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Sun 24th Sep 2017 - Update: Leon results and Deliveroo raises £285m
Leon reports turnover growth, like-for-likes up 7.6%: Leon has reported total sales of £58.4m in its 2016 full year, up £21.5m on the year before with like-for-like sales up 7.6%. It added eight company-owned sites to make the total 34 and two franchised sites for a total of nine. Revenue from company-owned sites and royalties was £42.1m, up £15.5m on the year before. Adjusted Ebitda was £3.4m, up £700,000 from the year before. SSP Franchise has an agreement to operate Leon in UK railway stations. The first site at Liverpool Street opened during 2016, and the second at Paddington has subsequently opened this year. A HMS deal was extended at the end of 2015, resulting in the first non-UK Leon, which opened at Schiphol airport. A second Schiphol site has subsequently been opened by HMS in 2017, and Utrecht is to open shortly. Meanwhile, two new sites have opened in the UK operated by Roadchef. Chief executive John Vincent said: “(It’s) early days, (they are) trading well, and overall slightly ahead of expectation. Staff numbers grew to 682 from 433 during the year with 249 jobs created. The company successfully refinanced its debts, securing £19m facilities including a £6m facility for new restaurants expansion. Future plans for Leon include continued company-owned expansion in the UK, and notably developing a more significant presence outside of the London area and a trial of company-owned restaurants in the US, where we are aiming to open two sites in the next six to nine months.” On current trading, Leon said it was ‘making overall like-for-like growth this year, although not as strong as 2016. “August was particularly challenging (we know we’re not the only operators to have seen this),” said Vincent. “(Sales have) improved since the end of the summer holiday period.”

Deliveroo raises another £285m: Deliveroo has secured £285m in new funding from two US-headquartered fund management companies. Fidelity and T Rowe Price have agreed to invest in the UK-based technology start-up as part of a deal valuing it at $2bn (£1.48bn). The two fund managers are investing in Deliveroo as part of a $385m fund-raising that could be announced as soon as next week. Bankers at JP Morgan Chase are understood to have orchestrated the financing. The investment in Deliveroo by Fidelity and T Rowe Price aims to send a fresh signal about the restaurant app’s long-term intention to list on the public markets. This week, its holding company reported in a filing lodged at Companies House that it saw sales grow by more than 600% last year to £128.6m. At the same time, however, losses increased from £30.1m in 2015 to nearly £130m last year. The valuation that will be attributed to Deliveroo by its new fund-raising will break the £1bn barrier that leads to tech companies being labelled as “unicorns”. Deliveroo uses about 15,000 delivery riders in the UK. It recently removed a stipulation in earlier contracts saying couriers could not challenge their self-employed status at an employment tribunal.‎ Its new employment document also includes the explicit clarification couriers can work for other companies at the same time as they undertake work for Deliveroo – a key change MPs had urged in a critical report on the so-called “gig economy” earlier this year. It also said riders would no longer be required to give Deliveroo notice of their intention to stop working for it, although the company would still give one week’s notice if it wanted to terminate its agreement with riders. Deliveroo last raised money in August 2016 from investors including General Catalyst Partners, a US-based firm.

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