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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 14th Oct 2015 - Results: Domino’s and Marston’s
Domino’s reports 14.9% like-for-like growth in Third Quarter: Domino’s Pizza has reported 14.9% like-for-like sales growth in the UK in 13 weeks to 27 September, with total sales of £200m. Year-to-date, the company has seen 11.8% like-for-like sales growth with total sales of £597m. The company stated: “Trading in our core UK business was particularly robust driven by our continued investment in digital, now focussed on mobile. Revenue through digital channels was 35% ahead of Q3 last year and more than 75% of delivered sales in the year to date have been online, with more than half of these placed through the app on android or IOS devices. During the third quarter where our offline media spend has traditionally been low, we also benefitted from our ongoing sponsorship of Hollyoaks which enhanced brand saliency and drove revenues. Sales were also helped by relatively poor weather during the summer months. During the period 12 new stores were opened in the UK bringing the total year to date to 33. The Group remains on course to open a minimum of 50 stores in the UK during 2015. We are very encouraged by the third quarter results in Ireland where we are also seeing an increasing trend towards digital ordering and the benefits of the continued economic recovery. In Germany and Switzerland the Group has continued to focus its efforts on improving service to enhance store level performance. Whilst the results are encouraging there still remains a lot to do to improve the overall performance of these businesses.” Chief executive David Wild said: “We are delighted by this performance as our UK business goes from strength to strength, reflecting the success of our strategic and marketing initiatives. It represents the eighth consecutive quarter of double digit like for like sales growth as we continue to focus on delivering great food with great service, using our best in class digital platforms. Our international businesses also continue to show encouraging signs of improvement. We enter the final quarter of the year with good momentum, are confident of beating our previous expectations for the full year and remain excited about our longer term growth prospects.” Douglas Jack, of Numis Securities, said: “Q3 trading is ahead with UK like-for-like sales up 14.9%, resulting in an 11.8% increase over the first nine months. We are upgrading our forecasts by 5%, having increased them by 3% after the interim results. We now forecast PBT rising 24% over the full year, with UK like-for-like sales rising 10.5%. We are upgrading our target price to 1100p from 1000p.”

Marston’s reports profit in line with expectations: Marston’s has reported, in a year-end trading update, good progress with underlying profit before tax in line with expectations. The company stated: “In Destination and Premium, like-for-like sales were 1.8% ahead of last year including food like-for-like sales growth of 1.7% and wet like-for-like sales growth of 1.7%. In the last 11 weeks of the period like-for-like sales have grown 2.2%. Operating margin is ahead of last year and we completed 25 new pub-restaurants in the financial year just ended. As we highlighted at the Interim Results, the shape of our estate expansion will evolve slightly and in the 2016 Financial Year we plan to open at least 20 Destination pub-restaurants, two Revere sites and five Lodges. We have a good pipeline of sites to maintain similar levels of expansion for the foreseeable future. In Taverns, like-for-like sales were 2.0% ahead of last year, with growth of 3.1% in the last 11 weeks. Our franchise business, which now operates around 550 sites, continues to perform strongly as we evolve and develop the business model. In Leased, like-for-like profits are estimated to be up 4% compared to last year. In Brewing, our strong brand portfolio, supplemented by the acquisition of the Thwaites’ beer brands, has performed well. Excluding Thwaites, own brand beer volumes were up 5% compared to last year, with strong performance in premium ales and the off-trade. Including Thwaites, own-brewed beer volumes were up 15%. The Group will no longer provide like for like, segmental current trading data for the short seven week period immediately post the year end with effect from the results for the 12 months to 3 October 2015 which will be reported on 26 November 2015. We have concluded the triennial valuation of our pension scheme for the period ended 30 September 2014 and as a consequence of this we have agreed a reduction in cash contributions from the current £13m to £7.5m per annum.” Ralph Findlay, chief executive, said: “The Group has made good progress in the last year, with underlying growth in all of the business segments. Our new pub-restaurants, premium pubs and lodges have all performed well and we have good visibility over the site pipeline to underpin our future growth. In addition, we have substantially completed our disposal programme of smaller wet-led pubs. These actions, together with the success of franchise, have significantly transformed our pub business over the last three years. In brewing, the integration of the Thwaites’ brewing business has gone well, and we are well placed to continue to exploit the market growth in premium and craft beers and ongoing growth in the off-trade.” Douglas Jack, of Numis Securities, said: “Marston’s full year trading statement is in line, on which basis we forecast a 14% increase in H2 PBT as a result of the earnings drag from disposals now being over. In the three years to 2017E, we forecast 28% growth in earnings growth, with net debt/Ebitda falling by 0.4x over this period despite strong expansion and a progressive dividend, yielding 4.6%.”

Diageo sells Chateau and Estate wine brands and Percy Fox to Treasury Wine Estates: Diageo has agreed the sale of its major wine interests in an agreement with Treasury Wine Estates relating to the US based Chateau and Estate Wines and the UK based Percy Fox businesses for a consideration of $552 million. The net proceeds of approximately £320 million, after tax and transaction costs will be used to repay borrowings. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to complete around the end of the calendar year. Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo, said: “Diageo’s strategy is to drive stronger, sustained performance through focus on our core portfolio and today’s announcement is another element of that strategy in action. Wine is no longer core to Diageo and this sale gives us greater focus. With the completion of this transaction Diageo will have released £1 billion from the sale of non-core assets since the start of the financial year. This proactive portfolio approach has focused the business, enhanced our financial strength, improved our returns and strengthened the business, positioning us even more firmly to deliver our performance ambition.”

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