Domino’s company needs to clarify key issues in our view before a positive stance can be taken. We are looking for answers on whether Japan needs to pause store rollouts, the trajectory of sales in Europe and discounting intensity in Australia. There is a wide range of potential outcomes, ranging from whether Domino’s can quickly reignite store growth and pizza volumes or, more likely, store rollout struggles for another three years. Domino’s will release results on 21 February 2024.
Many Australian consumer companies are likely to report weak 1H24e results. However, they are likely to be better than consensus estimates with slightly better sales trends and higher gross margins in some cases. While earnings should be fine this half, share prices have run in anticipation of results and the trading updates and outlook commentary are likely to flag higher operating cost growth as a headwind.
Australian retailers have had a decent Christmas in 2023, particularly compared with low expectations amongst retailers and investors. Supermarkets traded solidly and electronics demand improved from very weak levels. Liquor and apparel are still trending at very low rates of growth. There is consensus upgrade risk to retailers, particularly Harvey Norman and Super Retail Group. While sales trends are slightly better, the strength of gross margin is the most significant driver of better earnings. The retailer where feedback has shifted most positively is Harvey Norman.
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