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Much has been written about the effects of the virus on the world and on the stock market. Here is one analyst’s take on some of the likely impacts on the way we should look at companies. This article was originally produced as a blog, “10 Changes Post Virus”, which was published a few weeks ago.
Companies: AGY ARBB ARIX DNL GDR NSF PCA PIN PHNX PHP RE/ RECI STX SCE SIXH TRX SHED VTA
FY20 started well, with value share gains in GB, Ireland and Brazil. As expected, lockdown has affected out-of-home and on-the-go consumption in particular. Conversely, sales of at-home consumption packs have increased significantly, thus leading to an adverse mix effect. GB and Ireland have been the most affected markets for Britvic, as they have a greater exposure to the out-of-home channel. The company is maintaining its guidance of a likely monthly impact from the COVID-19 pandemic of £12–18m adjusted EBIT, though its scenarios seem very conservative.
Companies: AVO AGY ARBB ARIX BUR CMH CLIG DNL GDR HAYD PCA PIN PHP RE/ RECI RMDL STX SHED VTA
FY20 started well, with value share gains in GB, Ireland and Brazil. As expected, lockdown has affected out-of-home and on-the-go consumption in particular. Conversely, sales of at-home consumption packs have increased significantly, thus leading to an adverse mix effect. GB and Ireland have been the most affected markets for Britvic, as they have a greater exposure to the out-of-home channel. The company is maintaining its guidance of a likely monthly impact from the COVID-19 pandemic of £12–18m adjusted EBIT, although its scenarios seem very conservative.
Much of the UK’s privatisation programme took place between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s: subsequent sales have been few. Undoubtedly, privatisation attracted many private investors to the market, many for the first time.
Companies: AVO AGY ARBB ARIX BUR CLIG DNL FLTA GDR NSF PCA PIN PXC PHP RE/ RECI RMDL STX SCE SIXH TRX SHED VTA
Whilst Finsbury is experiencing strong demand from the retail channel, the food service channel (c20% of FY19A revenues) has been significantly impacted by the government's decision to close food outlets in order to control the spread of COVID-19. Finsbury is only in the early stages of assessing the impact of the virus on their business, and as such, is unable to provide earnings guidance. We withdraw our forecasts and place our rating Under Review, until visibility improves.
Companies: Finsbury Food Group
Most major pharmaceutical companies have reported results for 2016 during the last few weeks, providing the opportunity to update our industry statistics. For an industry that requires a long investment cycle, decisions made many years ago have consequences on current financial performance. Being able to look at performance over 20 years highlights how strategic decisions have panned out.
Companies: ABZA AVO AFHP AGY APH ARBB AVCT BUR COG CLIG COS DNL EVG GDR GHE MCL MUR NSF ODX PPH YGEN PHP PURP RE/ RGD REDX SCLP SPH TRX TON VAL VRP OXB
Ongoing labour cost challenges, higher input costs, sustained brisk organic sales volume growth and further room for innovation at both product and distribution level were the key investment features of the 2018 British Sandwich & Food to Go Association AGM and Conference, which was held in London yesterday. Moreover, the association had strong messages on food waste reduction and CSR, both of which are important as the industry body continues to lobby the UK government hard ahead of Brexit. The chief UK listed plays on Food to Go are Greencore (GNC LN, BUY, 310p), Cranswick (CWK LN, HOLD, T/P 2700p) and potentially Produce Investments (PIL LN, BUY, T/P 240p). Our overall industry stance remains positive.
Companies: GNC CWK PIL
This month’s feature article is the first publication of the 2017 global pharmaceutical industry statistics from which the global and US rankings of the top 15 drug companies are derived. Comparisons are made with historical data to show how different company strategies have evolved. In addition, an analysis of the evolution of biopharmaceuical drugs has been made, together with a key sub-set, namely drugs derived from antibody technology, which now represent 12% of the entire market. Two more drugs joined the $100bn club in 2017.
Companies: OPM ABZA AVO AGY APH ARBB AVCT BNO BUR CMH CLIG COS DNL EVG GTLY GDR INL KOOV MCL MUR NSF WBI YGEN PHP RE/ REDX SCLP SCE SIXH TRX TON VAL OXB
Britvic (BVIC) has successfully managed two potential threats – the Soft Drinks Levy (SDIL) and the industry CO2 shortage – to confirm modest earnings growth prospects for FY18. The recent heatwave might otherwise have driven outperformance. But with redirected marketing driving double-digit stills growth, the position was held. Looking forward, as BVIC’s business capability programme completes and benefits start to flow, more meaningful earnings growth may narrow the discount to peers.
Premier Foods’ H119 results demonstrate the business has become more resilient under the stewardship of outgoing CEO, Gavin Darby. Revenue growth of 1.0% in Q2 despite the hot summer was encouraging, and the UK relaunch of the Mr Kipling brand has clearly gone well. The news that Ambrosia may be sold suggests yet another step in the business transformation, although the price will determine the level of dilution and any change to net debt/EBITDA.
Companies: Premier Foods
Hotel Chocolat provides double-digit compound earnings growth from disciplined roll-out alongside a highly accretive digital model. The capture of efficiencies from the well-invested vertically integrated supply chain will be a key profit driver.
Companies: Hotel Chocolat Group
Since their privatisation in 1989, the 10 water companies have faced a periodic review every five years; it is undertaken by Ofwat, and prescribes customer prices, along with the investment requirements. As part of the ongoing review, PR19, Ofwat will publish its Final Determination numbers on 11 December 2019; they will apply as from April 2020, although water companies do have the option to seek a reference to the CMA.
Companies: AJB AGY ARBB CLIG DNL DPP FLTA GTLY GDR KOOV MCL MUR NSF PCA PIN PHP RE/ RECI RMDL STX SCE SIXH TON SHED VTA W7L
In FY19 Britvic delivered a strong performance showing good momentum in its core business. The GB business had both Britvic and PepsiCo brands showing revenue growth, Brazil continues to grow and problems in France are being addressed with a proposed exit from private-label juice. The Business Capability Programme (BCP) is complete, and cost savings delivered ahead of schedule. The outlook is somewhat cautious as the consumer environment remains tough, and changes in France will take a while to fully implement. Notwithstanding this, management expects to make further progress in FY20.
Venture Life Group announced it has agreed to acquire PharmaSource BV, a company which operates in similar markets to Venture Life and is based in the Netherlands. Venture Life will pay an initial consideration of €5.23m and a deferred contingent consideration of up to €1.27m, funded entirely from the company's cash reserves. We see a number of strong benefits from the acquisition, including wider distribution, potential cross-selling, future manufacturing benefits and operational cost synergies. The company has also announced a trading update, noting its results for FY19 have been affected by previously noted issues with its Chinese distribution partners. We maintain our Buy recommendation.
Companies: Venture Life Group