Good morning!

Thanks for all the positive feedback on yesterday's article, I'm glad people found it interesting.

Graham's having a day off today, so just one report. I intend covering the following;

Next & B&M trading updates - yes, I know they're large caps, but the idea is to get a feel for how retailer bellweathers have done over Xmas. This has read-across to smaller retailer shares - note how M&S, Debenhams & French Connection are all down c.5% this morning, in sympathy with Next's lacklustre Xmas trading.

Staffline (LON:STAF) - in line trading update

Accrol Group (LON:ACRL) - interims to 31 Oct 2016

Spectra Systems (LON:SPSY) - positive trading update

Cambria Automobiles (LON:CAMB) - AGM trading update, in line with expectations.

Large cap retailers


John Lewis Partnership

EDIT - Sorry, I dropped a massive clanger here, and accidentally did a write-up on last year's results, thinking they were this year's! Huge apologies for that. I would blame having a cold, but apparently I did the same mistake last year. Rather embarrassing, sorry.

Anyway, there's no point in having an incorrect section in here, so I've deleted it.

Next (LON:NXT)

Basically, it's not as good as expected, so the shares are down, and have pulled down other retailers too. The prior year comparatives were soft, so growth was expected, but failed to materialise.

Special divis make this a nice income stock, and it's certainly coming back into buying range for me. Although I wonder whether Next may struggle to maintain its sector-leading net profit margin?

It's remarkable to find such a high quality business on a PER of below 10, but where's the growth going to come from? It seems that Next is likely to only, at best, stand still in terms of future profitability, maybe? Hence the low rating.

The market is really only interested in online retailers at the moment, or growing, smaller retailers. Although I wonder if the pricing gap between growth & value retailers may now be getting too wide?


Very strong UK LFL sales growth of 7.2%, from this pound shop chain. Although 1.1% of that was an extra day's sales, so LFL was really 6.1%, still outstandingly good.