Good morning, it's Paul here!

I'm going to start today's report by catching up on several stocks from yesterday, then on to today's announcements.

I see that Halfords (LON:HFD) has reported on its Christmas, and year to date (ending 03/2018) trading. It seems to be doing well at the retail sales level (with cycling being the biggest growth area). However, group profit only expected to be broadly in line with current market expectations. I refuse to shop in Halfords after they stung me for about £3-4 (I forget the exact amount) for a tiny pack of washers that was of vital importance to me at the time, that was only worth about 10p, if that. Retailers need to learn that today's high gross profit margin is tomorrow's lost sales from an alienated customer.

Several readers yesterday asked me to look at:


City Pub (LON:CPC)

Share price: 169.5p (up 1.2% yesterday)
No. shares: 56.5m
Market cap: £95.8m

Trading update

The City Pub Group, the owner and operator of premium pubs across Southern England, is pleased to announce a 2017 trading update.  
For the year ended 31 December 2017, like for like sales were up by 3.8%. Total turnover for the year was approximately 37.4m, an increase of approximately 34% on the prior year, with 33 pubs trading at the end of the financial year.
Trading over the Christmas period was strong with many of the recent openings trading ahead of management's expectations and a number of pubs achieving a record result.
Following a successful December trading period, the Group confirms that it has traded in line with market expectations for 2017 and remains optimistic about its prospects for 2018.


This small pubs group listed on AIM in Nov 2017.  A pleasingly clear update above, and the company is trading well. This is in common with other pub groups, which generally seemed to have good trading over Xmas.

Good sector? - There seems a clear trend amongst consumers to skew spending more towards experiences, and less towards buying stuff in the High Street. Pub operators generally reported stronger LFL sales growth than many retailers. Some commentators have speculated that we might have already reached "peak stuff" - i.e. most people already own everything they need, and hence want to spend…

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