|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||12.72 - 13.19|
|52 Week Range||10.65 - 16.73|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.86|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||19.55|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.49 (3.80%)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
British retailers endured their worst September since at least the mid-1990s as people spent money on entertainment instead, according to surveys that painted a muted picture of household demand ahead of Brexit. In a potential warning sign for consumer spending, which has helped the economy in the run-up to Brexit, the British Retail Consortium said total retail sales values declined 1.3% in September compared with the same month last year. A separate survey published on Monday by payment card company Barclaycard showed broader consumer spending -- which includes retail sales -- rose by a "modest" 1.6% in annual terms in September.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.U.K. companies are rushing into Europe’s bond market, taking advantage of what may be a last chance to lock in low-cost financing before renewed Brexit upheavals.Last week was the busiest for sales in five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and Royal Mail Plc, WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets are all working on potential offerings. Borrowers last week included Barclays Plc, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and broadcaster ITV Plc.U.K. issuers may have a potentially short window to get deals done, as earnings blackouts and the countdown to the country’s Oct. 31 departure from the European Union may hinder deals next month, particularly if a no-deal Brexit seems likely. In the meantime, optimism that the country will reach an agreement or delay its departure is boosting the pound and helping to hold borrowing costs near record lows in both euros and sterling.“The whole Brexit situation remains in a state of flux,” said Andrey Kuznetsov, senior credit portfolio manager at Hermes Fund Managers Ltd. “In this type of situation, it is normal for issuers to tap the market in periods of calm and improved sentiment.”Gains for the pound this month will also likely boost investor demand for sterling assets especially amid Europe’s low yields, he said. U.K. companies sold 7.6 billion euros ($8.3 billion) of bonds in euros and sterling last week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Barclays demonstrated the recent pricing advantage for issuers, as the bank sold a 1 billion-pound ($1.2 billion) AT1 at 6.375% last week after more than 7.5 billion pounds of orders. That compares with 7.125% for a comparable note in June.Sterling borrowing costs are about 2.1%, compared with above 3% at the start of the year, according to Bloomberg Barclays index data. Euro investment-grade yields are below 0.5%, the data show.Royal Mail, the nation’s postal service, will start a roadshow on Sept. 25 ahead of a bond sale in either pounds or euros.“We are taking the opportunity to access finance at the current low rates,” a spokesperson for the London-based company said in an emailed reply to Bloomberg News questions.Still, Metro Bank Plc postponed a pound bond sale on Monday, citing “market conditions”. The lender’s shares have tumbled more than 80% this year after regulators discovered issues with the way it classified loans.Yields Creep UpYields in both euros and sterling have crept up this month, after fairly consistent declines this year, adding extra urgency for any borrower considering a sale. Europe’s traditionally busy September sales surpassed 100 billion euros at a record pace this year.Brexit risks also remain for borrowers and issuers. Uncertainty about the country’s future ties to the EU contributed to the collapse of tour operator Thomas Cook Group Plc. U.K. non-financial companies have also only sold about $60 billion pounds of bonds worldwide this year, the lowest tally since 2016, according to Bloomberg data. Domestic sterling sales are the lowest since 2015, the data show.Domestic-focused companies have taken advantage of pauses in Brexit upheavals to get deals done this year. Retailers Next Plc, Tesco Plc and Co-Operative Group Ltd. all sold pound bonds in a three-week spell ending in May. Marks & Spencer Group Plc followed in early July.Morrison, the country’s fourth-largest supermarket chain, plans to offer a sterling-denominated benchmark twelve-year bond following meetings in London on Monday. The company didn’t reply to an e-mailed request for comment on the bond sale.Across Europe, “it makes sense for companies to take advantage of the current window to issue bonds, said Ryan Staszewski, senior portfolio manager, investment grade credit at Columbia Threadneedle Investments.(Updates with Metro Bank postponing bond sale in 10th paragraph)\--With assistance from Alice Gledhill.To contact the reporter on this story: Priscila Azevedo Rocha in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Hannah Benjamin at email@example.com, Neil Denslow, V. RamakrishnanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
German discount supermarket group Aldi plans to pump 1 billion pounds ($1.25 billion) into Britain, chasing market share at the expense of profit, which dropped by 26% last year as it pursued sales growth, store openings and new customers. Britain's fifth biggest supermarket, which is privately owned by Germany's Aldi Sud, signalled no let-up for its larger rivals as it reaffirmed a commitment to investing in the UK, despite a low price pledge denting its 2018 profit. Aldi UK, which trades from about 840 stores and has a grocery market share of 8.1%, said sales increased 11% in 2018 and it gained 800,000 new customers.
For the 26 weeks ended Aug. 4, the British grocer made a pretax profit of 202 million pounds ($249.3 million) compared with GBP136 million during the same period in fiscal 2019.
Amazon and Morrisons have agreed to extend a partnership which already allows customers to order their shopping from the smallest of Britain's big four supermarket groups and have it delivered by the U.S. online giant. Periodically mooted as a possible bidder for Morrisons, Amazon has been slowly extending its food service in Britain, but market research firm Kantar Worldpanel estimates its market share is so far less than 1%. The new Amazon agreement was for "a number of years rather than on a rolling basis, and will be exploring new opportunities to innovate and improve the shopping experience," Bradford, northern England, based Morrisons said.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- At a Waitrose grocery store in Oxford, England, shoppers are scooping up frozen fruit from dispensers like pick and mix candy. They are filling old plastic takeaway containers with everything from muesli to risotto rice. Welcome to Unpacked, the new store concept from Waitrose, which has freed more than 200 items from their packaging.Environmental campaigners like Greenpeace have been demanding British supermarkets reduce their plastic footprint. But it’s trickier to strip wrappings from food than other products, such as toys, because it can go off. The packaging conundrum facing grocers only compounds another problem they’re grappling with: food waste.But they are making strides to be green, from eliminating hard-to-recycle materials, such as PVC, to enabling customers to remove and recycle wrappings before products leave the store. Some are even offering reverse vending machines to recycle plastic bottles. Tesco Plc said recently that it could no longer stock items if they had too much packaging and is working with suppliers to help them find ways to use less.It’s easier to design plastic-free packaging for products sold at room temperature. As well as dry goods, consumers can easily refill containers for household and personal care items like cleaning supplies or shampoo. Fresh food is much trickier. Meat, for example, will not last long if it isn’t wrapped to protect it from the air. Fresh fruit and vegetables are another challenge because they can be damaged during transport. Even so, Unpacked sells 160 types of loose fruit and vegetables. Seasonality presents another problem. For example, Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc sources cucumbers from the U.K. in the summer. With the shorter supply chain, they don’t need any packaging. In cooler months, they come from Spain, so they need a thin recyclable film; Morrison makes it clear to customers that the cucumbers have their winter jackets on.One way to extend shelf lives without plastic is to grow products even nearer to the end customer. Vertical farming, which uses stacked trays under LED lights to grow different kinds of food indoors, is one option. Ocado Group Plc, the online supermarket, recently made two investments in this space, including buying 58% of Jones Food Co., Europe’s largest operating vertical farm, based in Scunthorpe, England.Jones primarily grows herbs, packing them in biodegradable and compostable materials within air that has had some of the elements removed. This tricks the plants into thinking that they haven’t been harvested, keeping them fresher for longer.Vertical farms could be built next to supermarkets or online grocery distribution centers to shorten supply chains, reduce packaging and cut down on transportation and refrigeration.Supermarkets are finding other products more difficult to make environmentally friendly. Surprisingly, one is ready meals. They contain liquids and must be kept fresh, while their packaging needs to be able to withstand cooking in both an oven and a microwave.Waitrose has spent more than five years developing a fiber-based packaging that is compostable. It has also introduced trays made from recycled plastic. These come in different colors, depending on the material they’re made from, and don’t have the uniform look that customers are used to.Indeed, while supermarkets must change their behavior to be more sustainable, so must shoppers: For example, a cucumber wrapped in plastic will last about 14 days. One without keeps for about half that time.Morrison has introduced reusable paper carrier bags, but recently began trialing plastic alternatives costing 30 pence each — a higher price than usually charged — prompting complaints from some customers.Waitrose has made sure it’s possible to do a full shop at its 25,000 square foot Unpacked store to help customers be more sustainable without disrupting their everyday lives. So far it’s working: Products without packaging are outselling those that still have it. Some 50% of customers using the refill stations for dry goods are bringing their own containers on a regular basis. All of the U.K. supermarkets are coming under pressure to be more sustainable. So far, 1.4 million people have signed Greenpeace’s petition calling on them to to ditch throwaway plastic packaging. They have more work to do. But so do Britain’s consumers.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Baker at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Could Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC (LON:MRW) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are...
The bosses of vegan-friendly firm The Meatless Farm have called for the traditional meat aisle in supermarkets to be replaced by the “protein aisle.”
(Bloomberg) -- Ocado Group Plc shares surged after the U.K. online grocer reassured investors that its strategy is on track despite a fire that leveled one of its warehouses earlier this year.The company maintained its full-year sales guidance even as it estimates the blaze in February will cut earnings by 15 million pounds ($18.8 million). The shares gained as much as 7.7% in London, the most in more than four months.Though the incident at the automated facility in Andover, England, trimmed retail sales in the first half, the company still expects full-year growth of as much as 15%. Ocado has removed some decorative parts from robots after saying an electrical fault that ignited a plastic lid on one of the machines caused the fire.“We’ve taken some steps to dramatically reduce the effects of it happening again,” Chief Executive Officer Tim Steiner said by phone.The company said it made further progress in its shift from e-commerce sales to becoming more of a software and robotics platform. Revenue from grocery partners that have licensed its technology rose by more than one-third from a year earlier. Ocado has struck technology deals with the likes of Kroger Co. in the U.S., and Steiner said the company is eyeing additional agreements in other countries.‘Encouraging Execution’“Qualitative updates are encouraging,” Numis analysts wrote in a note, pointing to “encouraging execution on current solutions deals.”Ocado formed a joint venture with Marks & Spencer Group Plc in February to operate food deliveries in the U.K. and recently invested in non-grocery ventures including automated meal preparation and vertical farming.Another U.K. partner, Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, agreed to free some of its warehouse capacity to help Ocado after the Andover fire. This will slow revenue growth in its solutions business, given the loss of fees and higher fixed costs, Ocado said. Morrison also loosened its pact with the online grocer in May to strengthen its partnership with rival Amazon.com Inc.To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen Milligan in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Eric Pfanner at email@example.com, Thomas MulierFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Every investor in Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC (LON:MRW) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups...
(Bloomberg) -- Tesco Plc has turned to an Israeli startup for help as it looks to become the next major food retailer to remove cashiers from some of its stores.The U.K.’s largest grocery chain is working with Trigo Vision Ltd., which has developed a system of cameras and software that allows retailers to automatically charge customers, according to three people familiar with the matter.Tesco and other grocers are racing Amazon.com Inc., which could open as many as 3,000 checkout-free Amazon Go stores in the U.S. and is expanding its partnership with the U.K.’s Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc. Scrapping cashiers could also help Tesco slim down its workforce over time and improve profit margins as it battles German discount chains Aldi and Lidl.At a capital markets day earlier this month, Tesco said it’s looking at a range of new technologies, also including robot delivery vehicles. Checkout-free stores are “one thing we’re testing, but it’s not something we’re ready to roll out yet,” a spokeswoman said, declining to comment on any business partners for the technology.Trigo, which has raised $7 million from Vertex Ventures and Hetz Ventures, has also partnered with Israel’s largest supermarket chain, Shufersal Ltd. The companies are working on the pilot branch in Tel Aviv, with the goal of rolling out the product in about a year.Other startups, including Portugal’s Sensei, are competing with Trigo to provide grocers with checkout-free technology. Tesco has previously trialed an app that allowed customers to scan and pay for groceries using their smartphone. The Scan Pay Go app was limited to staff at Tesco’s headquarters last year.To contact the reporter on this story: Yaacov Benmeleh in Tel Aviv at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Eric Pfanner at email@example.com, Giles TurnerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has completed a periodic review of the ratings of Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc and other ratings that are associated with the same analytical unit. The review was conducted through a portfolio review in which Moody's reassessed the appropriateness of the ratings in the context of the relevant principal methodology(ies), recent developments, and a comparison of the financial and operating profile to similarly rated peers. This publication does not announce a credit rating action and is not an indication of whether or not a credit rating action is likely in the near future.
The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Boris Johnson, the front-runner in the race to succeed British Prime Minister Theresa May, is under intense pressure to debate with his rivals for the Tory leadership on television after all the other candidates agreed to take part. Andrea Leadsom, who was defeated in the first round of a leadership contest, is considering throwing her support behind interior minister Sajid Javid as the horsetrading to win the votes that went to the defeated candidates begins.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The changing nature of food retailing was laid bare on Thursday with lower-than-expected U.K. sales growth at Tesco Plc and Amazon.com Inc. expanding its partnership with the smaller British chain Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc.Amazon’s agreement with Morrisons, while still fairly small right now, shows the ambitions of the online giant toward the U.K., already one of the world’s most competitive retail sectors. That will strike fear into the hearts of supermarket behemoths such as Tesco, Britain’s grocery leader. Tesco has been trying to bolster its defenses, and a slowdown in growth in the three months to May 25 shouldn’t be too surprising. All retailers face extremely difficult comparisons with the same period last year, when Britain was basking in sunny weather and enjoying a royal wedding. The company’s CEO, Dave Lewis, remains on course to hit his target for an operating margin of 3.5% to 4% by February next year.Still, the first-quarter slowdown doesn’t exactly inspire confidence about what happens once that margin target is reached. The company updates the City next week on how it can find ways to bolster sales and profit. It’s staying tight-lipped for now, but making more of its use of customer data — including through its Clubcard loyalty scheme — might be on the agenda. Lewis has talked before about developing the property around its stores. That could become a bigger part of cash flow, too.Tesco could also work more closely with Booker Group Ltd., a recently acquired food wholesaler. It’s experimenting already with putting cash-and-carry outlets in Tesco stores and introducing dedicated bulk-buy areas, with one eye on becoming Britain’s answer to America’s Costco Wholesale Corp. Wisely, it has also set up a purchasing alliance with Carrefour SA, the French supermarket chain.But as the quarter showed, life isn’t getting any easier for Tesco. Aldi and Lidl, the cutthroat German discount grocers, are still powering ahead in Britain, putting enormous pressure on the traditional giants.That makes Amazon’s advances all the more fraught. Morrisons, the U.K.’s fourth-biggest supermarket group, said on Thursday that it was expanding its super-fast grocery delivery service for Amazon customers. Nine regions in England and Scotland will now offer this, up from four. The aim is for nationwide coverage.The rapid roll-out of the Amazon partnership has been facilitated by another smart move by Morrisons chief executive David Potts, who started his supermarket career on the shop floor. He has negotiated an end to his company’s exclusive relationship with Ocado Group Plc, the specialist online grocer. That has opened the door to closer ties with Amazon.Beset by price-slashing German rivals on one side and savvy online operators on the other, Tesco and its ilk are going to have to work hard to keep food in their investors’ mouths.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. is expanding its alliance with U.K. retailer Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc to offer groceries in more cities across the country, putting more pressure on supermarkets to expand online.The companies plan to introduce Prime Now same-day delivery service to cities including Glasgow, Scotland, and Liverpool, England, this year, Morrison said Thursday. Morrison shares rose as much as 2.9% in London, the most since January.Grocers have been competing for an edge in the U.K. e-commerce market since Amazon first formed its alliance with Morrison, the smallest of the U.K.’s main grocery chains, three years ago. In February, Marks & Spencer Group Plc agreed to buy half of online grocer Ocado Group Plc’s U.K. business for 750 million pounds ($951 million). Amazon also led a $575 million funding round at London-based food delivery service Deliveroo, which is preparing to spread across the U.K.“Morrisons at Amazon” is currently available in four cities, where many customers can receive groceries within one hour of ordering. The service will also enter the English cities of Newcastle, Sheffield and Portsmouth this year, and further locations in coming years.Morrison loosened a six-year-old pact with Ocado last month so that it could expand more with other partners.(Updates with shares in second paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Mulier in Geneva at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Eric Pfanner at email@example.com, John J. Edwards III, Marthe FourcadeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
British supermarket Morrisons and Amazon said on Thursday they will extend their "Morrisons at Amazon" same-day online grocery delivery service to more cities across Britain. The service, currently available to Amazon's Prime Now customers in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and parts of London, will be rolled out to Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Sheffield and Portsmouth this year, the companies said. In future years, Morrisons at Amazon will be expanded to more British cities, they said.