Activist hedge fund browning west has raised its stake in dominos pizza once more, just days before the company announced a job hiring spree ahead of its busiest period of the year.
The fund bought around 1.98m shares this month, at an aggregate value of 6.9m. browning wests founder and chief investment officer, usman nabi, is also a dominos non-executive director.
The hiring plans suggest the group isnt deterred by a gloomy outlook for the hospitality and leisure sector and the threat of falling consumer spending.
Dominos announced this week that it has created 5,000 new roles, including chefs, delivery drivers and customer service personnel, and is offering 1,000 work placements for young people in england, scotland and wales as part of the governments kickstart scheme. all this is on top of 6,000 newly-created roles since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. the pizza groups stores stayed open during lockdown, although collections from outlets were temporarily suspended.
The extra personnel will be required to support dominos through a typically busy late-year period, on top of a recent surge in trading. delivery orders rose by more than a fifth during the groups second quarter, which helped to offset rising costs linked to covid-19. these are expected to reduce from 6.2m in the companys first half to 2m for the second, as lockdown restrictions ease.
Browning wests holding in dominos stood at 9.58 per cent as of september 15, having also topped up its stake in march.
Computacenterchief executive michael norris has earned 2.4m in a share disposal, as the companys share price hit a record high at the end of last week. indeed, a wave of corporate clients transitioning to remote working has buoyed the it resellers market value, which has more than doubled since its nadir during the march sell-off.
Small wonder given the companys remarkably resilient performance in the first half, which prompted it to announce expectations for adjusted pre-tax profits of 180m in 2020, almost a fifth higher than consensus forecasts. the market was unsurprisingly upbeat on the news, pushing computacenters share price up 4 per cent on the release, though mr norriss disposal two days later did pare back some of that rise.
But investors should not be skittish: overall the outlook for the company remains unchanged. its two biggest markets in germany and the uk pulled through the first half relatively unscathed, with only a modest 2.8 per cent revenue decline in the former. a difficult macroeconomic backdrop typically affects an it companys sales in services but so far computacenter has been sheltered by the growth in its professional services segment, which was up 14 per cent in the last half.