Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wouldn't you love to be Nestlé?

I read in the Irish Times this morning that Nestle's first quarter sales are only down by 2.1% - not so much down to recession but a late Easter & a strong CHF. In the Reuters report, analysts are quoted saying that the company is "well positioned to ride out the recession compared to its rivals due to its comprehensive range of products and wide geographical presence."


Wouldn't you love to be so successful that you had a finger in every pie, in every price bracket, in every market? A simple lesson for us all there methinks.

I think I'll go make myself another Nespresso to make myself feel better.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Is that a flicker of light I see before me?

Has anyone else noticed that the moaning and groaning has quietened to a gentle hum, of late?

It's quite nice, isn't it? I much prefer the general feeling of "ah well, let's just get on with it," rather than everyone from the lady at the supermarket to the man behind the radio mic giving out about anything they can think of. At least we'll get on with it avec sonrise and sure why not.

Why not indeed! It's a bad time for banks but it's a great time for loads of other people. For Sale signs have been replaced outside homes with skips and builders' bums. Honest hardworking tradespeople are out-the-door busy. No this is not second hand, I've spoken to many of them myself! They're flipping delighted that people have stopped just throwing away broken items or moving when the house gets too small. Instead, we're all fixing things and extending or redecorating. And when we balls it up we call in the proper chaps and they're only delighted to help.

Woodie's, B&Q, Homebase - they're all raking it in! I would say the owners of Aldi and Lidl are rolling around their boardroom floors with glee. And sure why not, someone may as well give us what we want - value for money - and get something in return. Custom.

There's an article in today's Irish Times about whose sales are up at the moment. Apparently, the cinema takings in Ireland are the hightes ever recorded which is just marvellous... Ticket sales hit €1.7 million in January. Wowzers!

It reminded me of an interview with a good brain I heard last week, which I sadly haven't had time to flag here. Peter Sutherland was on RTE on Thursday 9th April - you may have heard it or heard about it, but you should listen to it, I really recommend it. No need to seek it out, here's the link - as usual you have to sit through the news first but it's worth it. Everybody needs to hear this. It makes so much sense!

Sudds came across as reasonable, logical and calm as he explained the economic reality of where we stand at the moment. We were one of the highest performing economies in the world, let's not forget that. He may have used the word resilient about how we are at the moment - with strong industries in pharma & IT keeping us charging ahead. The best point he made was a comparison with us and other European countries. If our standard of living has reduced, so has everybody else's, so we're still floating on the surface. In fact apparently, other countries' standards of living have decreased more than hours, so there are others in a worse position.

The underlying message was one of "Don't Panic" - we're still well off as a nation and the recent defecits in public accounts will work themselves out. It's economics!

Recent interest in the property sector in the UK is a signifier of positive outlooks for the rest of us. The graph is starting to creep upward, if ever so gently. Like a meek kitten looking up after it has been scolded. House prices are bottoming out. It will soon be time to start pouncing on good value wherever you see it. If you've been looking and wondering, I hope you're ready! Crikey, I'm almost tempted to get a second mortgage and snap up a few bargains. Almost.

Our glasses are all half full. And if I'm not mistaken about the twinkle at the end of the tunnel, they're slowly starting to fill past the halfway mark. Ahoy there...I think I'll have a glass of that please...