Good morning, it's Paul here!

Graham has rather foolishly passed the controls to me. As we know, anything can happen!

Looks to me as yet another big name High Street fashion chain is feeling the strain - Monsoon

Anyone asking for lower rents, and time to pay, is under financial pressure. Retailing is just so brutal at the moment, undergoing massive structural change. There's no alternative to rents coming down very substantially, and over-capacity can only be fixed by considerable numbers of retailers (and restaurants) falling by the wayside.

Peter Simon, the founder of Monsoon, is in my recollection, an arrogant so & so. Myself, and a couple of pretty harmless shareholders, turned up at a Monsoon AGM c.2004 in my Aston Martin DB7 - which was a sleek silver thing. We expected to sweep in, without a word. Not a bit of it! Monsoon had arranged for a snarling welcoming committee of registrars, who looked like a bunch of ugly, and very aggressive librarians. Demanding to know your name, and if you appear on the shareholder register, seemingly unaware of the nominee system.

I tried to storm the meeting, which sent them into a frenzy! Peter Simon hid behind them all. David Stredder was allowed in, and challenged Peter Simon - who seemed to be scared of shareholders! I've toned down this section a bit, as on reflection it was a bit too strident originally.

On to today's news.... 

Airea (LON:AIEA)

Share price: 62.0p (up 3% today)
No. shares: 41.4m
Market cap: £25.7m

(at the time of writing, I hold a long position in this share)

Trading update

Airea plc (LSE: AIEA), the manufacturer, marketer and distributor of floor coverings, announces the following trading update for the year ended 31 December 2018.

Trading & outlook both seem solid;

Revenue and Operating profit for continuing operations in the second half of the year exceeded the performance of the 6 months ended 30 June 2018 in line with management expectations driven by the continued growth in the order book and increased sales both in the UK and Internationally. 

The successful launches of our new ranges continue to gain traction in the market and further launches in 2019 are planned to continue the revenue growth.


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