Tasty appoints Wildwood managing director: Tasty has promoted Joanna Bargery to managing director of its Wildwood Restaurants segment – she is currently operations brand manager. Meanwhile, Lee Kendall has been promoted to the position of procurement director. An internal announcement stated: “We very much appreciate all the hard work and energy they have always committed to the company. I am sure you will join us in congratulating them both on their well-deserved new positions and we all look forward to many more successful years working together.” A total of 43 of the company’s 48 sites operate as Wildwood – with plans to add 15 sites this year. At the end of last month, Tasty reported sales up 20% to £35,794,000 (2014 – £29,734,000) in the year to 27 December 2015. Operating profit before pre-opening costs and non-trading items was up 28% to £3,951,000 (2014 – £3,090,000). Profit before tax was up 20% to £3,067,000 (2014 – £2,552,000). Chief executive Jonny Plant said: “The property pipeline is looking strong for 2016 and we expect to open 15 sites. Expansion has focused on the Wildwood (43) brands and this will continue in the future. The ‘all day’ appeal of these brands has been improved by the development of a delicatessen which has driven additional morning and mid-afternoon trade. Our sites are primarily based on the high street. However, we have a number of leisure, retail and tourist locations which all trade well, highlighting the broad appeal and scalability of the offering. Continued expansion across all of these location types are planned in the coming year. A review of the Dimt (seven) brand has identified mixed retail and leisure developments as a key area of expansion.”
BrewDog buys 33% stake in Third Wave Coffee: BrewDog is moving into coffee – the company’s annual accounts show that it bought a 33% stake in Edinburgh-based Third Wave Coffee in the year to 31 December 2015, The Guardian has reported. Third Wave houses a coffee shop called Brew Lab that has similar principles to BrewDog by presenting a craft alternative to multinational corporations. Meanwhile, BrewDog reported administrative expenses almost doubled in the year to £14.11m (2014: £7.77m) as staff costs rose to £10.02m, up from £6.39m in 2014 with headcount rising to 403 from 277 the prior year. Operating profit dipped 17% to £3.17m (2014: £3.85m) and pre-tax profits were down almost 5% to £3.47m (2014: £3.65m), despite a £642,000 gain on the disposal of investments. BrewDog notes it spent £17.61m purchasing plant, property and equipment in the 2015 year (2014: £5.35m). The company notes it ended the year with £3.17m in cash and cash equivalents (2014: £2.23m), including £10.27m raised from issuing new shares, £5.2m of new borrowing and £2.31m from a bond issue. BrewDog notes a £5m bank loan was drawn down in the year, which is “repayable on demand” and up for review on 30 June, 2016. It also issued £2,312,000 in non-convertible bonds last November, with a maturity in November 2019 and with an interest rate of 6.5%. “The purpose of the bond was to finance expansion,” BrewDog said. The group notes £12.1m in capital commitments were “contracted for but not provided in the financial statements”. Sales in the UK rose almost 69% to £33.4m (2014: £19.8m) and sales in Europe rose 16% to £8.6m. BrewDog also notes a marginal increase in sales in the US and Canada to £765,000 (2014: £645,000) and under the ‘rest of world’ heading where sales rose to £1.9m, up from £1.6m in 2014.
Biggest hostel in Wales joins Beds and Bars’ St Christopher’s franchise: The largest backpacker hostel in Wales, Nosda Cardiff, has joined Beds and Bars’ St Christopher’s franchise network. Being the first hostel in UK to join the St Christopher’s network, Nosda Hostel, which has operated from close to the Millennium stadium since 2005, will now be available on St Christopher’s independent booking engine technology amongst other technologies and services that Beds and Bars is offering as part of the network. Nosda Hostel features 150 beds, with expansion plan and a pub that encourages independent local enterprises through art exhibitions, as well as many other services such as a warm common area and private car parking. Sion Llewelyn, director of Nosda, said: “We have been associated with St Christopher’s for many years, but this formal partnership will give (us) the opportunity of elevating to a different level, having access to a professional expertise in the hostel sector and technology that would have been out of our reach otherwise. It’s a perfect model for us, allowing us to maintain our own character and independence so we are very proud to be part of the St Christopher’s network.” Beds and Bars, which is currently rolling out in partnership with some of the best-known hostels in Europe, operate 20 owned backpacker hostels, bars and pubs throughout Europe. Murray Roberts, Beds and Bars managing director, added: “Sion operates an excellent business at Nosda Hostel, on very similar lines to our own and we have known each other for years. This partnership finally gives us the opportunity to boast our presence in all three nation capitals of the British mainland. Nosda Hostel also share with us the vision to moving forward in our sector and we’re happy to welcome their great hostel and energy as part of St Christopher’s network.”