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Fri 29th Dec 2017 - Results: Camerons and Anglian Country Inns
Camerons Brewery reports return to profit and Ebitda boost as pub revenue soars, secures £10m funding package for expansion: Camerons Brewery has reported a return to profit and has seen a further boost in Ebitda as revenue from its pub estate soared. The company saw turnover fall to £69,895,195 for the year ending 30 April 2017 compared with £71,237,827 the previous year. Revenue from pubs increased to £16,910,712 compared with £9,960,665 the year before while turnover from brewing and other activities fell to £52,964,489 compared with £61,254,011 the previous year. Ebitda was up 6% to £6.4m compared with £6m the year before. The company saw a pre-tax profit of £2,441,876 compared with a loss of £532,480 the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Camerons Brewery said since the year end it had secured a £10m funding package from HSBC to assist it with its expansion plans and six new sites had been secured for its Head of Steam brand. A report by the directors accompanying the accounts stated: “The company remains firmly on track to deliver its business plan objectives. We continue to acquire, invest and churn across both our managed and tenanted divisions and we have made great progress with the pubs this year. We have continued to add to our growing managed division in the year with the acquisition of seven quality leasehold outlets from The Leeds Brewery Company. Our managed division, including our Head of Steam brand, consisted of 24 outlets at the year end with further additions made subsequently. Our tenanted division, which consisted of 50 outlets at the year end, has performed robustly during the year against challenging market conditions. The contract brewing and bottling business remains very strong for the company and we are excited at how our new brands, in particular Road Crew, are being received in the market place. Since the year end we have secured an additional £10m funding package from our bankers HSBC to assist us with our growth plans, in particular, in building the Head of Steam Managed brand – we have acquired two outlets since the year end and have agreed heads of terms for another four outlets. In summary, the directors are very pleased with the progress the company continues to make and are confident of further growth through 2018. Net debt at the year end was £23.1m, similar to the prior year. This has resulted in a net debt to Ebitda ratio of 3.6 times, down from 3.8 times at the end of the prior year.” The number of employees increased to 271 at the end of the period from 214 the previous year.

Anglian Country Inns reports like-for-like sales up 13% as turnover passes £10m: Anglian Country Inns (ACI), the award-winning operator of gastro-pubs and restaurants led by James Nye, has reported like-for-like sales increased 13% for the year ending 31 March 2017. The company, which operates eight sites, saw turnover rise 20% to £10,399,840 compared with £8,723,315 the previous year. Like-for-like site Ebitda excluding head office costs was down to £1.4m (£1.6m in 2016), 13.5% of sales (17.5% in 2016). Pre-tax profit was down to £74,004 compared with £336,045 the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House. A report by the directors accompanying the accounts stated: “2017 has seen good sales growth in Hertfordshire and Norfolk with the latter area again being a little stronger. We added eight rooms to The Fox, Willian, which opened in November 2016 and we are steadily building occupancy without resorting to online travel agencies and see this as a strong addition to the sites customer offer. Also in Hertfordshire the Cricketers at Willian is now fully established complete with the extension of the dining facilities to 80 covers. We extended our Norfolk presence by acquiring the Kings Head, Letheringsett, which joined the ACI family in July 2016. Steady progress is being made at the site as we integrate it into our operating culture. Revenue in 2017 grew to £10.4m (£8.7m in 2016) an increase of £1.7m (20%). The acquisition of the Kings Head accounted for £0.6m of this increase with underlying like-for-like sales increasing by a healthy £1.1m (13%). We are pleased to report continued improvement in gross profit margin to 70.5% (70.4% in 2016) despite the inflationary pressures. Administrative expenses including site labour costs increased to £7.2m (£5.7m in 2015) an increase of 26%. The Kings Head accounts for £0.5m of this increase so increases in like-for-like costs are £1.1m, key elements being site labour costs £0.4m, rent and rates £0.2m, depreciation £0.1m and scheduled repairs & maintenance £0.1m. We have also invested a further £0.2m in head office support, which is showing good return in the current financial year.” The number of employees at the end of the period increased to 257 from 214 the previous year.

Seedrs reports record-breaking year: Crowdfunding platform Seedrs has reported a record-breaking year with more than £300m now having been invested in campaigns since it launched five years ago. The company stated: “2017 has been, by far, our most successful year to date. Independent research firm Beauhurst has recognised Seedrs is the most active investor in UK private companies for the second year running. We broke multiple records this year with funding rounds now surpassing £300m invested into campaigns on the platform since launch, and more than 560 deals funded to date. Recognising the growing demand for liquidity from investors, we announced a pioneering move for our sector with the launch of The Seedrs Secondary Market. This beta product enables shareholders in Seedrs-funded businesses to buy and sell shares from each other during a one-week window each month. Our secondary market continues to grow at pace, with around five times as many shares listed in the December trading window as had been listed in the market’s first window back in June, and we look forward to further developing the product.” Chief executive Jeff Kelisky said: “The continued success of so many of our portfolio companies validates everything we are working so hard to achieve, but also the very essence of what equity crowdfunding stands for – helping ambitious growth-focused businesses thrive with patient capital, and starting to deliver sizeable returns to investors. Seedrs has been live for five years, and in a long-term asset class where we have always talked about returns from the seven-year mark onwards, the trajectory is already incredibly positive. 2017 has been a standout year for both Seedrs and the wider space, but we have long been looking ahead to 2018 and planning how we can continue to lead the equity crowdfunding space with innovative technology, game-changing products and many more portfolio success stories.”

FullClear hits £250,000 crowdfunding target: Beer line-cleaner business FullClear has hit its £250,000 target on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to help fund its next stage of growth. The company, whose customers include Admiral Taverns, Hawthorn Leisure and Tokyo Industries, is offering a 12.82% equity stake in return for the investment. So far, 229 investors have pledged £250,500 and the campaign is now “overfunding” with eight days remaining. The largest investment to date is £25,000. FullClear is a scientifically formulated beer line-cleaning solution that is non-corrosive, non-toxic and non-hazardous, allowing safe, monthly beer line cleaning, the company said. It will use the investment to further its expansion in the UK and globally alongside building its sales and marketing capabilities. FullClear also has an exclusive partnership with beer quality and waste management systems company Vianet, allowing operators “total oversight over their line-cleaning processes”. Earlier this month, FullClear reported another month of strong sales with Brakspear purchasing FullClear for its managed estate. FullClear has also signed up more Burning Night Group venues and several independents have come on board along with more significant sales to Admiral licensees. FullClear also started pilots with Shepherd Neame and Ei Group.

Italy-based operator extends £350,000 crowdfunding campaign to enter UK market: Italy-based operator Miccone, which specialises in the bread it is named after, has extended its £350,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube until the end of January as it looks to launch in the UK. Founder Giuseppe Dabbene has been testing the concept in London by operating a food truck that sells savoury and sweet miccone. Now he is raising funds to open a permanent site in the capital and is offering a 30.43% equity stake in return for the investment. So far, 58 investors have pledged £76,880. The pitch states: “In 2014 we opened our first store in Pavia in Italy (€680,000 revenue in three years, €58,840 Ebitda). We feel this is the right time to expand into the UK market, where 22% of British adults choose Italian food for eating out. London has been important to us for testing Miccone thanks to the great success and audience response we had with our food truck. Now our mission is to open our first site in London to make this niche Italian traditional food known to an international audience. Our savoury miccone is stuffed with cold cuts and cheese or other international ingredients. All this is matched by wine and craft beer. The sweet version is combined with jam and honey. From leftover miccone bread we create our bread cake. All of this is matched by high-quality coffee, which we roast in-store.”

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