in B&M European Value Retail said the Sunday Times' Inside the City column. As the referendum decision to leave the EU sends the economy into a recession, discounters like B&M should do well. The business model is to attract customers with value groceries and then offer bargain-basement brands that are bought in vast bulk or with some non-grocery items made for B&M out in Asia. B&M's gross profit margin was above 34% in the last two years.
With its shares trading at 13p less than their 2014 IPO price, this values B&M around 13 times expected earnings per share for 2018. And B&M also has the added diversity attraction of a growing exposure to Germany, where as of March it had 56 stores to the 499 in the UK. With stocks like precious metals miners having surged and housing shares plummeted, B&M's fall of more than 10% since the Brexit result looks wrong. House broker Peel Hunt has set a 440p target price on a company that more than doubled profits last year and paid shareholders a 10p a share special dividend.
Gym Group shares were a 'hold' for Questor in the Sunday Telegraph, the only fitness chain currently on the London stock market. Gym Group is also a discount operator, offering customers access to its 24-hour, seven-days-a-week gyms in some areas a monthly fee of just under £11, with no lengthy contracts. Customer numbers grew more than 28% in 2015 as gym numbers grew to 74 from 55, helping lift sales 32% to £59.98m.
Shares in Gym Group have only gained just over 10p since the late 2015 initial public offer. The cost of this IPO led, the group said, to losses last year increasing by almost a third to £12.4m before tax. Without the burden of those costs, management expect to break into the black this year, and any recession or consumer belt tightening in the coming months should help discounters. But continuing crunching its way to a similar level of growth in what is a very competitive industry will be difficult.
Midas in the Mail on Sunday picked out a trio of stocks to ride out the stormy post-Brexit seas: litigation financier Buford Capital, vets chain CVS Group and clothing retailer Joules. Burford, in which investors can choose equity or retail bonds, offers loans to organisations that wish to pursue lawsuits in the courts and, as much of its revenues are derived from the US, it will benefit from pound's weakness against the dollar. The business is unlikely to be hit by Brexit concerns and there are some large cases due to conclude soon that could provide a boost.
CVS is Britain's number-one vet by size, with the country's love of animals not expected to dip whatever the economic outlook. It had 333 surgeries covering around 12% of the market at the end of December and owns five laboratories, seven pet crematories and runs AnimedDirect.co.uk, selling treatments, supplements and pet food. Profits profits are expected to grow 25% in the year to June and the recent dip is a buying opportunity.
Joules began life as a supplier of bright clothing to the country set who attend village fairs and equestrian shows. Now with 100 stores around the country, a strong online offering and a wholesale division that sells via John Lewis and Next, Joules customers are generally prosperous and so may be more immune from any recession, with a dividend planned from 2017.
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