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Tue 14th Apr 2015 - Update: Results for TLC Inns, Draft House, Dorbiere
TLC Inns to explore investment options: TLC Inns, the award-winning pub and restaurant operator led by Steve and Jo Haslam, is to explore investment options to allow the company to double its Grand Central Bar and Grill operation. The company is set to open its fourth and largest Grand Central, a 8,500 square foot site in Ipswich, next week after a £1.35m investment. Its oldest Grand Central, which opened three-and-a-half years ago, has matured into the company’s number one performing site with annual turnover of just under £2m – it has taken an average of £45,000 gross for the last three weeks. The company’s Grand Central sites will hit turnover of £5m this year. Steve Haslam told Propel: “We are now looking all possible avenues of funding. This includes the possibility of crowd-funding with the offer of equity in the business.” TLC Inns, which will eight sites once Ipswich opens, saw total sales increase 20% in its most recent year to £5.5m, boosted by a part-year contribution from two new sites – company Ebitda passed through the £1m mark for the first time and like-for-like sales rose 3.6%. Its smallest pub site, the Catherine Wheel, achieved like-for-like growth of 13%. The company re-paid £340,000 of older loans and took out £640,000 of new loans through Barclays Corporate.

Draft House reports platform-for-growth year: Draft House, the London craft beer operator led by Charlie McVeigh and backed by Luke Johnson, has reported a year of “solidifying” financial performance allowing for expansion this year. The company saw sales ahead 17.5% at £4.78m in the year to 26 October 2014 despite opening no new pubs in the year – like-for-like sales were ahead at 7.4%. Annual accounts report that like-for-like sales were ahead 10.6% in the four months to February 2015. Ebitda increased 72.3% to £376,000 in the financial year pre-openings. The company saw a pre-tax profit of £124,585 compared to a loss of £191,788 the year before.

McMullen to give customers 50p off a pint in ‘Thank you, George,’ week: Hertford brewer and retailer McMullen is to stage, ‘Thank you, George’ week, offering customers 50p off a pint in recognition of the historic Budget decision to cut duty on beer by the equivalent of 1p per pint, as well as cutting duty on other alcohol products. “This is fantastic news for the beer and pub industry and follows similar duty reductions in the previous two budgets. Although ‘only a penny’ it should be borne in mind that, if The Chancellor had not abolished the pernicious and vindictive ‘duty escalator’ introduced by the previous government, the price of a pint would now be 10p-15p more in most pubs than it is currently,” said managing director Peter Furness-Smith. From Saturday 18 April to Friday 24 April, inclusive, all McMullen managed pubs will discount all draught beer and cider products by 50p per pint. Retail director Heydon Mizon said: “Whilst the 1p reduction is great news as it encourages companies such as ours to invest further in our pubs it does, as in previous years, present us with a challenge because most pubs work to 5p price points. Reducing prices by 1p is not therefore an option so in order for our customers to benefit, as the Chancellor intended, we have decided to reduce our prices by 50p per pint but for one week only.” 

Dorbiere reports £5.4m deal to buy in property: North west restaurant and pub operator Dorbiere has reported that it spent £5,416,000 last September to buy 19 freeholds and 17 leaseholds from sister company Dorbiere Property in a group simplification exercise. Meanwhile, the company saw turnover rise to £13,418,068 in the year to 30 September 2014, up from £12,012,351 the year before. Pre-tax profit rose to £1,152,428 from £743,495 the year before. The company expects turnover to rise 4% this year after major refurbishments at the Jolly Steward, South Shields, the Boars Head Blackpool and the Banner at Hindley. 

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