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Is Spending Stuffed?
21 October 2022
In the latest episode, Susannah and Sarah discuss how the business of manufacturing and selling discretionary goods is faring in the current climate. They speak to Charmain Ponnuthurai, Founder of Crane Cookware who manufactures and sells kitchenware and furniture. Sophie Lund-Yates talks about some of the listed companies in this space, and Emma Wall talks to Steve Clayton, Head of Equity Funds for Hargreaves Lansdown.
This podcast isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure what’s right for you, seek advice. Tax rules can change and benefits depend on personal circumstances.
Susannah Streeter: Hello and welcome to the Switch Your Money On podcast from Hargreaves Lansdown. I'm Susannah Streeter, I'm the Senior Investment and Markets Analyst here at Hargreaves Lansdown, and as usual I'm with Sarah Coles, our Senior Personal Finance Analyst, and Sarah, the leaves are well and truly falling from the trees now and Halloween preparations are already in full flow in my house. I'm actually hiding in my broom cupboard studio with piles of decorations next to me, and the youngest member of the household is very excited, the other two less so. Most of the grown ups are far more worried about scary things like soaring grocery bills and high fixed deal mortgage rates right now, and one thing that is certainly not yet falling is inflation.
Sarah Coles: Yes, there are some pretty gruesome mortgage rates out there right now because of interest rate expectations, so they're particularly horrifying if you look at where those fixed rates were just a year ago, and what's keeping people awake right now is what is likely to happen to their mortgage payments. Of course there have been an awful lot of developments made to calm the markets, not least the arrival of a new Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt and his mini budget mark two which rolled back many of those planned tax cuts, but we'll have to see how this plays out as far as borrowing costs are concerned in the weeks and months to come, and whether it will be enough to bring mortgages back in to the realms of affordability again.
Susannah Streeter: Yes, because all of this has an impact, doesn't it, on just how much money we'll have left over each month to buy stuff. I'll be honest, it's quite good having a good excuse not to buy any more Halloween tat, but this does have big implications for anyone in the business of manufacturing and selling discretionary goods, particularly home-ware.
Sarah Coles: Yes, and the big spending squeeze has an impact on the discretionary sector, and that's what we're focusing on in this podcast in an episode we're calling, 'Is spending stuffed?' We're going to be talking to Charmain Ponnuthurai, founder of Crane Cookware who manufacture and sell some very high end kitchenware and furniture. Hi, I imagine it's a pretty challenge time for trading right now.
Charmain Ponnuthrai: Oh, hi Sarah, nice to chat to you. Yes, so, it's been a really difficult year this year on some levels because we began the year with supply chain issues which have impacted lots of business, then I guess, there has been this-, obviously everyone is concerned to varying degrees about what's happening with energy prices. But on the other hand, we have also seen since Covid a really positive interest in improving your home, so I think people are paying more attention to their surroundings.
Susannah Streeter: Plus we're going to chat to our Lead Equity Analyst, Sophie Lund-Yates as usual who is back from a week away. After your holiday blowout, Sophie, is there purse tightening in the Lund-Yates household going on?
Sophie Lund-Yates: Unfortunately, yes, definitely feeling the holiday bonanza in the bank account but a bit like a lot of people, we're batch cooking here and cooking in the slow cooker, we're among lots of people, as we know, who are changing their cooking habits to try and claw back some money each month.
Susannah Streeter: And, Sophie, this of course has an impact, doesn't it, on consumer discretionary stocks, particularly for those in the business of making stuff that we stuff our homes with?
Sophie Lund-Yates: Yes, it's definitely a really challenging time for some of the listed companies in this area. I'll be taking a look at some of them including household names like DFS and AO World and yes, really can't stress enough that it's really quite tough out there at the moment.
Sarah Coles: Thanks, Sophie. Plus, as always, we'll hear from HL's Head of Investment Analysis and Research, Emma Wall, who will be exploring this area from a fund management perspective.
Susannah Streeter: And we will, of course, have the quiz, and I've been looking at the weird and wonderful world of home-wares, I bet you can't wait, Sarah.
Sarah Coles: Oh, no, the quiz, I can never wait for that.
Susannah Streeter: But first let's take a look at some of the latest snapshots of the squeeze in our spending habits, as prices rise on the shelves we're certainly buying less stuff overall. Over the last quarter from July to August, figures from the Office for National Statistics show that retail sales volumes fell 5.1% in three months to August 2022, while sales values rose 5.6%, and this reflects an implied growth in prices of more than ten percent, and shows that the amount we're putting in our trollies and virtual baskets is declining as costs shoot up. Now, consumer confidence is already at recessionary level, so it's perhaps not too surprising to hear that September recorded the slowest retail sales since shops reopened after the pandemic in the UK, and that's according to data from BDO's high street sales tracker.
Sarah Coles: Yes, and this follows similarly down beat numbers in August which was previously the lowest point post-Covid, so the last two weeks of the month were the hardest hit and the final week was affected by the bank holiday to mark the Queen's funeral, and standout figure comes from a 6.3% fall in home-ware sales, so it's clear that consumers are delaying buying bigger items and this is a trend that's unlikely to budge until the economic horizon becomes less menacing.
Susannah Streeter: Yes, from a business standpoint, those seeing weaker trading have a double whammy of margin jeopardy, I mean, the weakened pound means that shops that import a lot of their stock are paying more for these products which chips away further at profits, with grocery prices continuing to rise at a scorching rate of more than 13% at the last count, it's not surprising we're trying to save elsewhere by not spending so big on stuff in our homes. As many household bills mount for essentials like food and heating, a plush new sofa is a luxury many consumers, it seems, are happier to do without. Now, it is a slightly more buoyant picture in the United States, but a trend of less spend on furniture and electronics is being felt there too, although overall retail sales lifted at the last count with general merchandise sales lifted by back to school spending. Receipts at furniture stores dropped 1.3% in August while sales at electronics and appliance stores dipped 0.1%.
Sarah Coles: And here in the UK we have the extra problem of mortgage shocks causing purse strings to be pulled even tighter. So, currently at the time of recording, five year fixed rates are at levels just not been seen for twelve years, and two year fixed rates are hovering around fourteen year highs, so if you had no choice but to come out of your current deal, the shooting up of monthly payments is going to hit hard, leaving even less money for discretionary spending. So, what's it like being a home-ware retailer right now? Well, let's check in with Charmain Ponnuthurai, founder of Crane Cookware. It's great to have you on the show, but can I get you to start off first of all by telling us a little bit about the types of products you sell because it's quite a wide range, isn't it?
Charmain Ponnuthrai: Yes, it is quite a wide range. So, I'll just give you a little bit of a background to how it began, so, nine years ago I worked for Books for Cooks in Notting Hill Gate, and working at Books for Cooks, kind of, exposed me to so much, kind of, in the food industry. And cast iron is, like, one of those key pieces in people's kitchens and a nice heirloom, but what we noticed was that in terms of designer brands, they're either really expensive, or the, sort of, more everyday brands didn't have that kind of design-lead background. So we thought something really simple, design-lead, and affordable would be a good starting point. So that's how the cast iron pan came about, and at the time I did a book on eating at midnight and I had gone to Le Creuset who had just done a midnight range, and was trying to, sort of, partner my book with it because it was for a charity, dyslexic charity, but that didn't work out. So from that Crane was born with a small milk pan prototype and then, you know, crowdfunded from there. So Crane began really thinking about memories around food, and then from that we've, kind of, developed a little bit more around these memories, that's how the range has grown alongside this demand for home-ware and curated home-ware because people don't have the time to maybe find sustainably produced goods that are nicely designed and that have a really good manufacturing heritage and story behind them.
Susannah Streeter: Do you think, Charmain, that the profile of your customers provides a buffer in these pretty turbulent times?
Charmain Ponnuthrai: I think to some extent it does because they're thinking about longevity and that they're never going to have to buy this piece again, or, we offer a repair service or replacement service to items. We can also see there's an interest, we've just introduced a new hand-made ceramic pot at a, sort of, lower price point with the same, sort of, ethics and we can see a real interest in items like that. So, people maybe trying to refresh a collection they have, or just buy in to a smaller piece, you know, whilst everyone works out, you know, where the world is going.
Susannah Streeter: So they want to still buy a slice of luxury, just with a smaller ticket price.
Charmain Ponnuthrai: Yes, exactly. Or a smaller item like a, you know, like a candle holder or something like a gifting thing if it's a special occasion. But I think also, interestingly, more people are beginning to eat, maybe, at home more, go out a little bit less, so I can see-, I suppose as winter comes as well, people really thinking about their home a lot and, I don't know, do I dare say Christmas? But it's that kind of feeling, yes.
Sarah Coles: Don't mention the Christmas word. I mean, I guess you've been through lots of different sorts of times, so, you've obviously had the pre-pandemic, and then you've had the pandemic, and now you've got the, sort of, cost of living. Have you noticed, sort of, trends change over that time and certain products become, you know, more valuable to people?
Charmain Ponnuthrai: Yes, so, certainly, so, when we began, we just sold to trade, like, Jasper Conran shop or Selfridges, and then just before the pandemic started, we really began to focus on direct consumer audiences, then Covid began, obviously everyone was cooking, there wasn't a lot more to do, maybe, so cooking became massive and we really had a really good demand. We had stock and we, you know, we did really well over that period. And then, as people have started to go back to work post-pandemic, it's the same thing about being at home, looking at your environment because you're sitting at your kitchen table working and you're thinking, 'Can I improve this environment?' And so, people-, I think there's lots of companies and they've, sort of, begun to flourish, they're offering, kind of, home-wares and I think Crane, we have such a nice, loyal following, and we've built up such a good reputation through cooks, chefs, and also through press that people will then go, 'We really love those Crane products so we might invest in these other pieces for our home.'
Susannah Streeter: What about other headwinds, I mean, how has the lower pound affected you?
Charmain Ponnuthrai: For our French production we're having to increase prices because of that, so, same products but yes, we've obviously been affected by Brexit and yes, all of these changes, so we've had to increase our prices.
Susannah Streeter: Do you worry then, because of this price increase, coming at a time when of course people are tightening their belts, even wealthier consumers, that that could have an impact on sales down the line?
Charmain Ponnuthrai: We've certainly been thinking about that really hard and as a response to that we're just about to, in the new year, launch a, kind of, sort of, range of spun cast iron that meets that price point that still has the same-, because we really care about manufacturing, the way we manufacture things, it's sustainability, and it's impact, also on the people that make it and on the planet, so we're coming up with a small collection that, kind of, responds to those points. So, again, people can maybe think about saving up for that, you know, bigger piece and start at this point. So that's how we're thinking about responding.
Susannah Streeter: Are you hoping then that you will be able to avoid discounting with this kind of strategy?
Charmain Ponnuthrai: You know, obviously with the internet, everyone shops around, I think we do offer incentives from time to time, especially this year, we've had to do that with the, kind of, impact of supply chain issues, but it's not, like, a permanent strategy. We don't need to run that ongoing because I think it, kind of, diminishes the product and what we're trying to say about the fact that you'll never-, you know, you'll never return to us, say you buy a pan, you'll return to us for a piece of furniture but you won't return to us for another saucepan because, you know, our aim is that you'll pass that on along your family or friends.
Sarah Coles: And having said, let's not mention Christmas, I should ask you about it. Are you expecting a fairly normal Christmas period or are you having to, sort of, tailor the products in order to take account of people's changing needs?
Charmain Ponnuthrai: My gut instinct is that I can see, like, being in London as well, that people are obviously still eating out loads, but I think people begin to, sort of-, I've, you know, chatted to different groups, people and friends thinking, well, we'll probably eat at home or try and cook stuff at home, be at home, you know, and, sort of, reduce those bills. So I feel like we'll-, maybe it will be a bit like Covid where people just come back in to their homes more and see their friends, you know, that way, like, have that special dinner party. And I don't know if that can be backed up from your end, but that's my sense.
Susannah Streeter: Well, we're going to find out now with Sophie Lund-Yates who looks at listed companies to find out whether some of your experiences are replicated, but for now, Charmain, thank you so much, founder of Crane Cookware.
Charmain Ponnuthrai: Thank you.
Susannah Streeter: So, that's the view from the shop floor, and our Lead Equity Analyst, Sophie Lund-Yates, has been focusing on listed companies in this sector, and she's back with us now to give us a bit of an overview. So, first of all, Sophie, let's look at a furniture specialist. How has the famous sofa company DFS been doing?
Sophie Lund-Yates: Hi, Susannah, yes, I can't dress this one up, really, DFS is struggling. It announced back in mid-September that pre-tax profit fell 43% to 58.5 million in the year to the end of June, at the same time, orders are expected to decline by up to 15%, and what's really stark about this is that that 15% decline is compared to pre-pandemic times. I mean, ultimately we know that furniture spending is facing weakness, the ONS resale figures for August in the UK showed that furniture sales have been weak across the board, you know, you were touching on that earlier. So, I'm not saying that this is a DFS only problem, but I think the particular challenge for DFS, though, is that there isn't a great deal of diversification. You know, their modus operandi is very focused on sofas. There isn't really another product type to pick up the slack. Sofas are big ticket items, they aren't cheap, you're looking at hundreds, if not thousands of pounds, so we're seeing that this is precisely the kind of spending, as you were saying, that people are delaying while the cost of living is increasing.
The group want the outlook for the entire sector is tough right now, it's not just getting people to spend that's an issue, but supply chains and cost inflation within the business are problematic too. Ultimately, DFS has some broad market and specific operational challenges ahead.
Sarah Coles: It's going to be a tough time, so, what about other household items, you've been looking AO World, haven't you? How are things looking there?
Sophie Lund-Yates: Hi Sarah, yes, so AO World, as a lot of our listeners will know, specialises in electronics and white goods, so things like washing machines, fridges and other household items. The company has been working very hard to combat challenging conditions, which was highlighted by a placing which raised 37.3 million from institutional and retail investors earlier this year. The aim of this is to boost liquidity. Now when assessing the merit of a placing, investors should always consider if a company is raising money to chase growth, or if it's under duress. Now sadly AO's fund-raising falls into the latter camp. Pre-tax losses amounted to 37 million in the last financial year, compared with a profit of 20 million in the prior year. Now AO World is in a situation where it's looking to rebuild profitability rather than go for growth, which is a precarious situation for an established company. And similar to DFS, a lot of AO World's goods are the kind of thing people will delay spending on. You know, a new TV or coffee maker is not a priority when times are difficult. In the group's defence it is doing all it can to try and turn things around, but the current consumer backdrop means this is isn't going to be an easy task, unfortunately.
Susannah Streeter: So lastly then, what about Dunelm, because it's not quite the same picture for Dunelm, is it?
Sophie Lund-Yates: No, a bit of a different story happening at Dunelm. At full year results, released back in September we saw that pre-tax profits were up 32% to £209 million. Now this comes as the group is controlling costs, as like others in the sector, its expenses are climbing because of inflation, but quite remarkably, the group expects to deliver gross margins of around 50% in the new financial year. Clearly, demand isn't looking as weak as might have been feared. One reason for this potentially is that Dunelm has a broad product range. You know, everything from smaller, decorative bits and bobs for the home right up to more expensive bigger items. So a trip to Dunelm isn't guaranteed to cost hundreds of pounds. It could be the case where people feel they can't afford big items to freshen or refurbish the home, they're deciding to make do with a cheaper make over for now, which would benefit Dunelm. It helps that Dunelm products are generally perceived as good value too, with this a core focus of management. Clearly good news coming out of the group, but it's not immune to challenges. If we see a very sharp economic contraction, it's possible that the group's revenue could start to dry up in a more dramatic way.
Things are still uncertain for the entire sector, as I've been saying, so it's definitely one to monitor closely.
Susannah Streeter: And we shall do just that. Thank you so much Sophie. Really going to be interesting to see how things shake out right across the sector. And if you are enjoying this podcast, please do let us know what you think and do subscribe wherever you get your podcast, so you get a fresh new episode in your inbox as soon as it's ready.
Sarah Coles: So let's bring in Emma Wall now, head of investment analysis and research here at HL.
Emma Wall: So we’ve looked in-depth at consumer discretionary companies which are clearly having a difficult time at the moment, but now I’d like to talk about something a bit different, the consumer staples sector. This includes the kind of products people need through thick and thin, although of course they are not immune to the cost of living crisis and they aren’t guaranteed to come through this time unscathed. So, plenty to talk about as I’ve been discussing with Hargreaves Lansdown’s Head of Equity Funds, Steve Clayton. Hi Steve.
Steve Clayton: Hi Emma, good to be here.
Emma Wall: So starting off, what is a consumer staple stock?
Steve Clayton: Okay so when we talk about consumer staples, we're talking about the sort of products that people use every day in going about their normal business, so it might be something like toothpaste or shampoo. Maybe a food product. It's the sort of products where the consumption is not really that sensitive to the ups and downs of the economy. So consumer staples companies, should be capable of delivering a more stable financial performance, even at times when maybe the rest of the world is taking a few arrows.
Emma Wall: Which is why we're talking about them today isn't it, because although there's no guarantee the macro outlook at the moment looks particularly challenged. And so consumer staples should be able to offer that sort of smoothed level of revenue, whatever the economic backdrop is.
Steve Clayton: Well that's right because there aren't that many people who take fewer showers for instance, on account of the state of the economy.
Emma Wall: So now that we know what a consumer staple is, perhaps you'd like to highlight, or give a few case studies from the UK portfolio. What's your first stock?
Steve Clayton: I think we have to start with Unilever. It's one of the world's largest producers of staples. It's got a portfolio that ranges from Magnum ice creams through to the Dove skincare brand. It's selling millions of products around the world every day in and out. And they're just products which are used regardless of what's going on in the wider economy. It doesn't mean that they're commercially immune, because of course they've still got to control their costs and take care of the competition, but the underlying level of demand for the company's products is very predictable.
Emma Wall: Now what happens when something like incredibly high inflation like we have now happens? I suppose no company is immune from that and surely that's a risk? People will keep buying toothpaste, but the input costs must be going up for Unilever?
Steve Clayton: That's it and in the last year or two we have seen the company warning that their cost bill is going up pretty significantly. But they are used to it. They can't avoid taking a bit of a hit the moment the extra costs first turn up, but they've got decades of experience. I mean the company's been around for over 90 years. They've got decades of experience of working out how to pass these costs on. And remember at the end of the day the consumer has a need for what they're selling, so it makes them more able to pass pricing through than many companies.
Emma Wall: And what's the second stock example then?
Steve Clayton: The second stock is one that many people might not have heard of, even though it has actually been around in one way or another for a very long time. And that company is a business called Haleon. It used to be part of GlaxoSmithKline, the giant pharmaceutical business. And what Haleon is is a collection of consumer healthcare brands. And there's a lot of names that are familiar to people. They've got Centrum vitamins, they've got Tummy Settlers, Voltarol pain relief and Advil. It's a very big portfolio. Pretty much the largest portfolio globally of consumer healthcare brands. And again the demand for these products is pretty insensitive to the state of the economy. And the success of the company is treated more by their sort of success in marketing their products than it is by the growth of the global economy.
Emma Wall: Now one of the things that we talk about as a risk for pharmaceutical companies is pipeline. So new drugs in development. Is this slightly immune to that because what you're talking about here is off the shelf medicine rather than your sort of typical medicinal pharmaceuticals?
Steve Clayton: That's right. Haleon isn't about going off and discovering new medicines. It's about taking products that have maybe been owned by pharmaceutical companies historically which are now available for sale over the counter to consumers. And that turns them into a marketable product rather than a medical prescription. And they're serving categories which are very broad, where demand is predictable and where people will gladly pay a premium for a product which they trust to deliver the benefits that they're looking for.
Emma Wall: Steve, thank you very much.
Steve Clayton: Thank you.
Emma Wall: That was Steve Clayton there, Head of Equity Funds for Hargreaves Lansdown. To be clear these are just examples of how consumer staple stocks might cope under current economic conditions rather than stock picks and performance can never be guaranteed within any industry sector.
Susannah Streeter: Well that was Emma Wall, our head of investment analysis and research here at Hargreaves Lansdown. And please bear in mind that these are the views of the fund manager and are not individual stock recommendations. You're listening to Switch Your Money On from Hargreaves Lansdown. Okay. It's that moment you've all been waiting for. The fortnightly quiz, the moment when I put Sarah through her paces again with random questions on this podcast edition subject, and today it's, drum roll, weird and wonderful items we put in our homes. Are you ready for this Sarah?
Sarah Coles: Well as long as it includes, you know, random things kids pick up outside the house and come home with that they insist you keep, like stones and twigs.
Susannah Streeter: I've had that. No, I had a hi-fi system.
Sarah Coles: You get the rich pickings in the streets of Bristol, don't you.
Susannah Streeter: I did, honestly. Anyway moving on. First question, Sarah, the concept of furniture emerged in neolithic times, as early as 3100 to 2500 BC, but the first items created for household use were mainly made of stone. But what, according to historians, was the most important item in home way back then? Was it a table, some stools, or a dresser?
Sarah Coles: Stone furniture? That sounds like a terrible idea. And can you imagine have to move it? You'd give yourself a hernia just thinking about it. I suppose it could just be a name that was given to stones that you happened to sit on or you happened to eat off. So I'll go for a table.
Susannah Streeter: No. It was in fact a dresser. Yes, it didn't just emerge as a home fashion item to grace kitchens of the Cotswold set in the naughties. In fact Orkney in Scotland is where stone dressers and cupboards originated apparently for the purpose of storage. So the dresser was an iconic feature of the home in stone age times. It was considered to the most important piece of furniture in the beginning of furniture's evolution as it faced the entrance of each house and often displayed carved artwork of symbolic items. The loo or the back of the cupboard then took over for all of those trophies and kids carvings that were once pride of place and you can't bear to throw away.
Sarah Coles: Yes and do you know I'm sure we've got a loft full of those.
Susannah Streeter: I certainly have a cupboard full of them, just right here. Okay next question Sarah. On this podcast, we've already revealed the most expensive item of furniture that's been sold in recent times, the Badminton chest, which went for a cool $37.1 million in 2004. It features amethyst, quartz and was created by 30 designers and took them 6 years. What I want to know though is what came second? Were you listening the first time around? Because this was mentioned, okay? So was it the gorgon's dresser, the dragon's chair or the chameleon cabinet?
Sarah Coles: Oh no, my memory's really letting me down because to me all of these sound completely made up but I'll take a stab in the dark and I'll go with the gorgon's dresser.
Susannah Streeter: No. It was in fact the dragon's chair. It sold for $27.8 million, designed by Irish designer Eileen Grey between 1917 and 1919 and it sold for 10 times its estimate. Never mind. Okay. Zero so far. Next, what kind of wood was the wardrobe made of in the Chronicles of Narnia's The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe? Was it pine, cedar or apple?
Sarah Coles: Well I mean naturally I've got no idea, but I do know the stories involved an awful lot of religious imagery, so I'm going to go with the apple.
Susannah Streeter: You are right it was the apple. And in fact it was made from the apple tree in the lantern waste which, is as revealed in the book, The Magician's Nephew, grew from the apple which the young Professor Kirke had given his mother when she was ill. Anyway I think you really have to know the saga of those stories to get into all the detail, but you can always go and look it up Sarah. Anyway.
Sarah Coles: You've got impressive CS Lewis knowledge there. Your kids must be huge fans. Given mine's interest, I probably have a more in depth knowledge of the wizarding world than I really need too.
Susannah Streeter: In fact, I was such a fan of these books, but definitely in my house it's Harry Potter rules. Anyway, let's bring us back to reality away from the lands of Narnia to the world of Ikea. Sarah, how many Billy book cases have been sold around the world? Is the figure at least 40 million, 80 million or 120 million?
Sarah Coles: Oh I imagine we've all owned one of these at some point. I know I did throughout my twenties, so I'm going to go for the top answer, 120 million.
Susannah Streeter: You are right. It is 120 million. The Billy bookcase is claimed to be the most successful piece of modern furniture of all time. More than 120 million have been sold since it first became a flat pack 42 years ago. And it's so iconic around the world that actually Bloomberg created the Billy Bookcase index back in 2009 to compare its price in different countries around the world, to compare exchange rates. It may be iconic but I can tell you, Sarah, it is no match for those stone dressers of neolithic times. I recently had a crockery disaster when one of the shelves of the Billy bookcase collapsed. However, I think the clue is in the name. It is to be fair, made for books and not cups and saucers.
Sarah Coles: Still I'd probably rather have Billy than a stone dresser because you'd need to get a crane in every time you wanted to hoover.
Susannah Streeter: Okay, well that's all from us this time, but before we go we do need to remind you that this was recorded on 17th of October 2022 and all information was correct at the time of recording.
Sarah Coles: Nothing in this podcast is personal advice. You should seek advice if you're not sure what's right for you. Investments rise and fall in value so you could get back less than you invest and past performance isn't a guide to the future.
Susannah Streeter: Yes, this is not advice or recommendation to buy, sell or hold any investment. No view is given on the present or future value or price of any investment and investors should form their own view on any proposed investment.
Sarah Coles: And this hasn't been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is considered a marketing communication.
Susannah Streeter: Non independent research is not subject to FCA rules, prohibiting dealing ahead of research. However, HL has put controls in place, including dealing restrictions, physical and information barriers to manage potential conflicts of interest presented by such dealing.
Sarah Coles: You can see our full non-independent research disclosure on our website for more information so all that's left is for me to thank our guests, and our producer, Elizabeth Hotson.
Susannah Streeter: Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back again soon. Goodbye.