Shares fit for a prince
”Famous for producing luxury and innovative designs, Burberry is currently a dominant force in the luxury goods market. The group recently changed its strategy, becoming less reliant on discounts at department stores in favour of fully priced merchandise in order to improve the exclusivity of the Burberry brand.
“Alongside this, the group’s online offering and social media presence is improving brand awareness amongst younger tech savvy consumers. This means the infrastructure is in place and is now positioned for growth. The brand has a global reputation for functionality and is a respected name in a competitive industry.”
“British bookmaker William Hill is now one of the best-known names in the UK gambling industry, representing around 26% of the market. The global appeal of events William Hill covers means it is involved with most major sporting events. Additionally, the acquisition of three sports books in the US, to form William Hill US, offers investors the potential of a great growth opportunity should regulations there be relaxed.
“The company is expanding services to appeal to a wider demographic and the launch of app developments for ease of access in the various geographies in which it operates will only enhance this. While the sector has been under recent pressure, the attention William Hill has paid to its corporate structure and strategy in various segments of its operation is starting to pay off.”
“BT has accelerated the roll out of its fibre optic programme and recently announced that it increased new net fibre connections by 347,000. As the uptake for broadband services continues to rise, the group expects to have 90% UK coverage within a few years. BT has also benefited from operating efficiencies assisting earnings and support for its high speed broadband and television services. This should provide some relief for investors as the impact of the Eurozone crisis has been a drag on its global services operation.
“As a result of its solid performance, BT extended its commitment to return cash to shareholders until 2015/16, expecting to grow dividends by 10% – 15% per annum. The group is demonstrating that it can expand and invest for future growth without being a headwind to cash flow expansion.”
“One of the UK’s largest life insurers, Prudential has operations around the world including in the UK, US and Asia. The company is more upbeat about the outlook for the global economy than its peers and believes it has adequate capital surplus to withstand further significant deterioration in the European market.
“As well as providing financial services under its own name, the group also owns M&G Investments. Prudential continues to develop its Asian arm and is now the leading European insurance player in that area, with the region accounting for half of the group’s business. Asian markets are central to its long-term profitable growth opportunities and the demographics of many Asian regions, and the growing middle class, should provide a good growth story for the company for some time to come.”