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Mon 1st Feb 2016 - Conviviality reports strong First Half
Conviviality reports strong First Half: Conviviality, the alcohol wholesaler serving consumers through the on-trade and through its franchise retail estate, has reported sales grew 38% to £252m in the 27 weeks to 1 November 2015, Ebitda was up 43% to £6.5m (H1 FY15: £4.5m) and group profit before tax and exceptional items was up 2.8% to £3.3m (H1 FY15: £3.2m). Revenue at wholesaler Matthew Clark , from 7 October to 1 November, was up 2.7% to £60.6m (corresponding prior period £59.0m). Ebitda of £2.1 million was up 10% on the corresponding prior period. It reported strong Christmas trading in the two peak weeks to 3 January 2016 with Group sales growth 13% above last year. Like-for-like retail sales during the two peak weeks up by 1.1% (Wine Rack up 11.1%). Champagne and sparkling wine saw sales increase 31% with four bottles of Prosecco sold every minute in the peak trading weeks; premium bottle ales up 300% and cases of craft ales up 218%. Matthew Clark sales to outlets increased 20% in the two weeks to 3 January 2016. Diana Hunter, Conviviality chief executive, said: “This is a strong set of results during a period of significant transformational change. With Matthew Clark we now have a firm foundation in the expansive on-trade market from which to build on, and our success over the important Christmas period gives us confidence that the second half will deliver further growth. I am pleased with the progress we have made to bring our two businesses together. I would like to thank all of our people, our franchisees, our on trade customers and our suppliers who have contributed to our success.”

Easyhotel unveils second franchise hotel in Amsterdam: Easyhotel, the owner, developer, operator and franchisor of “super budget” branded hotels, has announced that its Benelux franchisee has purchased a property on Arena Boulevard in Amsterdam to convert into a 131-room Easyhotel. Amsterdam is one of the top five most visited cities in Europe with nearly 7.5 million visitors in 2015, an increase of 2.1% compared with 2014. Easyhotel Arena Boulevard will have a prime location in the city of Amsterdam with train, bus and metro stations within walking distance. The hotel will be next to the Ajax Amsterdam stadium and close to the Ziggo Dome Amsterdam Arena, which has a seating capacity of 17,000, and the Heineken Music Hall which attracts 600,000 visitors per year. Conversion is underway and the hotel is expected to open by the end of 2016. This will be the second Easyhotel in Amsterdam. Easyhotel Amsterdam City Centre South, an 80-room hotel, opened in 2011 and is one of top performing hotels in the Easyhotel network. Chief executive Guy Parsons, said: “Amsterdam is an extremely attractive market for us and this hotel will be a great addition to the Easyhotel portfolio. With the development of this hotel and the 107-room Easyhotel in Brussels, our Benelux franchisee is set to add 238-rooms to the Easyhotel network within the next 12 months and continues to seek to identify good sites for further hotels in the Benelux region.”

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