11:40 10/01/2018 Re: Trading update
Thanks, Bill. Just briefly, as said, I'm very encouraged by the increase in Argos sales as they bed-in to Sainsbury's supermarkets. It's in line with my own experience - the ease of click n collect - or 'Fast Track', when off shopping at Sainsbury's. Must dash, Argentine Tango lesson :)
8:16 10/01/2018 Re: Trading update
"Slightly puzzled by the General Merchandise fall when Argos is apparently streaking ahead... That said, it appears that shoppers are becoming accustomed to Argos being available in-store..." Yes, Lupo - it seems likely that comparisons (both over y-o-y and LFL) could be more than usually distorted with the ongoing significant shuffling of the Argos estate (eg. closing previous stores and replacing them with units in the supermarkets). As such, true underlying comparable performance is pretty hard to identify - that said, it is clear enough that the wider market remains pretty tough, and likely to remain so. What matters most is the overall quantum of profits that SBRY squeezes out of the original Argos+Habitat inheritance - and the message there is pretty encouraging, in an incrementally (though not, of course, massively) positive direction. "Table at foot of page has beaten me - time for porridge." If you refer to the annexed table of Total Group Sales - yes, I clocked that. I believe the previous quarterly data are almost all distorted by the addition of Argos etc to the group, hence the big absolute % increases - this is now washing out of the maths, so the most recent quarterly figures revert to a more meaningful steady-state trend. But yes, if you are going to tack on one table, why that one? And not something actually meaningful ... it will only serve to confuse. It is hardly a seismic issue, of course - but not for the first time, I lament the common sense of the people actually putting these statements together for SBRY.
7:39 10/01/2018 Trading update
Nice enough, with more synergies coming through from the Argos acquisition. Slightly puzzled by the General Merchandise fall when Argos is apparently streaking ahead; maybe SBRY is guilty of talking it up. That said, it appears that shoppers are becoming accustomed to Argos being available in-store, according to sales figures. This is more a Sainsbury's crawlaround rather than a turnaround story, that's ok. Table at foot of page has beaten me - time for porridge.
10:20 09/01/2018 Re: Pre trading update update
Ignore that comment, I was looking at comparisons the wrong way round!
10:17 09/01/2018 Re: Pre trading update update
Here's a more interesting write-up, it shows Sainsbury's as having a smaller y-o-y drop in # sales than Tesco - still a drop, though. https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2018/01/bumper-christmas-shoppers-spend-1-billion-last-year/
10:00 09/01/2018 Re: Pre trading update update
Crazy Russian - I considered that a given.
9:28 09/01/2018 Re: Pre trading update update
I realise that you are quoting the released update...........b as ever it is very important to note that using % (percentages) to demonstrate growth is wholly misleading as EVERYTHING depends on the base figure on which the % is based. LIDL/ALDI growth figures are indeed great, but comparing them to those of MUCH larger enterprises does not give a true reflection
8:44 09/01/2018 Pre trading update update
Yet Tesco's down and Sainsbury's up today; probably due to expectations, or maybe margins. "LONDON (Alliance News) - The latest UK grocery market share figures published Tuesday by Kantar Worldpanel showed consumers spending GBP1 billion more than last year in the Christmas festive period. The average household shrugged off economic worries to spend a record GBP1,054 on groceries over the three months including the Christmas period and a record GBP469 million on premium own-label lines in December alone, with chilled items, fresh meat and bakery featuring prominently. "Overall supermarket sales increased in value by 3.8%. Shoppers parted with GBP747 million on December 22 alone, making the Friday before Christmas the busiest shopping day ever recorded," said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel. "Mince pie sales rose by 13.2% year on year, washed down with GBP3.9 billion worth of alcohol over the 12 weeks. Alcohol sales grew by 5.1% year on year, with spirits leading the charge: up 7.6% as consumers favoured festive tipples featuring gin and whisky," McKevitt said. Sales at German retailers Aldi and Lidl grew 17% year-on-year in the 12 week period, with both retailer competing to become the country's fastest growing supermarket chain. This compares to sales growth for the big four UK supermarkets of 3.1% for Tesco PLC, 2.0% for J Sainsbury PLC, 2.1% for WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC, and 2.2% for Asda, part of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Meanwhile, Waitrose recorded growth of 2.3%, Iceland of 2.9% and Ocado Group PLC of 8.4%. Co-op posted a 0.2% drop in sales. Tesco was the the fastest growing of the big four supermarkets in the 12 week period, helped by a 6.4% increase in sales of standard Tesco own-label. "With Christmas Day falling on a Monday this year, Tesco Express, like other convenience stores, benefitted from restricted Sunday opening hours for larger supermarkets and were able to capitalise on consumers preferring to shop closer to home immediately before the big day. Despite a successful festive period, Tesco is still growing behind the market with a 0.2 percentage point fall in market share to 28.0%," McKevitt said.
16:53 02/01/2018 Re: Basket Case
aw steady on there! I am in the blue with this one, and they just paid me a divi today. Argos might galvanise the bottom line, however Deutsche Bank today reaffirms its hold investment rating on Sainsbury (J) PLC (LON:SBRY) and cut its price target to 260p (from 300p). still a 10% upside there!
12:17 02/01/2018 Basket Case
Trading performance continues to drift South. In my experience the stores just don't have the dynamism of Waitrose or Tesco. Time for a shake up.
12:40 01/01/2018 Re: 2017 Top 10 Picks - the Top 10 for 2018
As foreshadowed here and all relevant boards... 2018 trading from tomorrow, so time to repeat last year's "virtual portfolio" challenge. Same rules, as per the papers - equal weighted, valid for the whole year with no switching, full owning-up at year end! AA Capita Connect Group GlaxoSmithKline Imperial Brands ITV Lloyds Banking Marks & Spencer Stagecoach WPP I retain a bias toward UK exposure and 'Value' (the two closely related, obviously), with an expectation that the UK domestic outlook will clarify satisfactorily (if not wonderfully) this year. But it's no slam-dunk... and so hedged with a decent slug of overseas earnings and a general focus on "stock specific" stories - with LLOY the only real pure play on 'UK PLC' and associated sentiment. Ultimately, well aware that it's near-impossible to avoid losers as well as winners, I have asked the question - can I see 15% over 2018 (plus divis)? Without necessarily much help from the wider market. Four stocks stay in from 2017, with CPI, IMB, ITV and SGC still to justify their original inclusion and getting another chance (SGC was a close call). Bonmarche has done its job as "speculative" midcap retail play; VOD still looks fine to me but harder to see sufficient upside in either valuation or financial reporting; CARD and WTB were tougher choices, both still good for the long term IMHO but I see their respective attractions now more finely balanced against likely persisting near-term headwinds. I will doubtless be elaborating on the case for each of the "new" inclusions in the course of the year. FWIW stocks actively considered but failing to make the cut (as well as CARD and WTB): Braemar and SBRY (from my 2017 Top 10), then Aviva, BT, Debenhams, Gattaca, Merlin, Morrisons, Trinity Mirror. FYI I own 7 of the 10 stocks, with all of CPI (still!), WPP, GSK under active consideration (probably in that order). I'd be surprised if I didn't buy into at least one in the course of 2018.
15:14 29/12/2017 2017 Top 10 Picks - Q4 & FY Update
That's it for 2017, in market hours anyway, so it is time to tot up the final results for my previously published 2017 Top Ten... Q1 was not bad (in the end)... Q2 better, outperforming decently... Q3 not so much, a bit of a struggle throughout... and now a reasonable (if selective) Santa rally has delivered (belatedly) a decent enough Q4. It all means a positive absolute return for the year (+1.6%), albeit another good quarter for wider markets means I have underperformed the FTSE 100 by nearly 6% (and around 7% vs FTSE All-Share). But it's not the full story - I went heavy on income plays, with dividends (including a couple of "specials") delivering a further 5.7%, around 50% more than the UK market yield. So I can point to a total portfolio return of 7.3% for the year - still below the 12% or so returned by the main UK indices, but somewhat nearer respectability - and preserving my status as (distinctly) average fund manager... making you some kind of return on your money, but not actually managing to beat, or even meet, an index. Star performer, after a pleasing (albeit slightly suspicious) late run, was one of my small-cap speculatives, Bonmarche - up 60% for 2017! Then, at the other end of the size scale, comes Vodafone, an 18% return reflecting a year of solid success... just ahead of Card Factory (up nearly 17% after a rollercoaster ride), although CARD just edges out VOD in total return terms (+26% vs +24%). After that, a good Q4 sees Whitbread end the year up 6%, after 'promising' something much worse for most of it. But that's it for gains, and 4 "winners" out of 10 doesn't really cut it, I concede. Both Sainsbury and Braemar ended near enough where they started (down just under 3%), but thereafter the disappointments pile up like roadkill... Imperial Brands falling 11%, ITV losing 20%, Stagecoach giving up 24% and Capita's year of woe and warnings means it brings up the rear, some 25% down - with some small solace that it's the only one I still don't own for real (but watch this space!) How to rationalise this performance picture? Well, looking back at my original post, it seems I predicted it up-front a year ago - I quote... "a vague attempt at balance and diversification across the list, though it's probably still a bit too exposed to the UK economy - and hence any further Brexit downturn. Probably inevitable, given my usual bias towards 'value' and aversion to buying into momentum." The hope was that the Brexit 'deal', and consequent UK economic outlook, would clarify - while there's finally some sign of that now, for most of the year it's remained mired in the mud of uncertainty and ungentlemanly exchange. There is the (related) theme of Value staying out of favour - albeit with 'green shoots' starting to appear just as the snow comes tumbling - and getting ever cheaper over the year as the market found reassurance in "reassuringly expensive" havens of Quality and Momentum. So what for 2018? "Double-down" on the combo of cheap UK and underappreciated Value, in the expectation (or 'hope'?) that "this time NEXT year, Rodney".... or capitulate and jump on the market bandwagon, trusting the wheels stay on for another 12 months? Anyone following my thoughts for any length of time will know the answer ... but either way, all will be formally revealed in due course with my Top Ten for 2018 - as I always promised, and likewise enourage others to participate. FWIW my 'real' portfolio fared better in 2017, up c.11.5% (total return c.15%). Nicely outperforming the FTSE 100 (+7.6%) and All-Share (+9.0%) in both price terms and their total returns of c.12-13%, though lagging the Global Market return of 20%. Given I've owned 9 of my Top 10 stocks for most of 2017 and I didn't set out to pick bad stocks, you can deduce much of my performance came from unexpected quarters - a good advert for diversification, of one's own thought processes and investment instincts as much as sectors and stocks!
13:54 19/12/2017 Toy's R Argos
Surely the impending demise of Toy's R Us in the UK is good for Argos. Big competitor in the toy space gone, a lot of their customers will surely now be heading Argos' way.
17:46 14/12/2017 Re: Sainsbury's Christmas ad - Phillip
Talking of declining standards: I went to sea in 1961, language was pretty ripe on board, but when jolly jack went ashore, usually at night, they'd dress in suit and tie and not a swear word to be heard. Popped into Sainsbury's this PM for a spot of shopping and to pick up an Argos item - staff courteous, pleasant and helpful.
13:39 14/12/2017 Re: Sainsbury's Christmas ad - Phillip
PI agree about standards totally. Here in Waitrose there has been a steady decline in these due to many so called cost savings. Also retail is a different beast these days. Im an old fashioned trader, not many of me left and find it so frustrating not to achieve what lI would have accepted even only 5 years ago. The first thing I learnt from my old store manager when only a boy was "Retail is detail". I have never forgotten this. I never walk by a piece of paper on the floor or a wonky barker card. Hate it. Still have a toothbrush in my pocket to clean those areas you cant get to. Unfortunately todays mentality excepts short of perfect as traders are a rare breed. they except the unexceptable. Gla AliD