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Thu 13th Aug 2015 - Intertain buys two Apres sites for conversion to Walkabout
Intertain acquires two more Walkabout venues, former Apres sites: Walkabout operator Intertain has acquired two new venues, following exchange of contracts on sites in Litchfield and Solihull in the West Midlands. The acquisitions follow the opening of Walkabout Brighton in May, the company’s first new opening since 2009. Currently owned by Town & Country Inns and trading as Apres, the sites will close on completion later this month, and undergo major refurbishments. They will then re-open as ‘new-style’ Walkabouts in time to take advantage of the Rugby World Cup in September. Intertain will be investing £1 million in the refurbishment of both venues, creating 30 new permanent bar, kitchen and management jobs in the process. The venues will also boast a variety of pre-bookable booths and private areas for parties, meals, club nights and live music, along with plush VIP areas and a state-of-the-art sound and light system. Intertain chief executive John Leslie, said: “We’re very excited to be opening these two new venues. We now have a fantastic platform from which to build for the future. Solihull and Litchfield are both great towns and we’re looking forward to introducing customers to our ‘new style’ Walkabout.”

Action Hotels opens first site in partnership with Premier Inn: Action Hotels, the owner, developer and asset manager of branded three and four-star hotels in the Middle East and Australia, has opened its first hotel in partnership with Premier Inn. Premier Inn Sharjah, a 168-room freehold hotel located in the centre of Sharjah, opened on 12 August and has welcomed its first paying guests. Alain Debare, chief executive of Action Hotels said: “I am delighted that Premier Inn Sharjah is now open. The hotel enjoys a superb location in the heart of Sharjah and is the first internationally branded economy hotel in the Emirate. We are confident in the hotel’s future success. Sharjah is well positioned for both leisure and business travel and is a hub of culture and activity, having been named Arab Tourism Capital for 2015.” Adam Nicholls, managing director for Premier Inn, Middle East, added: “We are delighted to be working with Action Hotels and are really excited to be able to bring the Premier Inn brand to even more customers across the Middle East. We have a fantastic team who are looking forward to welcoming customers to Premier Inn Sharjah and delivering our promise of a great night’s sleep, at affordable prices.”

Cineworld reports turnover and Ebitda growth: Cineworld has reported pro forma revenue growth of 11.3% to £326.1m in the 26 weeks to 2 July. Pro forma Ebitda grew 22.5% to £64.7m. Mooky Greidinger, chief executive of Cineworld Group, said: “We are pleased to announce gratifying first half results, with satisfactory increases in admissions, box office revenue and retail sales. The strongest titles released during the period, “Fifty Shades of Grey”, “Fast and Furious 7”, and “Jurassic World”, all of which broke box office records, and alongside other titles such as “Avengers: The Age of Ultron” resulted in overall pro forma revenue growth of 11.3%. We have delivered on our expansion plans by opening nine new sites (93 screens), in the UK and abroad. Our solid performance, coupled with continuing focus on our synergies target and on integration, resulted in pro forma Ebitda growth of 22.5%, and the Board is pleased to declare an increased interim dividend of 5.0p. The film release programme for the second half of the year is encouraging. Family titles such as “Minions” and “Jurassic World” have continued their strong performance into July, and the new Disney title “Inside Out” has also proved popular. Notable releases in Q3 and Q4 include “Star Wars: Episode VII”, the final Hunger Games title “Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” and the next Bond film “Spectre”. We are currently contracted to open ten more cinemas (85 screens) before the end of the year, taking the Group to over 2,000 screens. Overall, with the anticipated strength of the film line up in the second half, coupled with our solid first half performance, we are marginally ahead of our plans for the year as a whole.”

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