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Wed 2nd Jan 2013 - Breaking News: TCG withdrawn from the market
TCG reports 2.5 per cent like-for-like sales increase in December; reports sale off the agenda: Managed operator TCG has reported like-for-like sakes were up 2.5 per cent in December. News of December trading comes as the company also reports it is no longer up for sale – the company sold a number of sites last year when it was on the market. Chief operating officer Nigel Wright said: “The TCG management team have now agreed a further extension to the banking facilities and are about to start a new programme of capex and other investment in the estate. The potential sale of the company, which dominated much of 2012, is now off the agenda, and we are able to focus on running our business and making sure that each of our pubs and bars is the very best in its local area.” In the run up to Christmas, a number of TCG’s food led venues in London and the south east achieved record sales, while its Locals and Bars businesses led the way from 22 December onwards. Wright said: “With Christmas Day on the Tuesday, the overall trading period obviously moved back slightly compared to last year, which provided a superb week of double digit growth in the week up to Sunday 23 December. Pre-booked parties at our Henry’s Café Bars and other food-led sites delivered the big numbers in mid-December, while the real uplift in wet trade came closer to Christmas, with some bumper numbers on ‘mad Friday’. This last Friday before the long break was a huge day across the whole business and was 140 per cent up on the same day last year, as groups of office workers and tradesmen spilled into their local pub or bar for a traditional festive drink.” Several of the group’s London sites, including Henry’s Café Bars and The Tattershall Castle floating pub on the Embankment, benefited from an early, co-ordinated drive for party bookings by a sales team recruited earlier in the year. Henry’s in Covent Garden achieved a record-breaking week ending 16 December. Outside London, Bar 38, located in Portsmouth’s Gunwharf Quays shopping centre, achieved an 84 per cent uplift in the week ending 23 December and in the following week of ‘the sales’ ended up as the busiest venue in the complex, beating Jamie’s Italian. The Star in Bishops Stortford was another record breaker with an “unbelievable” Christmas Eve, as was the Hare & Hounds in West Derby, which had a “brilliant” traditional community Boxing Day starting at lunchtime and carrying on into the Liverpool match in the evening. Wright added: “New Year’s Eve on Monday night was very strong as ever but down on last year’s exceptional Saturday. Fantastic individual successes from around the country included: the Tattershall Castle, which was pre-sold months in advance to customers wanting to view the London fireworks and hit over £50,000 on the day; The Sailors Arms in Newquay; Golden Fleece in Chelmsford and Rendezvous in Weymouth. Wright concluded: “Overall, we feel this was a very creditable festive performance and a testament to the hard work and pre-planning of our pub and bar teams. It puts us in a good position at the start of 2013.” 
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