Food & Drink equity research

Explore the most viewed and latest equity research and media content for companies within the Food & Drink sector. Companies working in this sector include brewers, distillers, wine merchants, and non-alcoholic drinks providers.

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Covid-19 update

Nichols has issued a Covid-19 update this morning, signalling the need to protect the balance sheet during the current uncertainty to help ensure it emerges in a strong position to deliver mid-term growth objectives. Briefly, whilst trading in the first two months of FY20 was in line with management’s expectations, Covid-19 is expected to have an adverse impact in the months ahead. This reflects both the OOH division being directly exposed to the UK lockdown of pubs/restaurants/cinemas but also recognising the potential risk to retail sales from any protracted restriction of movement of people worldwide. Given this backdrop, management now expect a significant financial impact in FY20. In line with some of its peers, the company is temporarily removing financial guidance and we withdraw our forecasts. Given the uncertain outlook, the Board has taken the prudent decision to cancel the final dividend announced in the Feb finals of 28p per share, conserving a significant £10.4m of cash. Notably, the update signals that the Board will consider reinstating the dividend payment once there is a better handle on the cash position post the critical spring/summer period. In addition to this there are various other cost action plans to protect the P&L and cashflow. Whilst today’s update is not a huge surprise given the Covid-19 backdrop, it does not fundamentally change the positive investment thesis - as evidenced by 10% PBT CAGR in the last decade (virtually all organic). Nichols has an asset light business model, an excellent and proven management team and a robust balance sheet (£41m netcash at Dec’19) to ensure it effectively manages near term pressures and prospers over the medium term.

Nichols

  • 31 Mar 20
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