Good morning, it's Paul here. Please see the header for companies I'll be covering today.

Estimated time of completion - the bulk of today's report should be finished by 1pm. However, I reserve the right to carry on doing more writing this afternoon, as I've got nothing else specific planned to do today.

Update at 13:59 - today's report is now finished.

A bit of macro stuff to start off with;

Barclaycard - consumer spending data

I've tracked down the Barclaycard consumer spending report for Dec 2019, which is here. It's well worth a look, as there's some useful intelligence in there for investors, relating to consumer spending on debit & credit cards.

In particular, this graphic (below) shows the winners & losers by sector - looks like pubs are a good place to be invested at the moment (hopefully augurs well for the update from Revolution Bars (LON:RBG) - one of my biggest holdings personally - this Wednesday Friday  [thanks to Simoan for correction] ).

I hope Barclaycard don't mind me reproducing their very informative graphic here, seeing as it's already available free online;


NB. the reason why some of the Barclaycard data might look strange, is that it only covers debit & credit card spend, and hence excludes cash transactions. Given that contactless payments are replacing many cash transactions, then that skews the data.

For example, I sometimes (not in Dry January though) browse my online banking app, and see 5 or 6 consecutive debits labelled "The Lord Clyde", which reminds me that I stopped off at my local on the way home. They're usually £4.50 each, which isn't too bad, but it's when I see the later transactions doubling or tripling, that I groan and think, who was I buying drinks for?! Oh yes, so and so.

My point being, that in previous years, I paid using cash. These days, I rarely use cash at all, instead using contactless for almost everything. This effect is likely to be flattering the growth reported by Barclaycard of 11.7% growth in spending in pubs. Takeaways are up 12.5%, so somebody clearly did say Just Eat!

How long before Governments start abolishing cash altogether, in order to reduce tax avoidance, and exert more control over everybody?…

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