|Bid||1,354.00 x 0|
|Ask||1,359.50 x 0|
|Day's range||1,338.00 - 1,364.00|
|52-week range||737.60 - 1,440.50|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||1.42|
|PE ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||985.69|
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.The U.K. competition regulator has started a review into Amazon.com Inc.’s bid to buy a slice of fast-growing food delivery startup Deliveroo, adding to the e-tailing giant’s antitrust woes around the globe.The Competition and Markets Authority said on its website Wednesday it’s investigating the purchase of rights and a minority shareholding in Roofoods Ltd., which does business under the Deliveroo brand. The first phase will wrap up by Dec. 11, it said.The investigation comes after the regulator said in July it had “reasonable grounds” to believe Amazon and Deliveroo, which operates a fleet of smartphone-navigated scooters and bicycles to deliver food from local restaurants, had either ceased to be separate operations or were close to merging. While CMA reviews into mergers are relatively common, it’s unusual for the regulator to examine acquisitions of minority stakes.A spokesman for Amazon declined to comment, while a representative for Deliveroo didn’t immediately return a message inquiring about the review.U.S. Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday called out Amazon for running an online marketplace and competing with third-party sellers on the platform as the European Union’s competition czar investigates whether the company is shortchanging smaller merchants in that dual role. Amazon also faces separate antitrust scrutiny from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department.Cash InjectionIn May, Amazon said it would invest in a $575 million funding round to help the London-based startup expand its technology team and network after closing down its own food delivery business in the capital last year. U.K. food delivery has become fiercely competitive, and Deliveroo’s rivals include Just Eat Plc and Uber Technologies Inc.That rivalry has driven acquisition talk across the industry. Just Eat and Takeaway.com NV agreed in July to a 5 billion-pound ($6.4 billion) combination, less than six months after Takeaway.com spent about $1 billion for the German operations of rival Delivery Hero SE. Spanish food delivery startup Glovo has also drawn preliminary interest from Uber and Deliveroo in recent months, people familiar with the matter said previously.Deliveroo said this month that while global sales from its food-delivery business had increased 72% in 2018, profitability remained elusive. The company said it lost 232 million pounds last year compared to 199 million pounds a year earlier.Amazon has signaled its growing ambitions in the U.K. grocery market with Prime Now, which delivers in major British cities within two hours. It faces stiff domestic competition from the likes of Ocado Group Plc, an online grocery pioneer that licenses its technology to the likes of Kroger Co. and aims to halve the Prime Now delivery time with a service called Zoom.(Adds Amazon’s response in fourth paragraph, background on acquisitions from sixth paragraph)\--With assistance from Stephanie Bodoni.To contact the reporters on this story: Hugo Miller in Geneva at email@example.com;Christopher Elser in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at email@example.com, Amy Thomson, Nate LanxonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- But why?That’s the question I keep asking as Uber Technologies Inc. makes the case that driving people around cities gives it a leg up on moving physical goods from place to place — restaurant food, freight by truck and groceries.Uber on Friday expanded those efforts by agreeing to buy a majority of Cornershop, which helps supermarkets, pharmacies and food retailers deliver their goods. It had operated mostly in Mexico and Chile before a recent expansion. Walmart Inc. agreed last year to buy Cornershop for $225 million, but Mexican regulators blocked the deal. Uber didn’t disclose its purchase price. Uber’s pitch is that having drivers drop people at work or transport them on date nights gives it an opportunity to also deliver burritos, bananas or movie theater popcorn to people’s homes. (That last one is a real thing, somehow.) Executives have said that restaurant delivery and experiments with other categories such as groceries give Uber couriers more work, particularly outside of the peak demand for car rides. This all sounds nice, until you think about it for more than five seconds.Every time Uber wants to enter a new delivery or logistics category, it needs to strike relationships with a new class of companies. Restaurants are a finicky bunch, and so are grocery store chains or companies that want to ship goods by truck.I have been stunned that Uber executives aren’t pressed to justify the strategic and financial efficiencies among their various businesses. On the consumer side of the equation, I may be more likely to order Uber Eats for dinner or grocery staples if I am used to taking an Uber car ride. But it’s not clear there is overlap on the supply side among ersatz taxi drivers, restaurants, grocery stores and other retailers. Does Uber’s expertise in matching drivers with riders really help the company build or hook into point-of-sale systems for restaurant orders and make sure owners get the support they need? Can it help a grocery store with inventory management, staffing changes or other complexities when adding home delivery to a conventional physical store? Cornershop’s built-up experience in that area won’t go away, but neither is it clear whether Uber’s ownership will help.Nor has Uber ever said whether the people driving passengers around are the same ones picking up restaurant orders or groceries for delivery. For one thing, in many big cities — including many of the ones that Cornershop serves — deliveries of food or groceries are done by motorbike or bicycle because that’s more efficient in traffic-clogged areas. Is that courier on a scooter delivering a sack of bread and milk in Mexico City one minute and then taking someone to the airport the next?And it is difficult to imagine how the particulars of Uber’s model will ever make for an efficient grocery delivery operation compared with what more specialized players will offer. Compare it, for example, with Ocado Group Plc, the British company that has been an early innovator in this space and will soon deploy its technology in the U.S. through a partnership with grocery behemoth Kroger Co.Ocado’s delivery vans are designed for ferrying fresh food efficiently. Vehicles have separate compartments for items that must be kept chilled. Totes are loaded into them in a specific order based on the driver’s route. The heaviest totes are placed in the middle racks within the van, making it easier for the driver to unload than if they had to be pulled down from a high shelf or hoisted off the floor.It defies logic that a fleet of contract workers at the helm of wildly different vehicles will be able to deliver grocery orders as productively. And that matters enormously for the profitability of these orders.The big conundrum for Uber is it must keep expanding, even if it doesn’t work. Growth has significantly slowed in Uber’s core business of rides on demand, which makes it essential for the company to find fresh, higher-growth businesses. (That may explain why Uber shares are trading higher on the Cornershop news.) This was also a company predicated on having a global reach and for which car rides were billed as the start of a sprawling empire to move people or goods in every imaginable way.Sprawl, growth and ambition are how Uber could justify a rapidly increasing valuation up to what investment bankers pitched as a possible valuation of $120 billion in an initial public offering. To put it mildly, Uber has not delivered. The share price has fallen about 33% since the IPO in May, and the stock is even below the level at which Uber sold shares in private transactions nearly five years ago. Ouch. The company has become a poster child for overinflated tech startups.A big reason Uber has been a flop for investors is the company has not made an effective case for its financial viability — even in its most established category of car rides. So it’s odd that Uber would make forays into additional logistically tricky and financially uncertain categories such as groceries without having a better story to tell. \--With assistance from Sarah Halzack.To contact the author of this story: Shira Ovide at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shira Ovide is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. She previously was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
For many, the main point of investing in the stock market is to achieve spectacular returns. While not every stock...
British tech investor Notion Capital has raised $150 million for its fourth venture fund dedicated to European start-ups offering software as a service, bringing total assets under management to more than half a billion dollars. The fund launch comes as Notion marks its 10th year of investing in cloud-based software firms that have the potential to shake up industries by offering online services that are easy to use and can be quickly scaled. Notion invests in companies that have received initial support from individual investors and are in need of 'post-seed' funding.
(Bloomberg) -- Marks and Spencer Group Plc Chief Financial Officer Humphrey Singer plans to leave his post and the U.K. retailer is searching for his successor.Singer’s departure date hasn’t yet been decided and he’s working with Chief Executive Officer Steve Rowe to ensure a smooth transition, the company said Saturday in a statement.“After 18 months of working with Steve to lead the transformation strategy and rebuild the finance function I have decided that now is the right time to move on,” Singer said in the statement.The departure marks the latest twist in what has been a roller coaster few months for the retailer. This month the company was demoted from the FTSE 100 index for the first time, following a mixed reception to its plans to finance a joint venture with Ocado Group Plc via a rights offering and dividend cut.Its shares have fallen more than 30% since the tie-up was announced in February.Challenging TurnaroundSinger has decided it was a natural time for him to move on with details of the Ocado financing now wrapped up. He called the company’s turnaround “challenging but hugely rewarding.”The milestone deal with Ocado to deliver grocery orders in the U.K. was viewed as a way to help bolster M&S’s key food business. But investors haven’t shared this optimism, fearing another costly store revamp as profit falls.At the company’s full-year results in May, CEO Rowe said M&S had “not been consistent in its delivery in a number of areas of the business,” and it expected trading for the year to be second-half weighted as its transformation efforts continue.M&S expects to close around 25 Simply Food stores, as well as a further 85 full-line stores, and forecasts that net store closures will reduce sales in its food business by around 1% for the new financial year.Singer will stay in place until a successor is found, with an orderly handover a key focus for the company as it looks to navigate the retail industry’s choppy waters at a time when Brexit is weighing on U.K. consumer confidence.(Updates to change headline, add details throughout.)To contact the reporter on this story: Rebecca Smith in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sunil Kesur at email@example.com, Charles Daly, Sara MarleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Marks & Spencer Group Plc said on Saturday its chief financial officer, Humphrey Singer, was stepping down after little more than a year, a further setback as the retailer is demoted from Britain's leading share index. Singer, who joined from electricals retailer Dixons Carphone in 2018, will work with Chief Executive Steve Rowe on the succession process, the company said. Marks & Spencer, a 135-year-old firm that is one of the biggest names in British retail, has struggled to compete effectively on clothing with the likes of Zara and H&M, and will be relegated from London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares with effect from Sept. 23 because of its declining market valuation.
* European shares open flat to slightly lower * STOXX 600 fell 0.7% from 6-week high on Monday * Oil slightly lower after massive jump on Saudi attacks on Monday Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Danilo Masoni. Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: rm://firstname.lastname@example.org WEIGHING OIL (0815 GMT) Black gold has been the talk of the town this week and its 15% jump yesterday after attack on Saudi Arabia crude facilities has had positive impact on oil & gas stocks and slightly negative on the others. As an oil importer, Europe's GDP could take a half-a-percentage-point hit on a 10% supply-driven oil price increase, Goldman Sachs analysts say, adding that the impact globally is around half of this.
The discounter has gained 618,000 more shoppers in the past year, while the biggest supermarket chains are losing customers.
British online supermarket Ocado could start home deliveries of the full Marks & Spencer range before next September, ahead of their joint venture's original deadline, it said on Tuesday. Ocado and M&S completed the 1.5 billion pound ($1.9 billion) joint venture deal in August, creating Ocado Retail and signalling the end of Ocado's supply contract with upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose in September 2020. "There is a chance we might bring forward, at least partially bring forward, that transition date," Ocado finance chief Duncan Tatton-Brown told reporters.
British online supermarket Ocado could start home deliveries of the full Marks & Spencer range before next September, ahead of their joint venture's original deadline, it said on Tuesday. Ocado and M&S completed the 1.5 billion pound joint venture deal in August, creating Ocado Retail and signalling the end of Ocado's supply contract with upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose in September 2020. "There is a chance we might bring forward, at least partially bring forward, that transition date," Ocado finance chief Duncan Tatton-Brown told reporters.
Investing.com -- European stock markets opened lower Tuesday as concerns over the spike in oil prices continued to weigh on markets. Asian stocks had also weakened overnight, after the U.S. reportedly shared intelligence with Saudi Arabia showing that Iran was responsible for the weekend attack on its oil facilities. Saudi Arabia hasn't yet joined the U.S. in publicly blaming Iran, something that could raise the likelihood of a coordinated response against the Islamic Republic.
The Ocado (LON:OCDO) share price has risen by 17.0% over the past month and it’s currently trading at 1355.5p. For investors considering whether to buy, hold o8230;
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Talk of a tie-up between the French hypermarket stalwart Carrefour SA and its arch-rival Casino Guichard Perrachon SA is back, almost a year after a first stab at exploring the idea ended in a public clash of egos and accusations of dishonesty.Carrefour has again denied an offer is in the works, but shares of the heavily-indebted, heavily-shorted Casino rose 3% on Monday after BFM reported that the grocery chain was thinking about an approach. While there would be obvious advantages for both sides in a deal, navigating the politics around potential job cuts and getting to an agreed price would be tough. A selective sale of assets looks more likely.The time passed since this combination was last considered has at least made a difference in how the big personalities involved – Carrefour boss Alexandre Bompard and Casino’s boss and lead shareholder Jean-Charles Naouri – might think about a move to create France’s biggest supermarket group. In late 2018, Naouri’s debt-laden empire was under attack from short-sellers, Casino shares were trading near 20-year lows and trust was at a minimum. Despite both men’s similar background in France’s elite schools and civil service corps, nothing clicked. Bompard, 24 years Naouri’s junior, reportedly enraged his rival by using the informal “tu” to address him.The pressure on Naouri has intensified since his investment vehicle Rallye SA (through which he controls Casino) entered creditor protection in May, but Casino is in a happier place. Its share price has jumped about 50% in a year, giving it a market value of 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion). It’s no longer being squeezed to help pay off Rallye’s debts and its Monoprix and Franprix stores give it a leading position in Paris. Online delivery deals with Amazon.com Inc. and Ocado Group Plc are another positive.This has left Naouri in a better position than some of his hedge fund antagonists were anticipating. He still controls Casino, even if his shares have been pledged to bank lenders as collateral, and the rebound in the company’s market value is a bonus. Daniel Kretinsky, a Czech billionaire, has backed his strategy by buying a Casino stake. While there’s still a need to sell assets to lighten Rallye’s debt load, Naouri has options to avoid a fire sale.On Carrefour’s side, Bompard would be foolish not to take a serious look at Casino given the intense competition in France’s supermarket sector. Carrefour’s 20% share of the French grocery market is in danger of being chipped away by its closure of hypermarkets and the threat from German discount chains such as Lidl. Adding Casino’s 11% market share would remove a rival and save money. Barclays estimates that the deal could deliver about 1 billion euros in gross synergies, or 1% of the companies’ combined annual revenues.Politics and price are, however, serious hurdles. Casino shares already trade at a premium to the sector, and the company would probably demand a sweetener to give up control. Carrefour has cash after selling a stake in a China business, but a higher value bid would force it to try to extract more savings. That might not be easy with regulators almost certainly demanding store disposals and France’s president Emmanuel Macron desperate to avoid layoffs.Asset sales might be better, or maybe a Brazil-only deal. Carrefour’s and Casino’s combined Brazil entities would have a market share of 54% in that country so some disposals would be necessary. But it might still be a way to free up some cash for Naouri and improve Carrefour’s profit margins in Latin America. Given the barbs being traded between Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and Macron over trade and the environment, this might be one idea on which the leaders can agree.To contact the author of this story: Lionel Laurent at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Brussels. He previously worked at Reuters and Forbes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Marks & Spencer chairman Archie Norman has said he is unperturbed by the British retailer's share price slide, with his focus on the long term, but relegation from the prestigious FTSE 100 index is a symbol of its decline. M&S will be ejected in a quarterly reshuffle of the London index, according to Reuters calculations based on Tuesday's closing share price of 187 pence, which gave it a market value of 3.64 billion pounds ($4.5 billion). FTSE Russell, the index provider, will confirm M&S's exit after the end of trading on Wednesday, with the change taking effect on Sept. 23.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- At a Waitrose grocery store in Oxford, England, shoppers are scooping up frozen fruit from dispensers like pick and mix candy. They are filling old plastic takeaway containers with everything from muesli to risotto rice. Welcome to Unpacked, the new store concept from Waitrose, which has freed more than 200 items from their packaging.Environmental campaigners like Greenpeace have been demanding British supermarkets reduce their plastic footprint. But it’s trickier to strip wrappings from food than other products, such as toys, because it can go off. The packaging conundrum facing grocers only compounds another problem they’re grappling with: food waste.But they are making strides to be green, from eliminating hard-to-recycle materials, such as PVC, to enabling customers to remove and recycle wrappings before products leave the store. Some are even offering reverse vending machines to recycle plastic bottles. Tesco Plc said recently that it could no longer stock items if they had too much packaging and is working with suppliers to help them find ways to use less.It’s easier to design plastic-free packaging for products sold at room temperature. As well as dry goods, consumers can easily refill containers for household and personal care items like cleaning supplies or shampoo. Fresh food is much trickier. Meat, for example, will not last long if it isn’t wrapped to protect it from the air. Fresh fruit and vegetables are another challenge because they can be damaged during transport. Even so, Unpacked sells 160 types of loose fruit and vegetables. Seasonality presents another problem. For example, Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc sources cucumbers from the U.K. in the summer. With the shorter supply chain, they don’t need any packaging. In cooler months, they come from Spain, so they need a thin recyclable film; Morrison makes it clear to customers that the cucumbers have their winter jackets on.One way to extend shelf lives without plastic is to grow products even nearer to the end customer. Vertical farming, which uses stacked trays under LED lights to grow different kinds of food indoors, is one option. Ocado Group Plc, the online supermarket, recently made two investments in this space, including buying 58% of Jones Food Co., Europe’s largest operating vertical farm, based in Scunthorpe, England.Jones primarily grows herbs, packing them in biodegradable and compostable materials within air that has had some of the elements removed. This tricks the plants into thinking that they haven’t been harvested, keeping them fresher for longer.Vertical farms could be built next to supermarkets or online grocery distribution centers to shorten supply chains, reduce packaging and cut down on transportation and refrigeration.Supermarkets are finding other products more difficult to make environmentally friendly. Surprisingly, one is ready meals. They contain liquids and must be kept fresh, while their packaging needs to be able to withstand cooking in both an oven and a microwave.Waitrose has spent more than five years developing a fiber-based packaging that is compostable. It has also introduced trays made from recycled plastic. These come in different colors, depending on the material they’re made from, and don’t have the uniform look that customers are used to.Indeed, while supermarkets must change their behavior to be more sustainable, so must shoppers: For example, a cucumber wrapped in plastic will last about 14 days. One without keeps for about half that time.Morrison has introduced reusable paper carrier bags, but recently began trialing plastic alternatives costing 30 pence each — a higher price than usually charged — prompting complaints from some customers.Waitrose has made sure it’s possible to do a full shop at its 25,000 square foot Unpacked store to help customers be more sustainable without disrupting their everyday lives. So far it’s working: Products without packaging are outselling those that still have it. Some 50% of customers using the refill stations for dry goods are bringing their own containers on a regular basis. All of the U.K. supermarkets are coming under pressure to be more sustainable. So far, 1.4 million people have signed Greenpeace’s petition calling on them to to ditch throwaway plastic packaging. They have more work to do. But so do Britain’s consumers.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Baker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.A Spanish startup best known for delivering takeaways is betting on building a network of convenience stores to expand its business -- just as the food delivery sector eyes a wave of consolidation.Glovo, a Barcelona-based web platform used mainly for ordering food from restaurants, is rolling-out so-called dark-supermarkets -- delivery-only convenience stores -- from Tbilisi to Lisbon in an attempt to tap into growing web-based demand for groceries.The company is also focusing on delivering groceries for existing supermarket chains. In May it announced a deal with Carrefour SA to handle their deliveries in under 30 minutes in four countries, and it has similar partnerships in different countries with Walmart Inc., Auchan Holding Sadir and Kaufland Stiftung & Co KG, among others.Glovo drew preliminary interest from Uber Technologies Inc. and Deliveroo, Bloomberg reported in August. The startup is in 180 cities spread across 24 countries, according to its website.But the company is increasingly marketing itself as an "app for anything" that allows users to request a rider -- as the delivery staff, who mainly ride bicycles, are known -- to buy any product. With this function, a user can send a rider to any store to pick up a product and the price is charged directly to the user’s credit card, together with a fixed service fee.Competitors are increasingly moving into delivering groceries alongside restaurant-delivery. Uber Eats has piloted delivery goods from Nestle and Unilever, and said in July that it’s in discussions with European supermarkets to roll out a grocery delivery service. Amazon.com Inc. is growing its grocery store delivery operations in several countries including Spain, one of its first markets.Germany’s Delivery Hero SE is already offering transport of consumer items such as groceries and toiletries in 12 markets and plans to raise that number in the coming months, Chief Executive Officer Niklas Oestberg said last month.Demand for online groceries in Europe’s largest economies set to grow by about 60% between 2018 and 2023, to more than $45.1 billion, according to estimates compiled by Delta Partners, a consultancy.Unlike online grocery shoppers such as U.K.’s Ocado Group Plc, which delivers weekly purchases the following day, Glovo is targeting small baskets at speed. Such deliveries are simply the latest twist in the “anything" strategy, according to co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Oscar Pierre, a wiry 26-year-old aeronautical engineer who started the company in 2015, shortly after a short stint working for airplane manufacturer Airbus SE.“The app aims to allow users to buy whatever they need from their phone", says Pierre.Glovo’s main food-delivery competitor in Latin America, Rappi, recently received an $800 million investment from two SoftBank units, the Vision Fund and the smaller, Latin America-focused Innovation Fund. Glovo is also in talks to receive an investment from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, after raising 150 million euros in a round earlier this year.To contact the reporter on this story: Rodrigo Orihuela in Madrid at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Stefan NicolaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Ocado Group plc (LON: OCDO) shares look priced for growth, but here's a FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE: UKX) stock that I think will beat it.
London's FTSE 100 fell on Thursday as the latest signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve dampened hopes of hefty interest rate cuts, while exporter stocks slipped as the pound rose after German Chancellor Angela Merkel's comments on the Brexit deal. The FTSE 100 shed 1.1%, while the FTSE 250 was roughly flat.