Byron Hamburgers reports £5.58m profit: Better burger brand Byron, led by Tom Byng, has reported turnover grew 34.5% to £55,229,000 in the year to 29 June 2014 (2013: £41,052,000). Pre-tax profit rose to £5,589,000 from £4,430,000 the year before. Operating profit before exceptional items was £6.4m compared to £5.1m the year before. Gross margin was 19.7% compared to 19.8% in the year prior. A total of ten new restaurants were opened in the year, including four outside of London. The company was bought for just under £100m in November 2013 by Hutton Collins from previous owner Gondola. The company incurred exceptional costs of £600,000 in the period, with £500,000 of that related to professional and advisory costs arising from the deal. It now has a £14m capex facility in place, of which £3.1m was drawn down at the year-end, and a £2m revolving credit facility, of which £800,000 was drawn down at the year-end. The company had net debt of £35.8m, including intercompany loans compared to £19.6m at the previous year-end. The company plans to add ten new sites a year “for the foreseeable future”. Staff number grew to 1,118 in the year from 822 the year before.
The Cornwall Project secures Fitzrovia’s Newman Arms: The Cornwall Project has secured its first pub after agent Davis Coffer Lyons secured a new letting on the historic Newman Arms in Fitzrovia on behalf of Shaftesbury, following its recent acquisition of the property. Building on the success of the two kitchens at the Adam and Eve in Homerton and The Three Crowns in Stoke Newington, Matt Chatfield, from the Cornwall Project, plans to transform the former haunt of 1984 author George Orwell to create a classic West End boozer with a Cornish food offering. Chef Michael Harrison will cook a seasonal menu that is brought daily from quality Cornish suppliers including Philip Warren Butchers and the Modern Salad Grower, who also supply high-profile London restaurants such as Kitty Fisher’s, The Clove Club, and Smoking Goat. The Newman Arms will serve a selection of Cornish ales from Tintagel, craft beers from Five Points Brewing Company as well as the Cornish Project’s award winning Scotch egg and their new Cornish pasty. Kate Taylor, associate director at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “This popular Fitzrovia pub attracted a huge amount of interest from a range of operators. After careful consideration, it was felt that the Cornwall Project – with its dedication to outstanding produce and its commitment to sustainable cooking - would prove a great operator for the site, maintaining a well-loved local pub and bringing with it a fantastic food offer to appeal to the local community and beyond. It will prove a great complement to Charlotte Street’s dynamic mix of restaurants, cafes and bars, such as Lima and Barnyard close by and recent openings Delancey & Co and Beyond Bread.”