|Bid||2,010.00 x 0|
|Ask||2,012.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||1,999.00 - 2,058.68|
|52 Week Range||1,186.00 - 2,496.00|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.88|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||27.00|
|Earnings Date||Jul 30, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.37 (1.80%)|
|1y Target Est||1,340.00|
Demand for defensive stocks helped European shares recover from early losses on Monday as investors grappled with issues ranging from violent Hong Kong protests to an inconclusive Spanish election and weak data from China. After falling nearly 0.5% at one point, the pan-European STOXX 600 index closed flat, helped by a turnaround in bank shares and gains for sectors considered safer bets during times of economic uncertainty, such as food and beverage and real estate. London's FTSE 100 led declines among the major regional indexes with a 0.4% drop, while stocks in Frankfurt fell 0.2% and Paris rose 0.1%.
Greggs, the UK bakery chain, lifted its profit forecasts for the fourth time this year as more consumers frequented its stores enticed by new products and later opening, according to its chief executive. As a result, Greggs said that underlying profit before tax for 2019 would be ahead of previous guidance. “I think more people have come to realise that Greggs is more than sausage rolls,” said chief executive Roger Whiteside, who added that the chain had overtaken the supermarket Tesco in its sales of sandwiches at lunchtime.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.British shops are being battered as the shift to e-commerce, intense competition and the fallout from Brexit cause catastrophic levels of store closures and job cuts.The country offers a case study in the troubles facing retail worldwide, and the collapse this week of the U.K. arm of baby-products chain Mothercare Plc is just the latest example. With fast-growing online rivals like Boohoo Group Plc and Amazon.com Inc. drawing shoppers, traditional chains were already struggling before a weaker pound began squeezing living standards and crimping sales further.Still, there are bright spots. Here are a few U.K. retailers who’ve managed to thrive during the apocalypse. We asked top executives to explain their success:NextThe 155-year-old clothing chain is that rare breed -- a bricks-and-mortar brand that has successfully transitioned to e-commerce. Next Plc’s online business had sales of almost 2 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) last year, and the company’s shares have surged 67% in 2019.The online business started in 1999 with a 7,000-pound investment in the website, which at the time was just a screen where customers plugged in item numbers from the catalogue. That head start on the web was key to Next’s growth, Chief Executive Officer Simon Wolfson said.The CEO also pointed to incremental measures such as opening combined clothing and home stores, and selling third-party brands like Levi’s and Gucci. This year Next installed Amazon lockers in hundreds of locations for customers to pick up deliveries, hoping they’ll browse while inside. Next has a 15-year plan to reduce rents and stores gradually to drive profit, rather than resorting to the drastic measures that have forced other chains to fire thousands.“The thing about retail is, it isn’t a business where you need to take big decisions,” Wolfson said in a September interview. “You take small decisions, try things and then maximize the opportunities they present.”PrimarkOwned by Associated British Foods Plc, the discount clothing chain defies the theory that retailers must shift to e-commerce to succeed. Primark doesn’t sell online because it doesn’t charge enough for its clothing to justify the cost, according to AB Foods Finance Director John Bason. So far, it hasn’t needed to: Primark has reported eight consecutive years of profit growth.Primark is one of the few British retailers still opening stores. That includes a massive 160,000-square-foot Primark spread over five floors, which opened this year in Birmingham, England.A main advantage is knowing the customer well. Store managers select products on their computers each morning and determine how much they need for the next day. It’s the same model that Inditex SA’s Zara chain follows and allows for a nimbler response to trends.“We encourage customer intimacy,” Bason said. “Having an eye for the hottest trends is vital in the buying department, and that is encouraged.”Hotel ChocolatMaking shopping an experience lies at the core of Hotel Chocolat Group Plc’s strategy. The chocolate seller began with an online business in the 1990s, then decided to open stores in 2003 to try to get closer to customers. Hotel Chocolat has reported at least double-digit growth in revenue and profit since going public in 2016, and the shares have jumped 69% this year.More than two-thirds of sales now come from stores. Hotel Chocolat focuses on product innovation and events to lure shoppers, such as the evening chocolate masterclasses, or “lock-ins,” offered at 60 different sites.Co-founder and CEO Angus Thirlwell said his risky decision to buy a cocoa plantation on the island of St. Lucia made a difference by lending an authenticity to the brand. The plantation’s Boucan hotel has helped introduce U.S. guests to Hotel Chocolat by offering chocolate facials and chocolate-infused food.“There’s a lot of brands that are just content to sit back on their laurels and not really aim to excite and entertain the customer, and we’re very aware that we’re in the entertainment business,” Thirlwell said. “We have to put on a show and make them feel different after they’ve entered a Hotel Chocolat.”GreggsSince opening its first shop in 1951, Greggs Plc has stayed true to its mission: to make cheap pastries. It’s been growing steadily, but business boomed this year after the bakery chain launched a vegan sausage roll that became a hit on social media. First-half sales rose almost 15%, and Greggs shares have climbed 41% in 2019.Like online-delivery services, Greggs is benefiting from changing eating habits as time-pressed Britons cook less and grab food on the go. Greggs has been transforming itself for the last six years into a takeout business focused on airports, train stations and business areas after previously relying on the high street -- the British term for the main shopping district. It’s also partnered with Just Eat Plc and Deliveroo, and extended a “click & collect” pilot to seven U.K. cities.“There’s all sorts of reasons we do very well, not least of which because of value for money,” CEO Roger Whiteside said.JoulesJoules Group Plc peddles British country chic. Think Wellington boots and waterproof jackets. The company started 30 years ago, when founder Tom Joule began selling clothing from a stand at a country show in Leicestershire. He then set out to fill a gap in the market for classic British pieces with a bit of sartorial whimsy, such as a mismatched button or printed lining.Today Joules has 125 stores across the U.K. and Ireland and has added housewares to the mix. It opened seven shops and closed only one in the fiscal year ended in May, and reported a gain of 17% in revenue and 19% in pretax profit.Joules has focused on market towns and coastal vacation hot spots such as Cornwall and has branched out into travel stores at London rail hubs. It aims to keep store leases as short as possible, so it can relocate easily if necessary, Chief Financial Officer Marc Dench said.The retailer has benefited from limiting spending on its shops, “and probably, most importantly, making sure our stores are where our customers are,” he said.To contact the reporters on this story: Ellen Milligan in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Greg Ritchie in London at email@example.com;Rebecca Smith in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Eric Pfanner at email@example.com, Anne PollakFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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