Tuesday 18/06/19

  1. In CONSUMER/RETAIL-RELATED NEWS, Eurozone wages are up, UK consumer confidence remains steady, H&M falls behind Inditex and Black Sheep raises new funding
  2. In SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS, Facebook launches its cryptocurrency and TikTok aims for advertisers
  3. In PLANE-RELATED NEWS, Airbus trumps Boeing and Lufthansa has a profit warning
  4. In INDIVIDUAL COMPANY NEWS, Huawei sales get hammered, Pfizer buys a cancer drug maker and Beyond Meat faces scepticism
  5. In OTHER NEWS, I bring you a novel garlic-peeling method. For more details, read on…



So Eurozone wages rise, UK confidence steadies, H&M lags Inditex and Black Sheep raises funds…

Eurozone wages grow at fastest pace in a decade (Financial Times, Valentina Romei) highlights wage growth despite the export-led European manufacturing sector facing tough global trading conditions. Wage growth stood at 2.5% – its fastest growth rate since 2009 – and up from 2.3% at the end of last year, according to Eurostat data. * SO WHAT? * Good news for European workers and it looks like the European economy is actually coming around after a period of stagnation.

Consumers shake off pressure on living costs (The Times, Gurpreet Narwan) cites the latest IHS Markit survey which showed that household sentiment improved in June, but still remains negative overall on household finances. Despite wage growth outpacing inflation since the beginning of last year, households perceive their living costs as being higher and are concerned about jobs,

despite record lows for unemployment. Joe Hayes, an economist at IHS Markit, observed that “the unclear path towards Brexit still lingers in the background, while uncertainty has been brought about by the end of Theresa May’s tenure as prime minister”.

Meanwhile, on the high street, H&M spells out need for investment (The Times, Elizabeth Burden) looks at how H&M’s turnaround is going in the right direction but that it is lagging Spanish rival Inditex in terms of its online business and Coffee chain Black Sheep raises new funding as it plans international push (Financial Times, Philip Georgiadis) highlights an independent coffee shop chain that’s trying to keep things that way by raising £13m in a new round of funding from private investors. * SO WHAT? * Avoiding VC/private equity/institutional investor help to fund expansion is increasingly rare these days (especially from a coffee shop) and although I love Black Sheep’s coffee (I think it’s the best from a “chain” in London – better than Taylor St Coffee and Joe & The Juice, for example) I think that it is operating in a very crowded space where giants like Starbucks et al can just switch their product offering on a much larger scale according to what sells. Call me cynical, but surely it’s just a matter of time before this gets bought by a private equity firm or another operator in the same space.

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