Daily Brief – Carlsberg

Humphrey Percy
Chairman and Founder
Wed 10 Jul 2024


It was third time lucky for Carlsberg in their bid to capture UK soft drinks firm Britvic which has Robinsons Barley Water, J20 and Fruit Shoots among others in its stable of refreshments. Paying GBP 3.3 billion or EUR 3.9 billion at 1290p per share, this was a significant acquisition for Carlsberg. The reason is primarily that Carlsberg want to broaden their range of drinks offerings but crucially it is also about more young people drinking less alcohol than they have done historically.

EUR/JPY 161.05

UK Credit Rating

Currently rating firm S&P Global ascribe a rating of AA with a Stable Outlook to the UK but for that rating to be maintained the ratio of nearly 100% debt to GDP needs to come down and be seen to make steady progress towards the pre Covid level of 65%. That requires strong economic growth which has not been a feature of the UK economy for the past 4 years. S&P Global are only one rating agency but this is exactly what is meant by the new Government having a narrow path to tread when it comes to spending. Hence the growth agenda.

GBP/USD 1.2812

US Federal Reserve

Both yesterday and today is the keenly awaited testimony from US Federal Reserve Chair Powell yesterday in the Senate and today in the House of Representatives. The background was a weaker than expected employment report at the end of next week which raised expectations of the Fed cutting rates sooner. That is the background to a weaker USD in the past days. Currently the expectation is for a September cut.

EUR/USD 1.0823


This is the term given to the activity of buying concert and theatre tickets and then re-selling them for a profit. In a heartwarming story of post Covid ingenuity it now appears that a business has developed in re-selling driving test appointments for which the official cost is GBP62. Pre Covid the time to wait for a test slot was 3 weeks in London but as of March 2024 it was 24 weeks. The DVSA sets a target of 7 weeks in its annual report and blames people for booking tests before they are ready for the test and then clogging up the system by failing and then needing to re-apply. Upon examination however the pass rate has remained steady at just under 50% for the past years both pre and post Covid so that is not a valid reason as otherwise the fail rate would have climbed. While the wait time across the UK is less than London the pattern is similar and the average for England is 18 weeks. However for a fee-often up to GBP350 paid to an agency or middleman or scalper, a slot can be purchased within a couple of weeks. While it may sound unnecessary to buy a slot, the alternative is to spend extra or likely a lot more money on needless driving lessons to remain prepped for the driving test. As for the scalpers, the demand is there, distribution through the internet is cheap and easy, margins are healthy and in terms of supply the system while maybe not encouraging the activity certainly permits it. After all in order to buy from an intermediary, full license details must be provided which allows the intermediary to use and re-use them to book further appointments. Result: gridlock.

GBP/EUR 1.1838

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

This was the first US Number 1 for the Rolling Stones this day in 1965. Spookily four years later on this day in 1969, previous leader of the band, Brian Jones was laid to rest in Prestbury, England having chemically over indulged which turned out not to be a good combination with going swimming in the pool of his manor house in Hartfield, Sussex.

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m drivin’ in my car
And the man comes on the radio
He’s tellin’ me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to drive my imagination

I can’t get no, oh no, no, no
Hey, hey, hey, that’s what I say

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m watchin’ my TV
And a man comes on and tells me
How white my shirts can be
But he can’t be a man ’cause he doesn’t smoke
The same cigarettes as me

I can’t get no, oh no, no, no
Hey, hey, hey, that’s what I say

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no girl reaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m ridin’ ’round the world
And I’m doin’ this and I’m signing that
And I’m tryin’ to make some girl
Who tells me baby better come back, maybe next week
‘Cause you see I’m on a losing streak I can’t get no, oh no, no, no

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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