Trade Tatler
“Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth.”
Dave Barry



THIS ISSUE:     24 Sep - 30 Sep

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Pick n Pay  Life’s a Fitch, then you get downgraded

Fitch believe that Pick n Pay’s net lease-adjusted leverage metrics will remain above 2.3x over the medium term, a level previously considered consistent with an A+ rating, but you already knew that. Despite this, the pointy nose nitpickers over at the world’s busiest, bodiest ratings agency have downgraded The Big Blue retailer to an A, on the belief that PnP’s credit profile is going to take longer to recover in 2012/13 than the agency previously anticipated. The business’s ability to “deleverage organically” will be constrained by its weak cashflow generation after dividend due to high capex, and its agenda of transforming the business might similarly be affected not only by the highly competitive sector in which it operates but also the subdued prospects for economic growth which we are all facing in this uncertain year.
Comment: Again, with the dividends...

BizCommunity 20/09/11

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OK  Greek to us

Shoring up the Greek economy this month and doing their bit to save us all from global meltdown was none other than Shoprite’s OK franchise division, who held its annual conference in Athens, Greece. Appropriately, in the awards ceremony which lies at the heart of the matter, a fellow named Andreas Efstratiou of OK Foods Cambridge in East London was named as the leading retailer. Franchise is a growth area (and which area isn’t? Ed) for Shoprite at the mo – they’ve just bought Metcash’s franchise division, consisting of 150 odd stores, to add to the 269 they already have, and format-wise, have the market pretty well taped, from the Food stores which in their better manifestations are giving Woolies a run for their money, all the way up to their Megasave Wholesalers, best exemplified by Megasave Nylstroom, which claims to offer a range 200 times larger than the competition and which also received hon. mench. at the awards.
Comment: Hopa! 19/09/11

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04 October 2011 (10:27:32 AM)
Off course we meant 150-odd stores, which means "about 150 stores ", rather than 150 odd stores, which off course means 150 strange or unusual stores

30 September 2011 (02:49:36 PM)
What is odd about the 150 Metcash stores that Shoprite has acquired? Given their track record they will all be making money for Shoprite very soon. Or did you mean 150-odd stores?

Woolworths  Leather and tweed

The Dapper One has hit a recent double whammy (if that’s what you do with them, games never having been our big thing at school) in the area of good behaviour, joining just four other South African businesses (including Sasol, Bidvest and Nedbank) on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and being identified in a World Economic Forum (WEF) report as a sustainability champion in the developing world. The WEF assessed over a thousand businesses on criteria which included sustainability, innovation and scalability, with only 16 making the cut. Woolworths through its Good Business Journey has embedded sustainable practice in the heart of its strategy, with initiatives such as Farming for the Future, its energy and water efficiency programmes and the development of small-scale suppliers in order, they say, to create shared value for stakeholders.
Comment: Jolly good show, governor.

SAinfo 19/09/11

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Walmart  OK we think we understand. No, wait…

Earlier this year, Walmart spent a cool $300million buying Kosmix, a “social media technology platform”, whatever that is. Now, they have announced the purchase of mobile-ad-targeting company, the excitingly-named OneRiot. These acquisitions signal how very serious The Big Feller is about social media and mobile technology. Kosmix helps filter and organise content in social networks to connect people with real-time information – like where, for example, they could get the TV they’ve just snapped on their Smartphone for less, and at what price. Social media, the Walmart Lab believes, will help stores create predictable demand for certain lines and thus rationalise inventory. Phase 1 in the rollout of ecommerce for Walmart was bringing the store to the web. Phase 2, they believe, will bring the web into the store.
Comment: One day, your children could be undercover product-placers on Facebook, which will be a real job. 20/09/11

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Clover  The Milky Way

Depends on what you view as a solid performance, but Clover were satisfied with theirs for the year ending June, with revenue up 6.1% to R6.5billion, and operating profit up 2.4% to R328.6million. Clover, you will recall, are in the throes of something called Project Cielo Blu, which will inter alia see production facilities moved to coastal areas and nearer to where the milk is actually produced, while a new endeavour, Project Reset, by which savings achieved through supply chain efficiencies are passed back to the consumer. A big part of Clover’s strategy has been a reduction on its reliance on milk: the boring old price-vulnerable commodity product and increasing its focus on Milk!: The Brand (as well as on other branded goodies like water and iced tea).
Comment: Turns out that when you slap a fancy typeface and a laughing bunny on something its price becomes miraculously more stable.

BizCommunity 19/09/11

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SABMiller  Never! Never at any price! Well, maybe at that price…

Stand beside your desk, that’s right. Now pick up your well-thumbed copy of this week’s Tatler, and in a loud voice, with an Australian accent, sing the following, to the tune of “Waltzing Matilda”.

Once a jolly Saffa sat by a billabong
Under the shade of a brewery
And he sang as he sat and waited for the shareholders
“You come a-making beer, Foster’s, with me.”

Making beer, Foster’s (x 2)
“You come a-making beer, Foster’s, with me.”
And he sang as he sat and waited for the shareholders
“You come a-making beer, Foster’s, with me.”

Down came the shareholders to see what sort of price he gave
Up jumped the board members one, two, three
“You don’t know our market and you’ll never buy our bus-i-ness,
Only an Aussie can make a real Frostie!”

Making beer, Foster’s etc...

But that cunning Saffa opened up his tuckerbag
“Take a look at what’s inside,” said he
“10.2 billion in freshly minted greenbacks,
A sweeter deal than this one you never will see!”

Making beer, Foster’s etc...

Into the tucker bag jumped the happy shareholders,
And so did the board, with their brewery.
Now that Saffa may be heard, if you pass by that billabong:
“Where to next on my global shopping spree?”

Making beer, Foster’s etc...

Comment: Comment: You sang along, didn’t you? We knew you would.

Tatler Reporter 29/09/11

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Things generally  Keep right on to the end of the road

The CPI rose just 5.3% year on year in August, compared with, um, 5.3% actually for July, which means that inflation is running somewhat flatter than expected, and which calls into question, albeit just a little bit, Mrs Doubtfire’s decision to leave the repo rate unchanged after her deliberations last week over at the dear old Ess Ay Are Bee. However, put this in the context of consumer spending which is actually rising – to the tune of 2.8% in July, up from 2.4% in June and upper still from the slump to 2% that certain haggard economists were predicting, and perhaps The Governor is as canny as she looks. And since food inflation has actually eased off a natz – from 7.4% to 7.3%, she’s probably right in moderating the relief she has been doling out of late. Seems like we’re getting by after all.
Comment: For now... (cue organ music)

Business Day 22/09/11

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PepsiCo  So that’s where they grow the cola berries...

PepsiCo has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture to promote sustainable agricultural practices, which is what we call glorious. Under the joint initiative, the partners will build and operate demonstration farms to showcase all sorts of up to the minute techniques. Let’s see how the running dogs of Coca Cola imperialism like that. 23/09/11

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Unilever  La Isla Unilever

Also in news of the sustainable, le Grand Bleu has won the award for the “Company with the best CSR and Sustainability Practices”, hosted by the Asia Centre for Corporate Governance and Sustainability in Mauritius. Nice one, that global manufacturing giant. Next week we bring you news from The World’s Most Sustainable Sustainability Awards.

BizCommunity 23/09/11

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Pioneer  Sterkte!

Hold onto your hats, voortrekkers, it is going to be a bumpy descent of the Drakensberg. That’s the word from Pioneer Foods, who reckon that the volatile economic climate has led to tough trading conditions which will find their way into the old bottom line later this year as the scorpion does into your velskoen at night.

Moneyweb 26/09/11

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