[Podcast] JAMES HALSTEAD With Roland Head And Maynard Paton

01 May 2023
By Maynard Paton

I have recorded another podcast with fellow investor and good friend Roland Head. This time we talked about James Halstead, the vinyl-flooring specialist that has lifted its dividend for 45 consecutive years. We discussed the company’s Polyflor product, its competitive position, the old-school family management and why the share features on our watch lists:  

We cover:

  • Vinyl flooring is not boring! A 20-bagger since 2000 and a 45-year record of dividend increases.
  • Introduction to Polyflor, the different types of flooring and the reasons customers buy. 
  • Why James Halstead is on my watch list and Roland’s watch list. 
  • Overseas sales and the wide range of locations the flooring can be found.
  • The slowing growth rate, competition and price-sensitive customers.
  • The clean accounting, the pension deficit and building up stock to ensure good customer service.
  • Family management as a ‘moat’, chief executive Mark Halstead and boardroom succession planning.
  • Family-run firms appointing non-family members as bosses.
  • Next-generation Halsteads, the senior leadership ‘team’ and Geoffrey Halstead retiring at 81.
  • Halstead’s cosy board and Lord Lee’s stint as a non-exec.
  • Long-serving staff, rising revenue per employee and the absenteeism KPI. 
  • Director pay and bonuses, poor disclosure, family shareholdings and employee nominee shareholdings.
  • The old-school management, the absence of investor presentations and emails from the FD.
  • Halstead’s efforts to improve sustainability, recycling and energy usage.
  • The latest H1 results, lower margins and profit, and not passing on cost increases.
  • Falling stock levels, net cash and will October’s final dividend be increased?
  • Meeting Peter Lynch’s perfect-stock checklist, the 4% yield and potentially buying with a 5% income.

Extra links:

Happy listening!

Maynard Paton

PS: The episode was recorded on 25 April 2023.

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