5 stocks for your stocking this Christmas

Ian Forrest comments on five companies that yule likely see prosper as a result of the festive season.

Burberry

Famous for its check design, Burberry is a global luxury brand with British heritage. It’s therefore unsurprising that it’s pulled two British fashions icons out of its cracker for its 2017 Christmas campaign. Cara Delevingne and Matt Smith take centre stage in what is the first festive season for new CEO Marco Gobbetti and the retailer is hoping the stars will encourage loved ones to purchase a statement scarf or trench coat as a gift this year. The group is probably also hoping that the duo will aid its online offering and social media presence to improve brand awareness amongst younger tech savvy consumers. Gobbetti has sent out a markedly different tone for the future of the business to that of his predecessor and after a couple of tough years, momentum seems to be snowballing – slowly but surely.

ITV

ITV is offering its viewers a sleigh full of Christmas specials this year which should please those who opt for a night in front of the telly on cold winter’s nights. The company, which is one of the UK’s largest broadcasters, continues to demonstrate through results this year that it is moving in the right direction. Analysts are encouraged by the continued improvement at its Studios business, with a significant increase in new commissions and its digital offering.

ITV has had to fight hard to maximise its audience share in a fast changing environment. The group has addressed its debt situation which has enabled it to make a number of acquisitions, geared towards boosting its production business.

Paddy Power

Will it be a white Christmas? Well bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair is already enticing investors to take their bets on whether snow will fall on December 25th. At the time of writing, the odds for the white stuff to fall in London on Christmas Day currently suggest it is more likely to happen in the capital than in Cardiff, but less likely than Dundee. The company is also trying to absorb consumers over the festive period by offering them the chance to dabble on who will get this year’s Christmas number one song. Front runners at the minute include Ed Sheeran, X Factor winners Rak-Su and Wham. Recent trading has been good with healthy numbers of online sports bets supporting revenues. The group will hope this continues over the next few weeks courtesy of the ongoing Ashes Test series happening in Australia and the all-important festive football fixtures.

Sainsbury’s

The supermarket giant will be hoping that gravy isn’t the only stock people invest in this Christmas. Indeed, it’s that time of year when the competitive supermarket sector battles it out for our attention with their adverts. This year, the group has taken a different approach, creating a video that celebrates the many ways Brits celebrate the festivities, likely with the hope to appeal to a wider audience and get a variety of customers in its stores. The acquisition of Argos will only aid this. It has integrated well and so far this year has opened 112 stores within Sainsbury’s supermarkets with more expected by the big day. This is in addition to nearly 200 digital collection points across its stores. The group will be hoping that flash sales and the stocking of the season’s ‘most wanted’ toys will tempt shoppers into its stores. It is the season for giving after all!

TUI

Whether it’s travelling to spend time with loved ones, or flying away from the Christmas chaos, TUI the largest tourism group in the world with six airlines, 300 hotels, 12 cruise ships and 77,000 employees, could see business soar over the festive and New Year period. The company will be doing all it can to tempt customers to book that last minute holiday or cruise and grab that winter sun we all pine for in the colder months. Undeniably, this is also the time of year that people start to think about booking their getaways for 2017. Growing online bookings and the improvement programme are helping to improve profit margins and the operator recently acknowledged that trading for future seasons also remained in line with expectations so it will be pushing for those extra sales in the hope to boost performance further.


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