the on-going clearance activity ahead of the introduction of the B&M supply chain sourced products.
Britvic (BVIC) has reported a 1.5% decrease in third quarter revenues at constant currency – excluding the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (UK) and Sugar Sweetened Soft Drinks Tax (Ireland) – to £360.1m.
Revenue in Great Britain grew despite a declining overall take-home market both in value and volume.
Brazil and International continued to deliver “solid” revenue growth. Performance in France and Ireland remained more challenging with a further softening since the half-year.
Simon Litherland, chief executive, said: “Overall we have delivered a solid performance against a more challenging backdrop in quarter three.
“We remain confident of achieving market expectations for the full year, underpinned by the strength of our brand portfolio, exciting commercial plans and a tight focus on cost control.”
Paypoint has announced what it called “a good financial and operating performance” during the three months to the end of June with group net revenue up £1m (3.6%) to £28.7m.
Service fee growth of £700,000 (30.7%) was driven by the roll out of its PayPoint One system to 13,633 sites at 30 June 2019 and a 2.8% improvement in the average weekly service fee.
UK parcel volumes increased 11.9% to 5.6m, helped, it said, by new partner relationships converting to volumes, with three of the four new parcel partners now transacting.
UK bill payments net revenue climbed 7.5%, helped by strong growth in MultiPay and a “robust” performance in the legacy business.
Romania net revenue increased by 5%, attributed to improved client margins and growth in transactions.
Patrick Headon, chief executive, said PayPoint had delivered a good financial and operating performance during the quarter.
“PayPoint One was on track to meet its year-end target of installation in 15,800 convenience stores.
“Our parcels business is benefitting from our new partners, which were secured last year, with parcel volumes now having returned to growth. Bill payments in the UK and Romania delivered a robust performance with 12 new clients contracted and we saw continued strong growth in our MultiPay platform and eMoney services where transactions grew 38.5% and 16.3% respectively.”
PayPoint continued to believe these initiatives were key to driving future growth and profits. “Consequently, the board remains confident that there will be a progression in profit before tax and exceptional items for the year ending 31 March 2020,” said Headon.
Marston’s (MARS) has reported volumes at Marston’s Beer Company in line with last year and continuing to outperform the market in a trading update in the 42 weeks to 20 July.
Volume performance over the past 16 weeks principally reflected weaker lager sales in the off-trade it said.
Marston’s said it had decided to accelerate the timeframe to reduce net debt.
It said it was proposing to defer £70m of the new-build investment planned for the next three years and reallocated £20-30m of funds into its organic capital plans which were generating significantly higher returns.
The earnings impact of this capital reallocation would be minimal and this would generate an extra £40-£50m of cash flow over the next three years, it said.
Marston’s set out in its January trading update that its target was to reduce net debt by £200m in the period 2020-2023 through reduced capital expenditure, £120m disposals and a reduction in interest and pension costs.
Ralph Findlay, chief executive, said: “We have achieved modest growth during the 42 weeks to date continuing the long term positive LFL sales trend despite May and June being hampered by relatively poor weather.
“We have a high-quality, balanced pub estate and a highly disciplined approach to preserving margin, together with a leading beer business which continues to perform well leveraging our outstanding brand portfolio and increasing our market share.”
On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 fell 0.1% in early trading to 7,546pts as the BoJo buoyancy factor of yesterday afternoon failed to initially follow through when the markets opened.
Early risers include McBride (MCB), up 4.6% to 67.99p, Hilton Food Group (HFG), up 3.7% at 979p, McColl’s Retail Group (MCLS), up 2.4% to 67.8p, Stock Spirits Group (STCK), up 1.2% to 219p and Greggs (GRG), up 1.1% at 2,416p.
Fallers so far today include Marstons (MARS), off 2.3% at 117.8p following this morning’s update, Premier Foods (PFD), down 1.8% to 36.5p, PureCircle (PURE), down 1.7% to 255p, British American Tobacco (BATS), down 1.6% to 3,015p and Devro (DVO), down 1.2% to 202.5p.
Yesterday in the City
The FTSE 100 closed up 0.6% to 7,556.9pts, cheered by Boris Johnson’s arrival at Number 10.
The Coca-Cola Company (KO) reported continued momentum in the second quarter and updated its full-year guidance.
Net revenues grew 6% to $10bn; organic revenues (Non-GAAP) grew 6%, operating income climbed 8%, comparable currency neutral operating income (Non-GAAP) rose 14%.
Fizzy soft drink drove performance for the quarter, led by 4% volume and transaction growth in Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar continued to perform well, with a seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit volume growth globally.
Quarterly performance was further driven by innovation, such as Coca-Cola Plus Coffee, and a modernised marketing strategy, the results statement said..
The company launched the first-ever Costa Coffee ready-to-drink chilled product in Great Britain, marking the first major introduction since Coca-Cola acquired Costa earlier this year.
It planned to roll out the product in other markets in the second half of the year. The Costa Coffee brand was also expanding through a new agreement with Coca-Cola HBC AG.
The agreement would address a broad range of consumer and customer “needs” across multiple channels and occasions, including roast and ground coffee, RTD offerings and vending. The bottler plans to introduce Costa Coffee in at least 10 markets in 2020.
The first energy drink under the Coca-Cola brand launched in select European countries during the quarter. Coca-Cola Energy was now available in 14 countries, including recent launches in Japan, Australia and South Africa, Coca-Cola said.
The company said it expected to offer Coca-Cola Energy in 20 markets by the end of 2019, including Mexico and Brazil.
James Quincey, chairman and chief executive, said: “Our strategy to transform as a total beverage company has allowed us to continue to win in a growing and vibrant industry
“Our progress is positioning the company to create more value for all of our stakeholders, including our shareowners.”
Manufacturing activity dropped in the quarter to July, but firms expect a slight recovery in the next few months, according to the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) latest quarterly Industrial Trends Survey.
The survey of 291 manufacturing firms, including from food, drink and tobacco, showed that optimism fell at the fastest pace since July 2016 – just after the referendum – and investment spending plans weakened again.
New orders declined sharply in the quarter to July: both new domestic and new export orders fell at their fastest respective paces since the financial crisis.
Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief economist, said: “As the tailwind from stockpiling weakens, clouds are gathering above the manufacturing sector. It’s being hit by the double-blow of Brexit uncertainty and slower global growth.
“With orders, employment, investment, output and business optimism all deteriorating among manufacturers, it’s crucial for the new Prime Minister to secure a Brexit deal ahead of the October deadline. And get on with pressing domestic priorities from improving our infrastructure to fixing the apprenticeship levy.
“This will allow firms to focus on investing in new technology and tackling the skill shortages that plague this sector.”
FTSE 100 fallers included Fevertree Drinks (FEVR) which plunged nearly 10% to 2,079p following its disappointing interims. McColl’s Retail Group (MCLS) which suffered plunging interim pre-tax profits, closed down 5.4% at 66.2p.