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Tue 14th Jan 2014 - Breaking News - Results: Wagamama, Hop Back, Star Pubs & Bars
Wagamama reports £17.5m PBT: Noodle chain Wagamama has reported turnover grew to £141,170,000 in the year to 28 April 2013, up from £124,392,000 the year before. Pre-tax profit rose to £17,575,000 from £17,388,000 the year before. The company added 14 restaurants to grow estate size to 94 restaurants in the UK – it has a further 36 restaurants operated under franchise abroad. The company stated: “Turnover growth of 13.49% was generated primarily from recently opened restaurants. Operating profit increased by 2.75%.”

Hop Back Brewery reports £96,507 loss: Hop Back Brewery has reported a fall into the red with a pre-tax loss of £95,507 in the year to the end of September 2013 compared to a pre-tax profit of £119,731 the year before. Turnover dropped to £3,551,074 from £3,941,869 the year prior. The company stated: “We are disappointed to report that we made a £96,507 loss in this financial year. However, the company has maintained a positive cash flow and has paid off its bank loans, while at present having no overdraft. The principal reason for these results is poor national on-trade sales. Pubs are not only closing but many more are being run as restaurants. At the same time, there are more and more brewery entrants into a diminishing market. As a whole, however, our community pubs have remained buoyant and have stayed wet-led, thus contributing to brewery sales. We are currently looking closely at our costs having carried out a strategic review into the structure of our business.” Tynemill founder Chris Holmes joined the board as a non-executive last May.

Star Pubs & Bars reports £10m pre-tax profit: Star Pubs & Bars, the operator of 1,300 tenanted pubs owned by Heineken, has reported a pre-tax profit of £10,095,000 in the year to 31 December 2012. Turnover was £81,819,000, down from £92,446,000 the previous year. The company stated: “The company made a profit of £10,095,000 compared to a loss of £26,478,000 in the prior year. This was partly due to the company providing for amounts of £17,010,000 in the prior year from fellow group undertakings that ceased trading due to the restructuring of the group in 2011. The increase in profit was partly offset by exceptional administration expenses of £1,189,000, being the impairment of the company’s investment in Iona Pub Partnership.” 

Pizza Hut to trial pizza-by-the-slice at two US locations: Pizza Hut is to trial pizza by the slice at two locations in the US – York, Nebraska and Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Pizza Hut hopes the development can boost sales and help it compete against newcomers like Chipotle’s Pizzeria. “We’re excited to be part of the test,” said Dave Staab, president of Staab Management, whose family has operated Pizza Huts since 1965. Pizza Hut will study sales at the new restaurant and will interview diners about their experience and the likelihood they will return, he said. The trials will feature big slices hot out of an old-time brick oven, a selection of craft beers and fresh salads and pastas tossed to order. Similar to Panera or Chipotle, customers will walk up and order food, then have it brought to them by employees. Staab called it “theatre”, saying, “We’re sauteeing pastas right in front of the customers.” He emphasised speed and said the ability to customize an order, starting with a single $3 slice, delivers greater value than the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet that may leave some customers feeling they couldn’t eat their money’s worth. He also said the experience will be fast — just three to four minutes for a custom slice. “The customer of today is really looking for quality and speed,” he added. 

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