Finally, investors must not overlook the most important event of 2014: the World Cup. Leigh Himsworth, head of UK equities at City Financial, has some ideas on who will win.
‘The bookmakers are in line to trade well given the football World Cup, but which will get the Golden Boot? GVC is the largest online gaming company in Latin America and has already ramped up its TV ads in anticipation of a busy summer.
Goals Soccer Centres, operator of outdoor football centres in the UK and now with an established presence in the USA with a site in Los Angeles, is outperforming its two major competitors and looks set to benefit from the soccer boom in America. With a more favourable winter climate compared to last year, and a boost from the World Cup, it could easily see earnings growth exceed expectations.
Other companies that could be celebrating are the pub groups. Brazil is only a few hours behind UK time, and broadcasters have already renegotiated the time of England’s opener against Italy to a more suitable hour for fans watching at home. Marston’s saw improved earnings in 2013, which were driven by pub restaurant expansion, and the group offers Sky Sports throughout its portfolio. JD Wetherspoon, on the other hand, has exposure to more of the big city locations; however, traditionally, they haven’t shown sports, mainly due to a lack of Sky licensing. We’ll watch this space to see whether they intend to screen the big games.’