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Tue 8th Jul 2014 - Young’s makes strong start to the year, acquires two sites
Young’s makes strong start to the year, acquires two sites: London pub retailer Young & Co will report a strong start to its financial year at its AGM today. Chairman Nick Bryan will state: “As indicated at the time of our preliminary results in May, trading in the current year has started strongly. Managed house sales for the first thirteen weeks were up 8.3% in total compared with the equivalent period last year, and up 7.3% on a like-for-like basis. With the quality of our managed estate, a strengthened tenanted business, and our robust balance sheet, we have a very strong platform from which to continue to grow, both organically and through acquisition. In recent weeks, we have bought the iconic Fox & Anchor in London’s Smithfield Market and have exchanged contracts on two more sites in partnership with Berkeley Homes, one in their Riverlight development in Nine Elms and another one in the Woolwich Arsenal. We continue to actively pursue other opportunities. There is clear evidence that consumer confidence is growing but political uncertainty and global risks remain, and therefore we must retain a degree of caution. However, as a result of the consistently high level of investment in our estate, combined with the hard work put in by our teams across the group, we have every reason to believe that the current year will be another positive one for Young’s.”

Marks and Spencer – food business has had a great quarter: Marks and Spencer has reported “great quarter on food sales”, up 4% overall and 1.7% on a like-for-like basis in the 13 weeks to 28 June. Chief executive Marc Bolland said: “Our food business had another great quarter, continuing to outperform the market, through our focus on differentiation through quality and innovation.” The company added: “Our food business had a great quarter with our strategy to be more specialist setting us apart from the competition. We continue to outperform the market as customers continue to come to us for unrivalled quality and innovation, whether for their special events or great everyday value. With value top of mind for customers, we remained price competitive while protecting our gross margin. We launched some 700 new products giving customers more choice than ever. We are on track with the pipeline of 150 new Simply Food stores opening over the next three years.”

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