Marston’s reports snow and ice impact trading: Marston’s has reported the snow and icy weather had an impact on trading for the 16 weeks to 20 January 2018. The company stated: “We continued to make progress in the period with growth in both sales and underlying earnings, helped by the acquisition of the Charles Wells Brewing Business in May 2017 and the contribution from the 19 new-build pubs in financial year 2017. Snow and icy weather towards the end of the period, both in early December and between Christmas and New Year, caused some unavoidable disruption to the business. Total sales for the period in Destination and Premium are up 4.9% reflecting the contribution from the estate expansion in 2017. Like-for-like sales in the period, excluding the impact of the two snow-affected weeks, are up 1.1%. The weather impact on like-for like sales was about 2%, and on an unadjusted basis like-for-like sales were down 0.9% in the period. We estimate the profit impact of this to be £1m. We continue to maintain a disciplined approach to operating margins without recourse to the significant discounting which has remained prevalent in the sector. Margins remain in line with expectations and are slightly below last year reflecting cost increases as previously guided. There are no changes to the cost guidance previously provided in November 2017. Like-for-like sales for the period in Taverns are up 2.6%, benefiting from the performance of franchise-style agreements and an improved drinks range. Our leased estate has performed well, with profit growth in the period estimated to be 2%. Marston’s Beer Company has achieved good growth in the period to date, with own-brewed volumes up 33%. In addition to the acquisition of Charles Wells Brewing Business we are benefiting from distribution gains achieved in 2017 and a stronger brand portfolio well represented in the premium ale, craft beer and ‘world beer’ segments of the market. We remain on-track to achieve the targeted synergies from the acquisition. We remain on target to open 15 pub restaurants and bars and six lodges this year. We have opened three pub-restaurants and two lodges in the year to date, including a 104-bedroom lodge in Ebbsfleet.” Chief executive Ralph Findlay said: “We are pleased with our progress, which included record total retail sales in our pubs of £4m on Christmas Day – 5.4% higher than last year. We continue to achieve growth against tough market conditions and are benefiting from investment in both pubs and brewing. We look forward to continuing to provide our customers with a great pub experience and excellent service, as well as delivering value for shareholders, over the year ahead.”
SSP reports like-for-like sales up 2.7% in first-half: SSP, the operator of food and beverage outlets in travel locations worldwide, has reported like-for-like sales increased 2.7% for its first-quarter ending 31 December 2017. The company stated: “SSP has had a good start to the new financial year and has made encouraging further progress in rolling out its strategic initiatives. Total group revenue increased by 13.5% on a constant currency basis, comprising like-for-like sales growth of 2.7%, net contract gains of 8.1%, and the acquisition of TFS, our joint venture in India, adding a further 2.7% to sales. Total group revenue growth at actual exchange rates was 12.2%. Like-for-like sales growth in the UK and continental Europe was in line with expectations, driven by the ongoing roll-out of strategic initiatives and increasing passenger numbers. In North America sales were driven by robust passenger growth, although at a number of our airports the impact of changes in airline routes and passenger flows seen in the second half of 2017 has continued into the first quarter. In the rest of the world (including TFS), we continued to see good like-for-like sales growth. Looking forward to the full year, our expectation for like-for-like sales growth for the group remains unchanged, at between 2% and 3%. Net contract gains were driven by significant contributions from North America and the rest of the world. Looking forward, after a good start in the first quarter, an encouraging pipeline of new contracts and the deferral of redevelopments at some of our airports, we now anticipate net contract gains for the group, including the impact of TFS, to be approximately 4% for the full year. On December 1, SSP announced it had agreed to acquire part of the Stockheim group, a business operating food and beverage outlets in airports and railway stations in Germany. The business had sales of approximately €30m in 2016. The acquisition is expected to complete in early 2018. The new financial year has started well and the pipeline of new contracts is encouraging. Whilst a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, we continue to be well placed to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets.”
Eagle Eye reports F&B revenue up 41%, updates on contracts: Eagle Eye, the SaaS technology company that validates and redeems digital promotions in real-time for the grocery, retail and hospitality industries, has reported revenue from the food and beverage sector increased 41% for the six months ending 31 December 2017. The company has also secured a contract with Boparan Restaurants as well as renewals with sector companies including Mitchells & Butlers and PizzaExpress as it continued its strategy of “win, transact, deepen”. Total revenue for the period increased 28% to £6.5m compared with £5.1m the previous year. Revenue from subscription fees and transactions over the network represented 75% of total revenue in the period compared with 66% the previous year. The company stated: “During the period, revenue from the food and beverage sector grew by 41% against the first half of last year. As our food and beverage clients enjoy the early stage benefits of our digital marketing platform, there is a trend for them to use it more as a direct marketing channel. As a result, we are seeing increased promotional activity across the sector. In December 2017, Eagle Eye signed a contract with Boparan, (a group owning brands such as Ed’s Easy Diner, Giraffe, Harry Ramsden’s and Fishworks) to deliver digital promotions and gift capability through the Eagle Eye AIR Platform. Through Eagle Eye AIR, Boparan will be able to deliver the same streamlined digital promotion capabilities across its brands to ensure consistent service levels are delivered to all customers. In addition, Eagle Eye will replace all existing paper gift schemes with a digital offering. Additionally, in October 2017, Eagle Eye signed contracts with Scottish fashion chain M&Co and Greene King, the latter further cementing our position in the UK food and beverage market. These contract wins also benefit our brand partners as our extended redemption network provides greater opportunities to run measurable campaigns. We are also pleased to also announce the renewal of three long-standing clients within our food and beverage sector Greggs (five-year contract), Mitchells & Butlers (three-year contract) and PizzaExpress (one-year contract). In all cases the Eagle Eye AIR platform is being used to power an enhanced digital experience for the customer. These renewals reflect the strength of our offering and our lasting client relationships.” Chief executive Tim Mason said: “The group has continued to execute on its strategy, delivering revenue growth in the first half of 2018. During the period we demonstrated good operational progress where we have won new customers and renewed some key contracts, ramped up transactions through the platform, giving an indication of its capacity, and continued to deepen our food and beverage relationships. We look forward to providing a detailed update on the half year’s trading and strategy when we announce our half-year results in March.”
DP Eurasia reports system sales up 32.8%: Domino’s Pizza Eurasia, exclusive master franchisee of the Domino’s Pizza brand in Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, has reported group system sales growth of 32.8% for the year ending 31 December 2017, driven by strong growth in both Russia and Turkey. Turkish systems sales were up 14.2% while Russian system sales grew 169.0%. The company said group online system sales growth of 72.2% continued to outpace the overall system sales growth. Turkish online system sales were up 41.5% and Russian online system sales increased 245.5%. The company stated: “Turkey and Russia like-for-like growth continues to be mainly driven by the group’s online ordering platforms – online delivery system sales as a share of delivery system sales reached 51.8% for the period (2016: 42.4%). A total of 76 new stores were added in the year, bringing the total number to 643, including the 500th Turkish store and the 100th Russian store with Russia now expanding to cities outside of Greater Moscow. Store roll-out for the year in Russia was ahead of management expectations, with 49 additions while Turkish openings were broadly in line. There was a greater skew towards corporate openings than anticipated to take advantage of opportunities in Turkey and accelerate growth in Russia with an associated increase in capital expenditure. Russian commissary expansion was completed, extending capacity to 250 stores. The board expects the full year Adjusted Ebitda for 2017 to be in line with expectations.” Chief executive Aslan Saranga said: “We are extremely pleased with our top line performance for 2017 in both of our main markets of Turkey and Russia. In Turkey, we achieved double digit like-for-like growth, an acceleration from the previous period, and in Russia it was another record breaking year in terms of store openings. We added 49 stores to the estate, including our first stores in St Petersburg and Krasnodar, our first expansion outside of Greater Moscow in Russia. Innovation, both in terms of technology and product, continues to contribute to our growth. We revamped our smart phone apps in Turkey and Russia in 2017, both of which subsequently received industry awards. In Turkey, we have started rolling out our loyalty program. In early 2018, we launched oven baked sandwiches nationwide, after a successful test in the third quarter. In Russia, we introduced our mosaic cake from our Turkish menu to our Russian desert offering as well as the ultra-thin crust pizza offering. Although early days, initial sales have been encouraging.”
Crepeaffaire secures £2m to help fund expansion plans: Crepeaffaire, the UK’s leading crepe concept, has secured £2m to help fund its expansion plans. The company, which was founded by Daniel Spinath ten years ago, has raised the funds from the Business Growth Fund, which had acquired a minority stake in the business, reports The Times. Crepeaffaire sells sweet and savoury crepes, waffles, coffees and smoothies and had sales of more than £5m last year. It has expanded from a single site in London to further outlets in the capital, as well as in Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff and Newcastle. There are also stores in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands and the company has plans to grow both at home and abroad.