4 Stocks To “China Proof” Your Portfolio: Bovis Homes Group plc, Cineworld Group plc, Bunzl plc & Whitbread plc

Today I am looking at four stocks that should hold up better than most of Monday’s fallers.

Bovis Homes Group

The homebuilders have failed to avoid the rout washing across start-of-week business, and construction play Bovis Homes (LSE:BVS) was recently 5.9% lower from Friday’s close. Still, I believe a chronic lack of housing stock in the UK — combined with insatiable demand from Britons trying to get their foot on the ladder — makes the homes specialists a less-risky proposition than many of their FTSE peers.

It is true that expectations of Bank of England rate hikes continue to do the rounds, a factor that caused mortgage approvals to print a rare slip in July, down 1.8% from the previous month to 65,356. But with the global economy on the rack and low inflation looking set to persist, I reckon expectations of a benchmark rise next year could fail to materialise yet again, naturally a very positive step for housing demand.

Cineworld Group

A trip to the flicks is one of life’s simple pleasures regardless of what’s going on outside, providing people with a relatively low-cost night out. As a consequence, I reckon Cineworld (LSE: CINE) is a strong bet for those seeking robust earnings expansion, helped by a robust expansion scheme at home and in Central and Eastern Europe.

On top of this, many of the much-hyped movies slated for release in the coming months and years are likely to prove simply irresistible to hardcore and casual viewers alike, from the much-awaited Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens and Spectre later this year to the next Avatar, Marvel and Batman releases right through to 2017. I fully expect popcorn and ticket sales at Cineworld to keep bubbling higher.


Support services play Bunzl (LSE: BNZL) has been unable to traverse the weakness smashing the rest of the market, and the stock was last 6.7% lower in Monday trade. This is despite the London business advising that revenues leapt 7% during January-June, to £3.1bn, a result that drove pre-tax profit 11% higher to £147.1m.

Bunzl has a splendid record of generating brilliant growth, thanks in no small part to its acquisition-led strategy. So investors should be buoyed by news today of a further four purchases spanning Australia, the US and Austria. And thanks to the firm’s diversification across a whole host of industries — from supplying medical gowns to hospitals, to manufacturing plastic knives and forks for caterers — I reckon Bunzl is a terrific bet to keep on delivering earnings growth well into the future.


Demand for Whitbread’s (LSE: WTB) cut-price Premier Inn hotel rooms continues to gallop even as Briton’s spending power improves, a result of the new-found thriftiness that embodies consumers’ habits in the aftermath of the 2008/2009 banking crisis. And obviously demand for budget accommodation should remain in vogue if the Chinese crisis has a wider implication on the British economy.

While Whitbread’s hotel division is comfortably pulling up trees, sales at the firm’s Costa Coffee cafes are also moving steadily higher and are likely to continue buzzing thanks to coffee’s role as one of life’s essentials. And with Whitbread gradually expanding its accommodation and beverages arms — another 5,500 hotel rooms and 250 coffee shops are slated for 2015 alone — I predict revenues to continue rising.

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Royston Wild owns shares of Cineworld Group. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.