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Thu 28th Jul 2016 - Update: Simon Dodd joins Fuller’s board, Domino’s, Cineworld, Just Eat
Simon Dodd to join Fuller’s board as managing director of Fuller’s Beer Company: Fuller’s has appointed Simon Dodd to the position of managing director of The Fuller’s Beer Company with effect from 1 August 2016. Simon Dodd will join Fuller’s Board of Directors from that date. Dodd, 42, joined Fuller’s in January 2015 as operations director for the company’s Premium City pubs division, where he delivered a strong financial performance and proved to be an inspirational leader. Prior to the move to Fuller’s, he held a number of senior operational and marketing roles in companies including Mitchells & Butlers, Ladbrokes and Orchid Group, where he was chief operating officer. Chief executive Simon Emeny said: “Simon’s enthusiasm, intellect and professionalism, combined with his industry experience, proved a real asset to Fuller’s in his previous role. It’s great news that he will be leading the Beer Company and I’m delighted to be welcoming him to the board.”

Domino’s reports 10.9% like-for-like sales rise in First Half: Domino’s Pizza UK has reported sales rose 17% to £494.5m in the 26 weeks to 26 June, with like-for-like sale up 10.9%. Profit after tax rose 22.7% to £33m. The company record its 11 consecutive quarter of like-for-like growth – it opened a record 34 new stores in the period. The average sales per address in new stores is 24% ahead of the same period last year. E-commerce total system sales were ahead by 25% with mobile sale up 35%. Franchises saw Ebitda conversion of 15.45, up from 15.1%. Chief executive David Wild said: “Domino’s Pizza Group has made a very strong start to 2016 and this performance is reflected in today’s numbers. Our UK operations continue to perform extremely well and we opened a record 30 new stores in the first half. We continue to invest in and develop our e-commerce platform and we are pleased that mobile purchases are driving online sales across the system. Current trading is encouraging, boosted by the Euro 2016 championships; we have made a sound start to the second half on the year. We face tougher comparatives throughout the rest of the year, but I am confident we shall deliver another good performance right across the group. Our cash conversion remains very strong and today we can announce a significant increase in the interim dividend. We have delivered a very promising opportunity in Scandinavia and remain open to further international opportunities where we can deploy our know-how alongside carefully selected local partners. Recently we announced that Rachel Osborne will join the group as an executive director and the Chief Financial Officer of the Company, and we look forward to welcoming her to DPG after the summer. I would also like to thank the DPG team for their continued hard work and pay tribute to our franchisees whose tireless endeavours ensure that our customers continue to enjoy great pizzas with great service every day.”

Cineworld buys five cinemas: Cineworld Group has bought five cinemas from Cinema Holdings Limited, the holding company of Empire Cinema Limited and the sale to Empire of the three screen Cineworld Haymarket. Cineworld will pay Empire an aggregate consideration of £94 million. The cinemas purchased are: the nine screen Empire Leicester Square multiplex, a leading London West End venue for movie premieres, which has a Laser IMAX screen, an 18 screen multiplex in Basildon, which has an IMAX screen, a 17 screen multiplex in Hemel Hempstead, which has an IMAX screen, a 16 screen multiplex in Poole, which has an IMAX screen and a smaller four screen cinema in Bromley in Greater London. In recent years, extensive investment has been made into this portfolio. Ebitda for the twelve months to 31 March 2016 was £9m, which includes only a partial contribution from additional screens, and the UK’s first IMAX Laser in the Leicester Square multiplex, all of which were only opened part way through the financial period. The directors believe that the Transaction will be marginally earnings enhancing for Cineworld within the current financial year and provide high single digit earnings enhancement in 2017, including some anticipated synergies. The 2017 growth will benefit from the full contribution of the new screens opened in 2015 and 2016, which are not reflected in the historic Ebitda performance. The consideration for the Transaction will be 50% cash and 50% new ordinary Cineworld shares. The shares will be issued to Empire in five instalments during a 12 month period, based on an issue price reflecting 20 days’ average trading price prior to the date of each issuance. The Leicester Square, Basildon, Hemel Hempstead and Poole cinemas will take on Cineworld branding, while management is considering converting the Bromley cinema into a Picturehouse to make optimum use of its size and location. No further material capex is required due to the investment in the portfolio in recent years, and all the multiplexes are modern with state of the art equipment. Mooky Greidinger, chief executive of Cineworld, said: “This acquisition brings Cineworld five modern and well invested venues complementary to our existing estate, including the iconic Leicester Square cinema in the heart of London’s West End. It underscores our commitment to operating high quality and modern cinemas across all of our nine operating countries, and our mission to be the best place to watch a movie. I’m delighted that the Anderson family, well-known cinema industry veterans, have entrusted these sites to us. We welcome them as shareholders in Cineworld and look forward to delivering increased returns to all of our investors from integrating these cinemas into our group.”

Just Eat reports sales up 59% to £171.6m in First Half: Just Eat, the digital marketplace for takeaway food delivery, has reported revenues up 59% to £171.6 million and Underlying Ebitda up 107% to £53.4 million in the six months to 30 June 2016. Orders rose 55% to 64.9 million (H1 2015: 41.9 million), like-for-like orders up 40%. Active Users rose 45% to 15.9 million (as at 30 June 2015: 11.0 million). Orders via mobile devices account for 70% of total orders (H1 2015: over 60%) The company reported it processed orders worth over £1.1 billion for our takeaway restaurants (H1 2015: £0.7 billion). David Buttress, chief executive, said: “Just Eat has made a very strong start to 2016. Our consistently strong performance across the business in the First Half has delivered 55% more orders compared to the same period last year for our 66,200 restaurant partners whilst driving impressive growth of both revenues and profit. Particularly pleasing has been the continued scaling of our international markets in the period, highlighted by our success in creating the clear market leaders in Spain, Italy and Mexico. Our determination to enhance the Just Eat service for both consumers and restaurants is paying off and gives us the confidence to increase our revenues and uEBITDA guidance for the full year as we continue to lead the sector. I would like to thank the entire Just Eat team for their hard work and determination in achieving these results.” The company added: “Just Eat is in a very strong position both operationally and financially. As a result, we are now increasing our forecasts for FY 2016 above market consensus. We will continue to invest in the business for profitable growth and our expectations for 2016 revenues increase from £358 million to £368 million assuming current exchange rates remain for the balance of the year. Of this £10 million upgrade to revenues, £7 million is as a result of improved trading and £3 million is due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates. We now expect uEBITDA of between £106-108 million (up from £102-104 million). This uEBITDA upgrade is driven by improved trading, net of investment in product, technology and marketing in the second half of 2016. At an uEBITDA level, the impact of foreign exchange is expected to be limited for 2016 as a whole.”

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