I attended both days of Mello this last week. I live in London and got a discounted ticket so it was a no-brainer for me. Prefer listening to some good speakers whilst drinking my flask of tea than going to work any day! I also find it a useful way of taking on a lot of information in a short space of time and it gives me ideas for either a new investment or replacing a current investment (I invest mainly in investment trusts and dividend paying shares, don't like blue sky as they are typically a waste of time but recognise that if I am going to supercharge my portfolio, I am going to have to try to pick up a smallish cap winner somewhere along the line). I like to write notes as I listen and then refer to them later as it's easy to forget stuff. fwiw, I have tagged on my thoughts at the bottom of each presentation. I hope my formatting below works, apologies if it doesn't. Last thing to say before I share is congratulations to David and his team who put on a really enjoyable 2 day event, it must be a lot of hard work over many months to hire the location, get the speakers and sell enough tickets to make the event financially viable.

2 day schedule below:https://tinyurl.com/njpd95e9

Being a non-work day, I didn't start early :-)


Smiths News (LON:SNWS)

Newspaper + magazine distributor to 23K customers.

Distribution only, they operate on a sale or return basis.

Newspaper volumes decline by between 8% and 12% per annum.

Asset light: they lease warehouses + vans. The point was made that there is no point in owning a van if it is parked up doing nothing for 20 hours per day.

Cover price rises are offsetting declining volumes at the moment.

People buy papers + magazines when an event happens eg: Queen’s death.

Bizarrely, football stickers are doing really well and now make up 4% of revenues.

B/sheet is strong. Strong cash conversion has led to reducing debt. SSB: Paul Scott noted in the SCVR on 10th Nov that the b/sheet is negative but shrinking. It is nothing special but looks ok.

Note: FY24 will have 53 weeks.

CEO noted 3 strategic priorities:

1.) Enhance core business including new customer wins in the…

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