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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 19th Apr 2016 - Update: Drake & Morgan, AB InBev, Vianet
Drake & Morgan lines up three sites, two in Manchester: Drake & Morgan has unveiled the acquisition of a further three sites, scheduled to open over the next 12 months, bringing the privately owned bar & restaurant group’s portfolio to 14 following the opening of “The Commission” at Heathrow’s Terminal 4 this summer. As part of Drake & Morgan’s strategy to expand The Refinery brand regionally, the first will open in Spinningfields Manchester this Autumn. The 5,800 square foot, 185-cover site is located in the new landmark Cotton Building and will be followed in November, as previously announced, by Edinburgh in the city’s new £75 million office development in St Andrew’s Square. The second (still to be named) site will open in West India Quay, a mixed-use scheme and a joint holding between Land Securities and Schroders. The space will occupy over 13,000 square foot across three floors. The 400-cover site will open in the spring of 2017. The third bar and restaurant will be Drake & Morgan’s second in Manchester. The 6,000 square foot, 185-cover site, also launching spring 2017, will be located at One St Peter’s Square, the City’s largest new business accommodation and part of a £185 million redevelopment of the area. Managing director Jillian MacLean said: “We are delighted to be bringing our bars and restaurants to Edinburgh and Manchester and to be expanding in our heartland in central London. We look forward to accelerating the rollout of our business and welcoming more lovely customers to Drake & Morgan.”

AB InBev accepts Asahi’s bid to buy Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime: Anheuser-Busch InBev has reported that it has accepted the binding offer from Asahi Group to acquire SABMiller European premium brands and their related businesses (excluding certain US rights), following completion of the relevant employee information and consultation processes applicable to the sale of these brands and businesses. The acquisition by Asahi of these premium brands and related businesses, comprised of the Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brand families and related businesses in Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and internationally, is conditional on the successful closing of the recommended acquisition of SABMiller by AB InBev as announced on 11 November 2015, which itself contains certain regulatory pre-conditions and conditions, and the approval by the European Commission of Asahi as a purchaser of the business.

Vianet reports its expects full year results in line with forecasts: Vianet Group, the leading provider of real time monitoring systems, data management services, and actionable insights for the leisure and vending sectors, has reported trading for the second half of the year to 31 March 2016 has been as anticipated and, as a result, the Group’s full year profits will be broadly in line with market expectations and ahead of last year’s outturn of £3.18 million. The group’s UK core beer flow monitoring including iDraught operations has strengthened its market position and maintained its contribution despite ongoing pub closures. Vending Telemetry is benefitting from the Group’s increased investment in people and capability during the year which has resulted in good revenue growth during the second half, with the prospects for this business remaining excellent. The Group’s progress provides an encouraging outlook for 2016/17 and, against this solid background, the Board expects to be in a position to recommend to shareholders that the final dividend for the year ended 31 March 2016 be maintained at 4 pence. James Dickson, chairman, said: “Against a backdrop of ongoing pub closures and increased investment, the Group has delivered year-on-year profit growth. Importantly, there has been solid overall progress across the core businesses and the sale of Fuel Solutions will allow full focus on our Leisure and Vending businesses where the medium to long term prospects are exciting, particularly for telemetry and payment solutions for the coffee vending market.” 

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