Today's business and finance round up 28th July 2021
🔥Major investor piles pressure on Just Eat
28th July 2021
Good morning London’s latest tourist attraction, the Marble Arch Mound, has had a rocky first day after it had to issue refunds. The £2m artificial hill in central London left visitors underwhelmed when the artist's impression differed quite spectacularly from the reality.
Major investor piles pressure on Just Eat
Covid cleaning boom start to fade
Yesterday's market moves
FTSE 100 -0.4% 6,996 FTSE 250 -0.2% 22,877
There was positive macro data as the International Monetary Fund said that the UK will be the fastest-growing advanced economy in 2021, given the rapid vaccine rollout and support for households and businesses. According to latest forecasts, the UK will grow 7% this year, revised up from 5% in April.Markets however were not so excited by this news. The FTSE 100 lost 0.4% and the FTSE 250 0.2%, as the latest regulatory developments in China weighed on sentiment despite the slowly improving Covid stats.
TECHMajor investor piles pressure on Just Eat
What’s going on?Just Eat Takeaway (JET), the food delivery giant made by the merger between British Just Eat and Dutch Takeaway.com, has come under fire from one of its biggest shareholders. Cat Rock, which owns 4.7% of JET, released a scathing attack on the company’s strategy and communications with investors.
Why is this important?
Cat Rock is known for being a vocal shareholder but yesterday it took it to another level when it published a list of JET issues and solutions on the aptly named website www.justeatmustdeliver.com.The investor is actually pleased with JET’s trading performance - number 1 food delivery service in several markets including the UK, Germany and Canada – but believes that it’s still not reaching its full potential.Cat Rock wants JET to consider selling non-core parts of its business and even merging with rivals to maximise shareholder value.It also said that JET was far from transparent when it comes to talking to investors and called for the company to be more open with disclosing the impact of strategy on financial performance.JET’s share price has underperformed versus peers in the past year. The company is forecast to deliver the same value of food delivery as US peer DoorDash in 2021, however DoorDash is valued at four times more.The most bizarre part of the attack was that Cat Rock suggested that management shouldn’t use Twitter as a forum to defend the company. This was after the CEOs of Uber and JET got into a Twitter argument over criticisms of both businesses.
TakeawayAs a public company it’s important to keep your shareholders on side so they’ll support you through thick and thin. A key part of this is having regular dialogue with investors.JET seems to have had a breakdown in communication with Cat Rock. In response to the criticism JET has said it will host an investor day later in the year to provide more visibility on strategy and hopefully quieten the naysayers.
CONSUMERCovid cleaning boom start to fade
British household goods giant, Reckitt Benckiser, has reported that sales of Dettol disinfectant has started to slow in the six months to June. This led to a 5% drop in total revenues to £6.6bn, compared to the same period last year.2020 was an exceptional year for cleaning product demand but as lockdown restrictions have eased worldwide the company says consumers are starting to clean less frequently.Reckitt makes a vast range of health and hygiene products and its brands are seeing different levels of demand as economies emerge from Covid. For example, Vanish stain remover returned to growth as the reduction in social restrictions increased the demand for the removal of clothes stains.Worryingly for investors, Reckitt cautioned that rising prices of raw materials were squeezing profit margins. This follows comments from consumer goods giant Unilever, which last week cut its profit forecast blaming higher costs of input materials like oil and packaging.Reckitt’s shares fell more than 8% following the news.
Stat of the day
UK house prices have nearly tripled in 20 years but wages have not even doubled
Other stories to keep you in the loop
Louis Vuitton and Gucci are gobbling up our Covid savings
Tech giants' profits soar as pandemic boom continues
Tesla profit surge driven by record car deliveries
Top Morrisons shareholder rejects private equity takeover offer
Moonpig sees annual sales and profits double
Warhammer maker Games Workshop hands staff £5,000 bonus after lockdown sales surge