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Fri 4th Aug 2017 - Innis & Gunn reports rise in group turnover and profit, Merlin Entertainments sees like-for-like growth
Innis & Gunn reports rise in group turnover and profit: Scottish brewer and retailer Innis & Gunn has increased its annual group turnover by 22% to more than £14.3m in 2016, up from £11.8m in 2015. The Edinburgh-based brewer also increased its annual gross profit by 25% to £8.5m, compared with £6.8m the previous year. Sales volumes passed 2.2 million cases for the first time, the 13th consecutive year of volume growth, which means during the past five years volume has increased by 175%, including sales of the Inveralmond Brewery brands that were integrated into the Innis & Gunn business last year. The company said the figures were representative of a transformative year for Innis & Gunn, one that saw the brewer purchase the Inveralmond Brewery – now The Innis & Gunn Brewery – in Perth, and acquire the Inveralmond portfolio of award-winning beers, open two new Beer Kitchens in Scotland, sign distribution deals in France, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and raise £2.4m in equity crowdfunding. The company said it was “well on track” to reach its goal of £25m turnover by 2018. The brewer also plans to treble its beer production during the next 12 months at its Perth brewery. Innis & Gunn’s performance in international markets contributed significantly to growth in 2016. Canada continues to be its largest export market, delivering more than a fifth of total volume. Almost 600,000 bottles of Innis & Gunn beer were sold in the first year of a new joint venture with SIP Drinks in France, with volume expected to double in that market in the next 12 months. In the UK, an “exceptionally strong” performance for Innis & Gunn Lager saw sales almost quadruple in the past two years. In November, Innis & Gunn launched Adventure Capital, an equity crowdfunding campaign that raised £2.4m and brought in 1,914 new shareholders. Part of the capital raised has been used to increase the capacity of the brewery. The larger part will be used to open new Beer Kitchens, with the company in advanced negotiations regarding sites in the UK and overseas. Tony Hunt, chairman of the board at Innis & Gunn, said: “2016 was an outstanding year for Innis & Gunn and the start of a planned transformation of our business. We acquired our first-ever brewery, opened new Beer Kitchens, launched some delicious new beers, achieved record sales volumes and won our 46th award for quality since 2009. To top it off, through our crowdfunding we brought nearly 2,000 new shareholders into the Innis & Gunn community. Most important of all, we laid the foundations from which we plan to double the size of this business over the next two years. Around the world, the opportunity is huge as increasing numbers of consumers develop a taste for authentic craft beer and, thanks to Dougal Gunn Sharp and our highly talented brewing team, Innis & Gunn is ideally placed to benefit from that trend.”

Merlin Entertainments sees like-for-like growth: Merlin Entertainments has reported 3.7% like-for-like growth in its interim results for the 26 weeks ending 1 July 2017. Like-for-like revenue growth in the period increased 3.7% to £685m, compared with £573m the year before. Ebitda grew 2.4% to £144m, compared with £126m the previous year. Group revenue grew 9.6% on a constant currency basis to £685m, compared with £573m the year before. Revenue at Legoland Parks increased 20.8% on a constant currency basis, driven by the opening of Legoland Japan on 1 April, a strong Easter trading period driving 8.0% like-for-like growth and new accommodation such as Beach Retreat in Legoland Florida. Midway Attractions delivered 2.3% revenue growth on a constant currency basis, with the opening of new attractions offsetting a 0.4% decline in like-for-like revenue reflecting a “more subdued London market as well as an expected phasing of growth”. Resort Theme Parks revenue increased 7.7% on a constant currency basis, driven by a 6.2% growth in like-for-like revenue following a strong Easter. Five Midway attractions opened in the period, including new brand Little Big City in Berlin, while 305 accommodation rooms opened across four theme parks. Merlin Entertainments chief executive Nick Varney said: “We have delivered revenue growth of 9.6% in the first half of 2017 as we continue to execute against our six strategic growth drivers. This reflects growth in our existing estate and the contribution of our New Business Development programme – in particular, the opening of Legoland Japan, which has already welcomed over half a million visitors. We continue to be excited by the long-term underlying growth prospects in our market and have the strategy in place to exploit these. We remain on track to meet our 2020 milestone targets, supported not only by the attractions and accommodation opened to date but also by the progress we have made on the pipeline, in particular the ongoing development of new brands that will underpin the longer-term roll-out.”

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