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Tue 28th Mar 2017 - Tasty cuts planned opening numbers in half, Time Out and AG Barr results
Tasty cuts planned opening numbers in half with post year-end trade ‘below expectations’: Tasty has cut the planned number of openings for the current year from 15 to seven after reporting post year-end trade “was below expectations”. The company reported revenue grew 28% to £45,847,000 for the year ending 1 January 2017 (2015: £35,794,000). It saw headline Ebitda before pre-opening costs and non-operating items increase to £7,070,000 (2015: £5,831,000). Pre-opening costs for the period totalled £642,000 (2015: £644,000). It made a pre-tax loss of £88,000 compared with a profit of £3,067,000 the year before. 13 Wildwood and Wildwood Kitchen restaurants opened during the period. Abingdon, Braintree, Letchworth and Ilkley all opened in the first half of the year while Crawley, Cheam and Lincoln opened in quarter three and Bournemouth, Llandudno, Worcester Park, Edinburgh, York and Northwich all opened in quarter four. Since the year end the company has opened a further two Wildwood sites and there are a further two Wildwood sites that are due to open imminently. Trading since the year end has proved challenging and the directors are now expecting headline operating profit for 2017 to be below that achieved in 2016. Chairman Keith Lassman said: “During the year the group undertook a comprehensive review of its estate and has recognised impairment charges against a number of sites. Turnaround strategies have been implemented at these sites in an effort to bring performance of these restaurants in line with the rest of the estate. Overall, the group traded in line with expectations. After taking into account all non-trade adjustments the group has a stated loss after tax for the period of £848,000 (2015: profit £2,467,000). At the end of the period the Group operated 61 restaurants. Currently, the Group has 63 restaurants in operation – seven Dim T and 56 Wildwood. Net cash outflow for the period before financing was £6,883,000 (2015: £4,759,000). This is largely represented by capital expenditure on the expansion of the business through the opening of the above sites. Cash flows generated from operations were £5,368,000 (2015 – £5,076,000). During the year the group updated its banking facility with Barclays, increasing the facility to £12,000,000 (2015: available facility of £8,000,000) to be used for future capital expenditure. As at 1 January 2017 the company had drawn £7,000,000 of the available facility. The Company issued ordinary shares during the period resulting in a cash inflow of £8,630,000 (2015: £52,000). Cash and cash equivalents held at the end of the period were £5,004,000 (2015: £2,221,000). The group is cash generative and has a strong capital footing for the future. Post year-end trade has been below expectations and the directors believe that the trading environment for the coming 12 months will remain challenging. As a result, the group has revised down the planned number of openings for the current year from 15 to seven and expects that headline operating profit will be below that achieved in 2016. The group is undertaking a full review of the estate and operational structure and is implementing a number of strategies to improve performance. The directors believe the group’s core ‘Wildwood’ brand remains attractive to customers and the Group is taking positive action to address the expected financial performance and ensure growth in the future.”
 
Time Out Group reports 115% revenue growth in Lisbon market as total turnover rises 23%: Time Out Group, the global multi-platform media and e-commerce business that operates food and cultural markets, has reported its Lisbon market has seen revenue grow 115% year-on-year. In its maiden results since its AIM float in June last year, the company reported group turnover increased 23% to £37.1m (2015: £30.2m) for the year ending 31 December 2016 with revenue growth in the second half of 29% compared with 16% in the first half. Adjusted Ebitda loss improved by £2.5m to £10.6m (2015: £13.1m). The company saw digital revenue growth of 39% including e-commerce up 45%, premium profiles up 51% and digital advertising up 36% year-on-year. Chief executive Julio Bruno said: “The performance of the market in Lisbon has been very encouraging, with a record 3.1 million visitors and top ratings on review sites. Total tenant turnover has increased by 42% contributing, together with changes in the charging basis to tenants, to a 115% increase in Time Out revenues year-on-year. This strong revenue growth has delivered an Ebitda of £1.1m (2015: £0.1m) before central costs. The restaurant, concert venue and other operations are now active on the first floor of the location and the Time Out Bar is in operation on the main market floor. 2016 also saw three of the chefs with a presence in the Lisbon market receiving Michelin stars in their own local restaurants and 150 cooking workshops were offered in the Chef’s Academy, proving the high-quality food experience Time Out Market offers. In line with the stated growth strategy, the group is expanding this format internationally to other cities. Leases, which are subject to planning approval, have been signed for new locations in London and Miami. It is anticipated that the markets will open in the first half of 2018. The group continues to see a high level of interest from landlords in many other cities. 2016 has been a year of significant events for Time Out Group. We listed on the stock market in June to take this iconic brand to the next stage of its development, accelerating its growth and consolidating the lines of business. At Time Out, we like to say that we are in the ‘happiness business’. We inspire and enable people to discover, book and share what the world’s cities have to offer. As the trusted companion of both locals and visitors, we influence hundreds of millions of travel and entertainment spend around the globe. But just as importantly, our curated, high-quality content creates a valuable brand-appropriate environment for our online advertising and e-commerce partners. We have beaten revenue expectations but we are just at the beginning of our quest to transact with our large, global audience.”
 
AG Barr reports pre-tax profit up 2.7% to £42.4m: AG Barr, which produces IRN-BRU, Rubicon, Strathmore and Funkin, has reported profit before tax and exceptionals rose 2.7% to £42.4m for the 52 weeks to 28 January 2017. Total revenue fell 0.6% to £257.1m (2016: £258.6m). The company said it maintained its market share across the period with IRN-BRU and Rubicon seeing sales increase 3.2% and 4.9% respectively while Funkin revenue grew by 27% “reflecting growth across all product segments”. Chief executive Roger White said: “We have made considerable progress across the business over the past 12 months and delivered a solid financial performance in volatile and uncertain market conditions. As consumer tastes and preferences continue to change, our recent announcement that 90% of company-owned brands will contain less than five grams of total sugars per 100ml by the autumn of 2017 is a positive demonstration of how the business is responding to consumers’ needs with both pace and commitment. The UK consumer environment remains uncertain, however we are confident that our great brands, effective business model, clear strategy and strong team ensure we are well placed to realise the full potential of our business and to deliver consistent long-term shareholder value.”
 
200 drivers sign up for legal action against Deliveroo: About 200 drivers have signed up to take action against Deliveroo. Law firm Leigh Day, which revealed in January it was talking to Deliveroo drivers about possible legal action against the food delivery firm, has argued the drivers, who are treated as self-employed, should be eligible for employment rights such as the National Minimum Wage. Deliveroo has said it offers flexible working to the self-employed. Deliveroo has a valuation of £1bn following a $275m (£226m) funding round in August 2016 and provides a delivery service for restaurants in more than 100 cities in 12 countries around the world. In late 2016, Leigh Day won a major battle against Uber, the Californian ride-hailing company, when a London employment tribunal ruled that its drivers should be classified as “workers” and entitled to additional benefits.

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