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Thu 11th Aug 2016 - Update: Young’s board, Enterprise, Shake Shack, Adnams results
Young’s makes changes to board of directors: London pub retailer Young’s has made change to its board of directors. Steve Robinson, currently head of finance within Young’s, will join the Board and succeed Peter Whitehead as finance director on 6 September 2016. Whitehead will step down from the Board at that date. Tracy Read, currently the company’s director of people, will be promoted to the Board also on 6 September 2016. Robinson joined Young’s in June 2009 and has been head of finance since September 2013. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte and, before joining Young’s, held a number of finance roles at The Walt Disney company. Read joined Young’s in January 2015. Before that, during eight years at pub company The Orchid Group, she held a number of roles, most recently head of people. Patrick Dardis, chief executive, said: “We are all extremely grateful to Peter. He has been a hugely effective Finance Director for us for almost two decades, a transformational period during which time a great deal has been achieved. It is to Peter’s great credit that he has built a strong finance function that has produced a natural successor in Steve Robinson. Steve is well qualified to take on the role, with an intimate knowledge of our business and our industry. Tracy’s elevation to our Board recognises the importance we place on having the right people and culture throughout our business, with training and development programmes to ensure we deliver outstanding customer service so our pubs reach their full potential. Our continued success requires this, and Tracy has the talent and experience to deliver it.” Peter Whitehead said: “It has been an enormously fulfilling 19 years. Young’s is a unique company with a great heritage and importantly a very clear view of the future. I will miss it greatly, but it is the right time for me to step down, and I am delighted that Steve will be succeeding me. He has played a central role in our finance function for a number of years and I know that he will be highly successful in his new role.” 

Enterprise reports ‘encouraging trading performance’, strategic plan on track: Enterprise Inns has reported an encouraging trading performance with like-for-like net income in its leased and tenanted business up 1.9% in the 44 weeks to 30 July 2016 and all aspects of the strategic plan on track. The company stated: “The trading performance and expansion of our managed house operations is progressing well and we expect to have in excess of 100 managed houses operational by 30 September 2016. In addition, we continue to grow our portfolio of quality commercial properties and expect to have in the region of 300 such properties by the financial year-end.” Simon Townsend, chief executive, said: “We are pleased to have maintained our trading momentum through the second half of the year to date. The consequences of Brexit may be far-reaching but to date we have seen no discernible impact on consumer spending and no consequential impact on our trading performance. Whilst mindful of the potential for some economic uncertainty in the months ahead, we are confident in our strategy and the actions we are taking to grow value for shareholders, and we remain on track to deliver our financial and strategic expectations for the year.” In the current year Enterprise has published a quarterly Interim Management Statement (IMS) at the beginning of February and August on a voluntary basis. With effect from 1 January 2017, Enterprise will provide a short trading update in February, to coincide with its Annual General Meeting, but will no longer publish an IMS in August.

Shake Shack reports like-for-likes up 4.5% in Second Quarter: Shake Shack has reported Second Quarter total revenue grew 37.2% while like-for-likes were up 4.5%. Total revenue increased 37.2% to $66.5 million. Chief executive Randy Garutti said: “For the second quarter, we increased revenue over 2015 by 37.2%, opened four new company-operated Shacks domestically, three licensed Shacks and grew comps by 4.5%, on top of an impressive 12.9% increase last year. We continue to execute on our growth strategy, while delivering industry-leading AUVs and, in this past quarter, our 30.8% Shack-level operating profit margin set a new record. Innovating around our core menu continues to be a key driver of our success with the addition of our Chick’n Shack, launched in January, and our most recent LTO, the Bacon Cheddar Shack, launched in June. Domestically, given favorable development tailwinds in our 2016 pipeline, we have increased guidance to open 18 domestic company-operated Shacks this year. Next week we will reach a milestone of our 100th Shack opening worldwide. We have never been more excited about the opportunities ahead of us and are committed to investing in our team as we envision and execute the next 100 great Shacks.”

Adnams reports many positive developments in First Half: Suffolk brewer and retailer Adnams has reported ‘many positive developments’ in its First Half, ‘notably 7% growth in own beer volumes and spirits volumes up by 60%’. Turnover was up 7% at £31,219,000 in the six month to 30 June although operating profit dropped to £624,000 from £962,000 the year before. Chairman Jonathan Adnams said: “Turnover grew by 7% although our first half operating profit was behind that achieved in 2015. This was as anticipated and included in our AGM statement. We have noted in previous years that as our profits arise more in the second half of the year, the first half result can be quite volatile. The main reasons for the lower first half result were the expansion of our shop and managed house retail operations, where earnings tend to be stronger in the second half of the year, the increased investment that we have made in marketing and the decline in the Sterling exchange rate. Income from asset sales was much higher this year at £1.4m, comfortably ahead of last year’s £407,000. Last year’s income arose from selling three pubs whilst in this half year there was one pub sold, but most of the income came from the sale of our UK distribution rights for Lagunitas beer. These rights were sold to Heineken following Heineken’s acquisition of a major stake in the Lagunitas business.”

The Adnams Beer Business: He said: “The fact that we have been able to push our own beer volumes ahead in the last few years in the face of a fiercely competitive market is a great credit to our sales and marketing work and in particular to our success in reading market trends and producing beers that appeal to consumer tastes. Adnams Ghost Ship continues to be the beer that leads our sales growth, but a number of our smaller products have seen good success too. We have seen a marked shift in our production towards bottled, canned and kegged beers and although cask beer is still the vital mainstay of what we produce, its proportion of the whole has fallen. This trend supports the major £7 million investment that we are making in our brewery, which should be complete a year from now. This will give us additional capacity together with the flexibility to make the wider range of beer styles that are now being demanded. Industry data suggests that the beer market grew by 0.4% in the first half of 2016 and against that benchmark we performed very well. We saw good growth in our directly delivered business in both East Anglia and London and notably strong growth in our sales to supermarkets and other take home outlets. In the National trade we performed well with most customers, though two important managed pub company customers saw declines. We have commented before that these customers can switch substantial volumes between suppliers at short notice which creates inevitable volatility. Our export business had a relatively slow start to the year, but we are hopeful of a stronger second half performance as we continue to build our overseas distribution network. Over the last three years Adnams has been the distributor for the leading US craft brewer, Lagunitas. Lagunitas beers have sold very well in the UK market and Adnams has enjoyed considerable success in promoting these beers. Last September Heineken formed a joint venture with Lagunitas and following subsequent discussions Adnams agreed to sell its UK distribution rights to Heineken. The effective date for this agreement was 1st July 2016 and as the contractual commitment was made before that date, the profit from the sale is reflected in these results. In future Heineken will sell Lagunitas beers to Adnams so that we can continue to supply our directly delivered customers, but there will of course be some reduction in future earnings from this source.”

The Adnams Copper House Distillery: He said: “The major extension to our distillery opened early in the year giving us towards three times more capacity. We continue to see very strong growth in our spirits sales led by Copper House Gin which has been selling strongly across all channels. The additional capacity is allowing us to lay down more whisky, a process that slackened in the second half of last year as we had to devote capacity to the immediate demand for gin.”

The Adnams Pubs and Hotels: He said: “Our managed business, comprising the Swan and Crown in Southwold, the White Horse at Blakeney, the Ship at Levington and more recently the Plough at Wangford, produced results ahead of 2015. We were slightly behind our expectations given the lost income in 2015 resulting from temporary closure for refurbishments at the Swan and the White Horse. Relatively poor weather conditions during key trading periods did not help and some extra costs were incurred as we have sought to put the right teams in place at each property. In our 2015 accounts and at the AGM we talked about our ambitions for the Swan. This hotel occupies a key position in Southwold and is perhaps the most public face of Adnams. We believe that it can be much stronger, more integrated with Adnams and more relevant to today’s customer with a substantial redevelopment and refocussing. We are planning to spend around £4 million on this development and subject to necessary consents this should take place in the first half of 2017.The leased and tenanted part of the business has seen the impact of having fewer pubs as we have sold a number of smaller outlets in recent years, but underlying trading has been good with like-for-like results ahead of last year and an overall result only a little behind that of a year ago. The pub sold in the first half of this year was The Cherry Tree at Harleston. Two other pubs are on the market: The King’s Head, Southwold and the Lord Nelson, Ipswich. Shareholders will be aware that the King’s Head has been closed for some while and given its Southwold location we have tried particularly hard to see it pass to a supportive buyer. To this end we spoke to a number of community groups over an extended period. Sadly, these discussions came to nothing, and the property is for sale with consent for mixed retail and residential use. We hope that it will sell in the near future, though there are no firm offers at the time of writing.”

The Adnams Shops: He said: “Our shops have continued to trade well, though the first half result in 2016 has been reduced by the weakness of Sterling, which raises the price of imported wine. Having opened a shop in Bury St Edmunds last autumn we recently opened a smaller outlet in Felixstowe. All our shops make their profits in the second half of the year and so more openings tend to reduce first half profits. This too has had an impact in 2016. Our shops have been a great success in helping to display our brand to a wider audience and in boosting the growth in our beers and spirits and we plan to gradually extend our presence over the next few years. Our online shop continues to grow and help us to reach a customer base beyond those near to our physical stores. Our Wine Club has seen encouraging new membership. Marketing Our main focus in recent years has been on event sponsorship and this has continued in 2016 with a notable new sponsorship of the University Boat Races. This has given us more of a focus in London and provided good television coverage. We are also sponsoring major cycling events including the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour. Beyond these major sporting occasions, we are sponsors at Newmarket Racecourse and support many local teams and events. The University Boat Race sponsorship and associated promotions has added to our costs this year and this has had some impact on the first half results.”

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