Consumer – Retailing/Food & Drug Chains: Second
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Consumer – Retailing/Food & Drug Chains: Second

Alastair Johnston & team


N ewcomer Alastair Johnston pilots the Citi crew to No. 2; the firm is marking its first appearance in the ranking since 2009. The two-member team is based in London and reports on 11 companies, with plans to add to that list this year. “I took the view early in the downturn that this would be a balance-sheet recession with years of lackluster consumer trends,” Johnston explains. “Within this context I felt an ‘only the strong prosper’ stance was appropriate.” Companies that fit his description include Belgium’s Etablissementen Franz Colruyt, Portugal’s Jerónimo Martins SGPS and U.K.-based Booker Group, all of which are food retailers with solid return-on-invested-capital characteristics and strong sales productivity, he says. Johnston is “one of the few with a concept that works,” proclaims one Switzerland-based buy-side analyst. — Katie Gilbert

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