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Wed 12th Feb 2014 - Breaking News - Punch withdraws restructuring proposals
Punch withdraws restructuring proposals: Punch Taverns has withdrawn its restructuring proposals “following feedback from a range of stakeholders”. The company looked to be on a collision course with bondholders over a vote on its restructuring proposals due to take place this Friday (14 February). Punch required a 75% vote in favour of its proposals across 16 classes of bondholders, something that looked unlikely with a number of bondholders with blocking stakes threatening to vote against the plan. Bondholders argued that the restructuring plan favoured shareholders and are reported to be working on their own restructuring plan. The company stated: “Punch has decided to withdraw the resolutions which were to be put to the noteholder meetings convened for 14 February 2014 in order to facilitate a period of further engagement with stakeholders. As previously announced, both securitisations will default without a consensual restructuring. The board remains of the view that a consensual restructuring is in the best interests of all stakeholders and can be agreed ahead of the next covenant reporting date of 15 April 2014.”

Quintain – one million visitors to Wembley Designer Outlet: Property developer Quintain has reported its London Designer Outlet welcomed its one millionth visitor on 7 January, just 11 weeks after opening. The centre ‘traded well over’ the Christmas period, with more than half a million people visiting in the six weeks to 5 January 2014. The company added: “Since our last report in the interim results on 25 November 2013, nine further brands have opened stores including LK Bennett, The Body Shop, Ping Pong, Lindt and Rockport. Meanwhile, leasing interest in the centre remains strong and Bench, New Balance and Replay have all exchanged contracts to lease new stores, lifting the total space let to 87% by base rent.”

Heineken reports revenue growth in 2013: Heineken has reported group revenue grew 1.3% in 2013, up 1.1% organically, with lower volume offset by higher pricing and positive sales mix, driving a 2.7% increase in group revenue per hectolitre. Organically, group beer volume was 2.7% lower as a fragile economic environment, higher excise duties and other adverse regulatory developments led to reduced consumer spending in Europe. In addition, slower economic growth and social unrest impeded volume development in key developing markets. In the second half of the year, group revenue grew 0.8% organically, reflecting improved trading conditions in Western Europe and several key markets in the Americas and Africa Middle East regions. The company stated: “In 2014, Heineken expects a gradual recovery in the global economy to underpin improved trading conditions in several of its key markets. This, together with a continued focus on effectively executing against strategic priorities – Drive Heineken brand out-performance in the premium segment, invest in brands and innovation for growth, leverage global scale to drive cost efficiencies, capture opportunities in developing markets, drive personal leadership and further embed sustainability across the business – is expected to drive an improved business performance in 2014, and support sustainable revenue and profit growth.” Sales were up 1.3% to 21.255bn euros and group operating grew 2.8% to 3.192bn euros. 

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