|Bid||224.70 x 0|
|Ask||224.90 x 0|
|Day's range||223.60 - 227.20|
|52-week range||177.05 - 20,130.00|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.77|
|PE ratio (TTM)||124.83|
|Earnings date||7 Nov 2019|
|Forward dividend & yield||0.11 (5.09%)|
|1y target est||317.00|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s the worst nightmare of supermarkets and food delivery firms alike: Amazon.com Inc. turbocharging its grocery business with a network of couriers who can have grub on your doorstep within an hour.So you can see why Britain’s competition regulator has decided to challenge the e-commerce giant’s planned investment in Deliveroo, the U.K. rival to UberEats. The Competition and Markets Authority needs to tread carefully, though, as denying the funds to Deliveroo might inadvertently make it less able to compete in the food delivery business. That would be an unfortunate outcome.Back in May, Deliveroo announced a $575 million funding round led by Amazon. On Wednesday, the CMA determined that the investment might hurt competition in U.K. food delivery. It has given the companies five days to offer remedies, and it will launch a deeper probe if they don’t.The CMA’s concerns are warranted. While Amazon shuttered its British restaurant delivery operations last year, it remains interested in the market. The Deliveroo investment is a way of staying in the game; the American company is no doubt interested in the British business’s tens of thousands of riders. The two are also rivals in grocery deliveries, so forging a closer alliance would discourage them from competing. That’s a risk for delivery rival Ocado Group Plc and supermarket chains such as J Sainsbury Plc and Tesco Plc.A lengthy CMA investigation might be a problem, though, because of Deliveroo’s pressing capital requirements. A probe probably wouldn’t complete until the second quarter of next year, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Aitor Ortiz. By then Deliveroo will have waited a year to receive its investment. If previous form is a guide, it needs that money. In 2018 Deliveroo burned through almost 200 million pounds ($263 million) of cash. If it has been spending at a similar clip this year, it might be nearing the bottom of its pile.There are plenty of remedies that might be acceptable to the CMA: An assurance from Amazon that it won’t try to buy Deliveroo for five years; a pledge not to integrate delivery services; and Amazon refraining from taking a board seat. If such concessions remove Amazon’s rationale for the investment, then it should back out. At least that would give Deliveroo an earlier opportunity to find different funding.The CMA will have one eye on what happened recently in the German food delivery market, where Takeaway.com NV acquired the local businesses of Delivery Hero SE, giving it more than 90% market share. But it can afford a degree of lenience in this case. It could still block any merger, should that materialize. Delaying Deliveroo’s access to funds would probably hold the company back in its market scrap with UberEats and Just Eat Plc.Regulators have been poor at anticipating the market-cornering impact of deals in the past, most famously Facebook Inc.’s acquisition of Instagram and Google’s $3.2 billion purchase of DoubleClick. Scrutinizing Amazon is right and proper, and a commitment not to integrate Deliveroo’s courier network would be a fair condition. But unless a full merger is on the table, the CMA mustn’t overdo things.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Amazon's purchase of a stake in online food delivery group Deliveroo has been put in doubt by Britain's competition regulator which said it raised "serious competition concerns" for consumers and may require an in-depth investigation. Amazon led a $575 million fundraising in Deliveroo in May, making what the two parties called "a minority investment" and pitching it against Uber Eats, Just Eat and Takeaway.com in the global race to dominate the market for takeaway meal deliveries.
Stocks most exposed to the British economy slipped on Wednesday on growing expectations of a close election outcome, while JD Sports dropped 10% after its top investor cut its stake. The exporter-heavy FTSE 100 ended flat as gains due to a weakening of the pound were offset by steep losses in oil firms after a surprise build-up of U.S. crude inventories.
* Asia shares fall slightly as trade deadline looms 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. With bookies giving a 75% chance of a Tory majority emerging from Thursday's election you would expect shares in British supermarkets to be looking a bit more forthcoming at the moment. "In the event of a Conservative majority government, we would expect sterling to rally", Colm Harney, a UK equity analyst at Sarasin & Partners says, adding that "as a result, large-cap UK domestically-focused names (like Tesco!) would benefit".
Britain's mid-cap index tumbled on Tuesday after lacklustre domestic growth data, while the FTSE 100 came off its earlier lows on a report that planned U.S. tariffs on China could be delayed. The bluechip index had slid as much as 1.3%, weighed down by a more than 6% drop in Ashtead after the industrial firm warned of challenging conditions in the UK.
* Sales growth slows to 0.5% in 12 weeks to Dec. 1 - Kantar * Big four supermarkets all see sales declines * Discounters gain market share * Shares in Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons fall (Adds detail) LONDON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Sales growth at Britain's supermarkets slowed in the last quarter, industry data showed on Tuesday, as shoppers delayed their Christmas preparations ahead of a national election on Dec. 12. Market researcher Kantar said all of Britain's big four supermarket groups - market leader Tesco, Sainsbury's , Asda and Morrisons - recorded sales declines over the period and lost market share to the German-owned discounters Aldi and Lidl which are aggressively opening new stores.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Selling Tesco Plc’s operations in Thailand and Malaysia for about 7 billion pounds ($9.2 billion) would be a nice parting present from outgoing Chief Executive Officer Dave Lewis to his successor Ken Murphy. But there could be a sting in the tail from such a lavish gift. Tesco would be even more focused on its home turf in the U.K., where it’s in a merciless battle with discounters from Germany.Tesco said on Sunday that it was carrying out a strategic review of the business, after receiving interest from potential buyers. Britain’s biggest supermarket is right to consider whether its remaining Asian operations might be worth more to a rival. Analysts at Bernstein estimate the Thai and Malay businesses could fetch between 6.5 billion pounds and 7.2 billion pounds. What’s more, with Bernstein estimating of typical transaction multiples in the region of about 13 times Ebitda, and Tesco currently trading on an enterprise value to Ebitda multiple of 7.6 times, then this unit isn’t being adequately reflected in Tesco’s valuation.The Asian business is a highly profitable one, with an underlying operating margin of 5.87% in the year to February 2019, close to twice that at both Tesco’s U.K. and central European divisions. Selling this arm would be a further retrenchment from Tesco’s international assault of the 1990s, and leave the company focused on its core retail operations in the U.K. as well as its bank in its home market. Its only overseas outpost would be central Europe, a business it would most likely love to sell if a buyer could be found.Tesco doesn’t need to offload assets to strengthen its balance sheet, in contrast to when it parted company with its South Korean business in 2015. It has been bringing down debt, enabling it to raise its dividend and generating hopes that it may soon begin returning cash to shareholders. A chunky price for the Thai and Malay units would make this even more likely. Indeed, the shares rose about 5% on Monday as investors salivated over a sizable buy-back or special dividend.It would also provide Murphy with a war chest to slash prices. He joins Tesco from Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., where he spearheaded an expansion in China. However he has no direct experience of the cutthroat U.K. grocery sector. Pricing is one area where Lewis could have done more. Although he made Tesco more competitive with its suite of cheaper exclusive brands, he could have tackled the problem earlier in his tenure.With the disposal proceeds, Murphy would be able to move quickly. He needs to. The U.K. arms of the German discounters Aldi and Lidl continue to go from strength to strength, improving their premium offerings and moving into high-margin areas for the mainstream supermarkets, such as vegan food. Being able to more effectively fight the no-frills supermarkets would be helpful to the new CEO.He would also be able to put pressure on traditional supermarket rivals, such as as J Sainsbury Plc, Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc and Walmart Inc.’s Asda, at a time when the grocery market is sluggish. Meanwhile, some of the proceeds could be used to beef up other areas of Tesco, such as its online operations and its cash and carry arm Booker.But prices on the shelves of its domestic supermarkets are the key driver of the retailer’s fortunes. And with an attractive Thai and Malay deal, it might just be able to get them right.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at email@example.comThis 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.
Tesco has started a review of its Malaysian and Thai businesses after receiving an unsolicited approach about a possible sale.
Banks like Lloyds and utility stocks such as Pennon are among the stocks most at the whim of the election results, according to analysts and investors.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- This Christmas, instead of a free-range turkey, how about a beef-less Wellington washed down with a few glasses of “Nosecco”? And rather than falling asleep watching the Queen, why not tune in to your inner self with a spot of meditation?This might not sound like traditional festive fun, but now that the craze for all things vegan has crossed the Atlantic, it’s what British retailers are betting on to lift sluggish supermarket sales and see off brutal conditions on the high street, at least for a spell.A rough estimate suggests that across the big U.K. supermarket chains, meat-free offerings of traditional Christmas fare are up by between 40% and 400% this year. This underlines how veganism has moved from niche to mainstream over the course of 2019 as more consumers cut out animal products altogether, or reduce their meat intake with a “flexitarian” diet. Just look at the popularity of the vegan sausage roll introduced by baker Greggs Plc. There’s likely to be at least one vegan at any big Christmas gathering, and so being able to cater for them with plant-based canapés is crucial. And while many families won’t ditch the turkey altogether, they may well replace another meat protein, such as beef or gammon, with a fancy nut roast, savory yule log or vegetable wreath. Sales of plant-based substitutes still represent a small share of the overall grocery market, but they can have a significant influence over shopping habits. Being able to buy a good selection of food for a vegan daughter, for example, is likely to determine where shoppers fill up their grocery carts for the whole family. No wonder the category has become a key battleground.There’s another reason why it’s worth supermarkets’ while to go vegan. Plant-based versions of festive favorites such as pigs in blankets tend to be more complex to make and require innovative ingredients. J Sainsbury Plc is this year offering party food made from the blossom of the banana tree, which can be used as a substitute for fish. This builds on the popularity of the jackfruit, a tropical fruit that is a good alternative to pulled pork. All of this added value means supermarkets can charge a premium.QuicktakeThe Vegan EconomyThat won’t last forever though. The U.K. arms of the German discounters Aldi and Lidl are piling into this market too. Lidl has two Christmas-specific vegan lines, while Aldi has nine, including pastry crowns and vegan cocktail sausage rolls. Neither had a plant-based offering last year. Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc recently cut the price of its foods that are free from certain ingredients, such as gluten, while Tesco Plc has launched an affordable plant-based range.In another sign of the times, supermarkets this Christmas season are bulking up on party drinks that are low in alcohol, or contain none at all. Not only do they tend to be premium products, particularly non-alcoholic spirits, but retailers don’t pay duty. So, while they can charge the same or more for a fancy but sober drink, they get to keep a bigger slice of the selling price.It helps that the market is growing rapidly, as many consumers, particularly younger people captivated more by their social media feeds than their real social life, reduce their alcohol intake. Beer led the way, spawning Budweiser’s Prohibition Brew and Brewdog’s Nanny State, with wines and particularly spirits exploding this year. Demand from supermarket shoppers follows the trend in clubs and pubs where “mocktails” are now a staple of the cocktail menu. Going on the wagon is usually associated with January, but the run-up to Christmas can also be a time for restraint as people become more conscious of pacing themselves through rounds of festive events, not to mention all of those designated drivers. Asda, the U.K. arm of Walmart Inc., estimated that December sales of low- and no-alcohol drinks are double those of the average month. It’s all part of the new mood around Christmas, characterized by rising environmental awareness and a focus on health and wellness. Throw in the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit and the general election, and there are fewer celebrity blockbuster Christmas advertisements this year, with most retailers returning to traditional themes such as family and nostalgia for the past.Even tree trimmings are falling in with the trend. The Sanctuary range from John Lewis features pastel hued baubles including Buddha heads and an ornament depicting a woman reclining in a luxurious bubble bath. Its focus is on serenity — something that’s often in short supply over the busy festive season.After the decorations come down, consumers may continue to embrace plant-based diets with Veganuary, which has rocketed in popularity over the past five years. Dry January will bolster sales of no- and low-alcohol ranges. But beyond that, it could well be retailers themselves that are in need of some self-care. The months following the holidays are often lean ones, as consumers rein in spending after the excess of Christmas. It can also be tricky for supermarkets to accurately gauge demand and control waste when consumers switch in and out of different food and drink trends so dramatically. This year could be particularly hard if the election is followed by the return of fretting over Brexit. So these swings will be an extra burden to manage.The New Year hangover may still be with us, even if it is an alcohol-free one.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at email@example.comThis 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.
Despite a lead for the Tories in the polls, investors and analysts are still worrying about the possibility of a hung parliament after the December election.
British supermarket group Morrisons on Wednesday promoted finance chief Trevor Strain to the role of chief operating officer, putting him in pole position to eventually take over from chief executive David Potts. The promotion is Strain's second in 13 months. Having joined Morrisons, Britain's No. 4 grocer, in 2009, he was appointed chief financial officer in 2013 and assumed the additional responsibilities of group commercial director in October 2018.
Roger Jenkins, a former senior Barclays banker tasked with securing a financial lifeline from Qatar at the height of the credit crisis, told a London fraud trial on Tuesday he had been taken aback at the fees demanded by the Gulf state. Jenkins, 64, told a jury at the Old Bailey criminal court that he had expected Hussain Al-Abdullah, the negotiator for Qatar's former prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, to play hardball when he and colleagues met him in his suite at London's luxury Claridges Hotel on June 3, 2008.
Are these cheap FTSE 100 shares and their big dividends worth the hassle? Royston Wild gives the lowdown for ISA investors.
“We’ve re-named Black Friday, November,” John Roberts, the chief executive of AO World, the online electrical appliances retailer, told Reuters. AO went live with Black Friday deals, such as a KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer reduced from 449 pounds ($578) to 279 pounds, on Nov. 13 and some deals will run into December. Dixons Carphone, Britain's biggest electricals and mobile phones retailer, launched a first wave of promotions on Nov. 13 on products such as laptops, TVs and vacuum cleaners, and deals will run for a few days after Black Friday itself on Nov. 29.
Asda, the British supermarket arm of the world's biggest retailer Walmart, blamed lower sales in its latest quarter on Brexit uncertainty, saying it had negatively affected consumers' spending patterns. The group, whose attempt to be taken over by rival Sainsbury's for 7.3 billion pounds ($9.3 billion) was blocked by Britain's regulator in April, also said on Thursday its gross profit rate, or margin, and its operating income had both declined in the three months to Sept. 30.
London's FTSE 100 underperformed its major global peers on Thursday, suffering its steepest intra-day drop so far this month as falls in private equity company 3i, stocks trading ex-dividend and a stronger pound hammered the exporter-heavy index. The main index fell 0.8% with 3i Group hitting a five-month low after striking a cautious tone about new investment opportunities and as heavyweight components Sainsbury , Shell and GSK traded without dividend entitlement. The mid-cap FTSE 250 was 0.3% lower, with transport operator FirstGroup dropping nearly 20% on its worst day since May 2018 after a bigger first-half loss due to a charge related to its Greyhound bus line business in the U.S..