Costa managing director Christopher Rogers to step down: Whitbread has announced that Christopher Rogers, managing director of Costa and an executive director on the Whitbread board has decided to leave the company. He will be stepping down from the board following the next board meeting on 2 April. Dominic Paul has been appointed to succeed Rogers as the new managing director for Costa and will take up his new role on 6 June. To support Dominic and ensure a smooth transition, Roger will remain with the company until 1 July. Paul joins from Royal Caribbean International where he has been Senior Vice President International since November 2013. He is responsible for the international business outside of the company’s US operations and has been particularly focussed on growing the business in Asia Pacific and China where Royal Caribbean is now the largest cruise brand. Paul joined Royal Caribbean International in 2010 from bmi, where he was Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, having developed his earlier career in customer service and operational roles in the airline industry at British Airways, Go fly and easyJet. Richard Baker, Chairman said: “Chris has made an immense contribution to Whitbread over the last eleven years. He joined Whitbread as Finance Director in 2005 and played a leading role in the transformation of the Group to a more focused and profitable business. He then took the helm at Costa in 2012 and under his leadership Costa has grown rapidly from under 2,500 stores to over 3,200 today and is firmly established as the UK’s favourite coffee shop chain. On behalf of all my Board colleagues, I should like to thank him for all he has done over the years and, more recently, for his support and typical professionalism in enabling a smooth succession planning process. We wish him every success in the future.” Alison Brittain, chief executive, said: “During his tenure Chris has played a key role in establishing the successful Group that we have today, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for this and to wish him well in the future. I am delighted that Dominic Paul will be joining Whitbread to lead Costa in its next exciting stage of growth. Dominic brings a wealth of experience in the travel and leisure industry, both here in the UK and overseas and his recent experience is particularly relevant for Costa’s international growth plans. His passion for delivering outstanding customer experiences and track record of delivering growth in customer-focused hospitality businesses makes him the perfect fit for Costa.” Chris Rogers said: “I have loved being part of Whitbread and Costa during what has been a period of enormous value creation and growth, and after eleven years, I have decided that now is the right time for change. Costa is a great business with tremendous people and I wish them, Alison and all my colleagues at Whitbread every future success.” Dominic Paul added: “Costa is a fantastic business with a huge amount of further potential – both in the UK and overseas – and I am extremely excited to be working with the team to take the business to the next level.”
Richoux Group reports turnover and Ebitda rise: Richoux Group, the owner and operator of 21 restaurants under the Richoux, Dean’s Diner and Villagio brands, has reported turnover increased 2.7% to £13.03 million (2014: £12.68 million). Adjusted Ebitda increased 0.4% to £1.64 million (2014: £1.63 million). Three were three new restaurants opened in the year. Three further sites have been secured for 2016, one of which opened in February 2016. It had cash of £4.40 million at year end (2014: £3.95 million). Philip Shotter, chairman of Richoux Group, said: “This solid set of results, which show a marginal increase in Ebitda, reflect the on-going development of the Group. Three restaurants opened during the period with an additional restaurant already open now this year; two further sites to open during the coming year, and another site secured for 2017, with all of these restaurants being funded from the Group’s cash flow and significant cash reserves.” The Group currently has eight Dean’s Diner restaurants – the existing restaurants in Chatham, Port Solent, Braintree, Fareham, Bicester, Trowbridge and new restaurants in Hempstead Valley; which opened in June 2015 and Orpington; which opened in February 2016. The Group took possession of the new Dean’s Diner in Yate on 21 March 2016 and this is due to open in May 2016 and an agreement for lease has been exchanged for a new Dean’s Diner in Bromley; which is due to open in 2017. An impairment charge of £0.26 million has been made against the restaurants in Bicester and Trowbridge. The Group currently has seven Villagio restaurants in Andover, Basildon, Hammersmith, Chislehurst, Chatham, the rebranded restaurant in Port Solent and a new restaurant in High Wycombe; which opened in December 2015. The Group has also entered into an agreement to take a lease for a new Villagio restaurant in Canterbury which is due to open in May 2016. An impairment charge of £0.06 million has been made against the restaurant in Port Solent and £0.21 million has been made against the restaurant in High Wycombe, which the Group had to take a reassignment of pursuant to an authorised guarantee agreement entered into when the Group assigned its lease in 2012. The Group also has one Italian restaurant trading as Zippers Bar, Restaurant and Grill in Chatham following the rebranding during the period of the Zippers restaurant in Port Solent as a Villagio restaurant.