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April 26, 2016

Pegler’s market report – 26.04.16: Steak and good wine


in Insights Press Releases

As published in the Brighton Argus (26.04.16) Business on page 21 under the title Pegler’s Market Report:

Pegler's Market Report

Steak and good wine

I was fortunate enough to sample the Brighton Grand Hotel’s new menu at a recent tasting extravaganza and networking event – Chapel Down were one of the selected wines and their tasty white was held in high esteem by a good number of the attendees. Last week the highly regarded British winemaker revealed significant revenue growth and increased wine and cider sales.

However pre-tax losses at Chapel Down, which is listed on the ISDX growth market, widened to £279,000, from £83,000 in the previous year – its second year in a row of losses. The firm has invested heavily in its wine business, spending £1.3m on planting 90 acres of new vineyards, viticulture and wine-making equipment.

Pizza Express entrepreneur Luke Johnson, who has recently been named as the investor in Brighton Pier and the Small Batch Coffee chain, has now bought a cut of Gaucho, the Argentinian steak and wine restaurant, adding upmarket beef to his already bulging restaurant portfolio. The Gaucho Group, which serves costly cuts of beef to diners sitting on cow skin chairs, sold a £100m majority stake earlier this year to private equity firm Equistone to fund global expansion plans. The restaurant chain, now has 14 locations in London.

Mid-cap stock Pets at Home has climbed steadily after it revealed revenue growth of 2.2pc in the first quarter of the year, thanks to continued momentum in its merchandise business. The company, which is Britain’s biggest pet shop chain with 427 stores across the UK, expects pre-tax profit to be in line with market expectations of between £93m and £97m. The retailer had a successful Christmas in contrast to many high street retailers, with sales up 2pc in the three months to the end of December.

Shares in lender Metro Bank, which has a thriving Brighton operation, have edged up 1.2% on the back of its first quarter trading update, which showed losses after tax narrowed. Challenger bank Metro has reported a strong rise in loans and deposits in its first trading update as a publicly listed company. Metro Bank, founded by Vernon Hill in 2010, said it was moving towards profit after narrowing losses to £7.9m, from £10.2m in the last quarter and £8.5m in the same period last year.

By David Pegler, Brighton Capital Management

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