Cranswick’s H121 results underscore the company’s strength and broad-based positive momentum. Revenues were up an impressive 17% on a like-for-like basis, adjusted operating profit was up 31% to £62m with margins up +50bp, and adjusted EPS was up 30% to 93p, with reported EPS up 12%. The interim dividend was up 12% to 18.7p, and net debt (excluding IFRS 16 lease liabilities) was £54.6m. Cranswick has made a strong start to the year. Management is understandably cautious given uncertainty surrounding both the pandemic and Brexit, but the outlook for the current year remains unchanged.
Companies: Cranswick plc
Cranswick’s FY20 results demonstrate its strength and agility and current trading confirms the company is well positioned despite the uncertainty posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit. Revenues were up 13.0% on a like-for-like basis, mainly driven by better price/mix, but with underlying volumes up 3.4%. Adjusted PBT was up 11.2% on the prior year and EPS up 8.4%. Net debt was £146.9m at year end, including IFRS 16 liabilities of £65.9m. The start to FY21 has been positive and hence the outlook remains unchanged.
Cranswick had a year of consolidation in FY19, showing resilience against an uncertain and intensely competitive market backdrop. Management has continued to invest in the business to strengthen its asset base. Revenues were broadly flat on an underlying, like-for-like basis, and adjusted PBT was slightly ahead on the same basis, despite the tough trading environment. Capital investment behind the business continues apace: the Continental meats facility was completed in FY19 and the construction of the new state-of-the-art poultry processing facility is well underway.
Cranswick has witnessed a tougher start to the year, with more uncertain market conditions and softer pricing in key export markets. Capital investment behind the business continues apace, with the move to the new Continental Products facility during the period, and the construction of a new state-of-the-art poultry processing facility well underway.
Cranswick posted another strong set of results (adjusted H1 pre-tax profit up 17%), demonstrating that the company’s innovation is keeping the products relevant and desirable to both consumers and retailers. As part of a material capex programme, management is embarking upon a significant expansion of its poultry business: a new state-of-the-art facility in Suffolk will double its existing capacity. Poultry currently represents just 11% of sales but continues to be an attractive target market for the company, given its growth.
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
A debate about why major US food manufacturers’ margins appear consistently higher than those achieved in Europe is, in our view, worth having. In particular, should greater willingness to outsource production processes and focus more on marketing, new product development, finance and strategic M&A be the answer, there could be significant revenue growth opportunities for those who act as food industry solution providers.
Companies: BN NESN ULVR CA GNC PIL CWK
Cranswick’s (CWK LN, HOLD, T/P 2700p) released a pre-AGM trading statement this morning which confirmed that the Group has made a positive start to the current financial year. A number of contracts signed ahead of FY2017 year-end came into fruition. We raise our price target from 2460p to 2700p.
Next week includes a busy reporting schedule for the UK FMCG sector with 7 names in our coverage universe due to release either a trading statement or results. So far, we infer that Q2 2017 included sustained slowing in emerging markets for the larger operators and continued sluggishness in mature markets, notably Western Europe. However, for the small and mid-cap soft drinks companies, which include Britvic (BVIC LN, BUY, T/P 800p) the UK weather was clearly helpful. This should have had a positive impact also on domestic Food to Go.
Companies: RB/ CWK FEVR BATS BVIC DGE GNC
Firms not exposed to overseas earnings boosts likely to see negative impact of higher input costs
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Cranswick has posted yet another year of strong growth. The business is witnessing growth in all its categories and strong innovation is keeping its offering relevant and desirable. Management has guided towards significant capex investment in 2017 to continue increasing capacity to match its growth prospects.
Cranswick’s (CWK LN, HOLD, T/P 2460p) preliminary FY2017 results slightly beat Bloomberg and Whitman Howard estimates at the revenue level with £1,245m of revenue. This represented a 22.5% increased on FY2016, which was equivalent to 12.7% like-for-like. So far, the current year is reported to have started positively.
Cranswick (CWK LN, HOLD, T/P 2460p) is due to release preliminary FY2017 results on Tuesday 23rd May. Our £1.20bn expectation for revenue is similar to Bloomberg consensus estimate of £1.22bn. We look for £98.1m of EBITDA and 115.1p of adjusted EPS – i.e. similar to the Bloomberg consensus forecasts of £99.9m and 116.3p respectively.
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As expected, the COVID-19 pandemic caused significant declines in out-of-home consumption, which were partly offset by gains in at-home consumption and market share gains. Full year revenue declined 6.8% on a constant currency basis, while adjusted EBIT was down 21.9% at constant currency, and adjusted EPS was down 27.8%. A full year dividend of 21.6p was confirmed, following the decision in H1 to prudently suspend the dividend. Management focused on cash and cost efficiency to mitigate the impact of the pandemic as much as possible. During the period, the company extended its carbonates relationship with Pepsi to 2040. The outlook is understandably cautious, given the uncertainty in terms of further restrictions in Britvic’s main markets. Nevertheless, management has carefully planned its approach, and the agility demonstrated so far should continue to help Britvic navigate the uncertain environment.
Companies: Britvic plc
Further media reports that Dr Martens, the British Boot brand is planning an IPO on the LSE. It is currently owned by PE group, Permira who is expected to sell down its stake at the IPO. March 2020 YE the group had revenues of £672m and EBITDA of £184m. Deal size TBC. Upon Admission to AIM, Nightcap will acquire The London Cocktail Club Limited (the "London Cocktail Club"), which is an award winning independent operator of ten individually themed cocktail bars in nine London locations and one location in Bristol. Offer TBC Due mid Jan. HSS Hire Group, HSS.L transfer from Main to Aim. Mkt Cap c. £70m. Recently raised £52.6m. Leading supplier of tool and equipment for hire in the United Kingdom and Ireland and has provided equipment hire services in the United Kingdom for more than 60 years, primarily focusing on the B2B market. Due 14 Jan. VH Global Sustainable Energy Opportunities plc, a closed-ended investment Company focused on making sustainable energy infrastructure investments, today announces intends to launch an initial public offering of shares on the Official List (Premium) of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Due by Early Feb.
Companies: IUG CBP KAT APP RST DIS NICL BOKU CNIC HE1
Upon Admission to AIM, Nightcap will acquire The London Cocktail Club Limited (the "London Cocktail Club"), which is an award winning independent operator of ten individually themed cocktail bars in nine London locations and one location in Bristol. Offer TBC. HSS Hire Group, HSS.L transfer from Main to Aim. Mkt Cap c. £70m. Recently raised £52.6m. Leading supplier of tool and equipment for hire in the United Kingdom and Ireland and has provided equipment hire services in the United Kingdom for more than 60 years, primarily focusing on the B2B market. VH Global Sustainable Energy Opportunities plc, a closed-ended investment Company focused on making sustainable energy infrastructure investments, today announces intends to launch an initial public offering of shares on the Official List (Premium) of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
Companies: PMI RMM SUN BOIL ITM TRMR MLVN 88E IME ANP
Dekel Agri-Vision has announced the launch of a €15.2m, 7-year bond facility. This bond, which has been approved by the Ivorian regulator, forms part of a long-term refinancing programme to extend the maturity of the debt profile of the group and strengthen the balance sheet, to facilitate the company's growth strategy.
Companies: Dekel Agri-Vision Plc
A brief year-end trading update with not a huge amount of details. The main point is that post the July 2019 profit warning, the PBT performance through a combination of mix and cost savings has come in towards top-end of market expectations, implying c18% y/y decline. So a c3% beat vs our £36.5m. Revenue decline at -9% however was worse than our -7%. This reflects ongoing challenges with the Rubicon and Rockstar barns and lower Irn-Bru volume due to price realignment. Net, the company had a better H2 than H1 and from our understanding, exits Q4 with good momentum. Looking ahead to 2020, the comps are easier and the company is expected to get back into growth mode (albeit 3% at the PBT level). The main cloud on the horizon is the Deposit Return Scheme for Scotland, and we understand the Scottish Parliament will provide an update on plans in the next few weeks. We view this as short-term negative for AG Barr and hence have a y/y profit decline for FY22. Post today’s update we nudge our current year PBT up by 2% and FY21 by 2% also. There will be some investor relief this morning but given the anaemic growth outlook and ongoing headwinds we feel an FY21 P/E looks full. We stay at Hold.
Companies: A.G. BARR p.l.c.
Diversification means Carr’s Group provides essential infrastructure to the global nuclear industry and occupies a critical position in food supply chains in the UK, the US and Europe. As a result, almost all of its businesses have remained operational during the coronavirus pandemic. While group profitability was adversely affected by the low oil price caused by the pandemic, we see potential for recovery driven by greater penetration of international markets for animal feed supplements during FY21 and a return to more normal oil prices from FY22 onwards.
Companies: Carr's Group PLC
A G Barr’s (BAG LN, HOLD, T/P 600p) FY2018 half-year results broadly matched expectations at revenue and profit level. Net revenue was £137m, i.e. very similar to the £136m reported in the 2nd August 2017 trading statement. They represented an 8.8% increase from the previous year. The latest IRI data (18th June) showed category value and volume increases of 3.5% and 2.1% respectively.
AG Barr has navigated a tricky H1 (sugar levy, snow, CO2 shortages and upside from hot weather) to deliver a satisfactory set of financials - sales up 5.5% which flowed through to a modest 4% uplift in PBT. The DPS has been nudged up by 5%. So a steady as it goes performance with no meaningful new news or surprise this morning, albeit we note that in revenue terms the company underperformed market growth of 7.7%. Management is guiding to no change to full year expectations this morning. Given low single digit growth expectations the valuation we feel looks full, with share buybacks being the main support over the last few months.
Britvic’s Q1 trading was in line with expectations, with organic constant currency revenue growth of 1.5% excluding the soft drinks levies, and reported revenue growth of 4.5%. With five-year EPS CAGR of 9.8%, DPS CAGR of 8.9% (to September 2018) and debt within the target range, this is a textbook consumer staples company. During FY19, the business capability programme is due to be completed, bringing higher capacity and increased flexibility to the company. Trading at 10.1x consensus FY19e EV/EBITDA, the shares offer interesting value.
Britvic has delivered another strong performance in H1, with organic constant currency revenue growth of 1.9%, organic adjusted EBIT margin up 30bps and adjusted EPS up 5.2%. The business capability programme (BCP) is due to be completed during H219, bringing higher capacity and increased flexibility to the company. Looking ahead, as capex and leverage normalise to lower levels, and planned returns and further growth from the BCP programme come to fruition, the wide discount to peers may narrow.
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.
Britvic’s Q1 trading was in line with management expectations, indicating a good start to the year. The company acknowledges that market conditions ‘remain challenging’, but it is confident of achieving market expectations for the year. Q1 revenue was £369.8m, up 4.9% vs the prior year. This includes a benefit from extra trading days. On a comparable days and constant FX basis, revenues were up 2.6%.
Britvic has issued an update on the impact of the coronavirus. Prior to recent developments, trading was broadly in line with expectations. The recently announced government-mandated measures, however, will significantly affect consumption in outlet and on-the-go. The company has undertaken extensive modelling. Assuming the current conditions persist across its key markets, management’s best estimate is that the impact on the group is a reduction in EBITA of £12–18m per calendar month. Britvic also updated on its financial position, with headroom available versus its lending covenants.
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.
Premier Foods’ FY20 results demonstrate the substantial progress the company has made over the past few years. The UK business has now grown for 11 consecutive quarters and Q121 is set to be very strong. In the UK the brands grew ahead of their categories and the innovation rate has hit a new high. A new landmark pensions agreement was signed in April, which could potentially significantly reduce the future funding requirements for Premier Foods. The recent triennial actuarial valuation delivers further credence to the pensions deal.
Companies: Premier Foods plc