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Tue 6th Mar 2018 - Update: Just Eat results, Shepherd Neame results, Bill’s founder
Just Eat reports revenue growth in 2017: Just Eat has reported sales up 45% to £546 million and underlying Ebitda up 42% to £164 million in the year to 31 December 2017. It reported ‘excellent group performance underpinned by strong execution across our markets’. It added: “UK business continues to excel and is further strengthened by the acquisition of Hungryhouse. Our 10.5 million active customers purchased £1.9 billion worth of food from our 28,400 entrepreneurial restaurant partners, delivering UK revenue of £304 million. The Just Eat brand reached its highest ever brand awareness due to innovative brand and marketing initiatives, including X Factor sponsorship and the latest Magic TV campaign. Continued expansion of delivery pilots with growing number of branded restaurant chains. International revenue grew 75%, now representing 44% of group sales. France and Italy both surpassed one million active customers during the year. Net operating cash flow was up 72% to £167 million. Statutory loss before tax was £76 million.” Peter Plumb, chief executive, said: “2017 was a record year for Just Eat. We helped 21.5 million customers order 172 million takeaways around the world, growing group revenue by 45% to £546 million. More restaurant partners joined our platform, increasing the breadth of choice for our customers and strengthening the group’s geographical coverage to over 82,000 restaurants. As the new chief executive, I will be increasing our investment in brand, developing markets and delivery services that will be engineered to complement our thriving marketplace business by bringing more choice to our takeaway-loving customers.” The company added: “Just Eat is in a strong position both operationally and financially. Our successful marketplace business remains the core driver of growth and is on course to deliver uEbitda of £215 – 235 million in 2018. We will expand our investments in brand, Developing Markets and delivery services, resulting in group revenue of between £660 – 700 million and uEbitda of £165 – 185 million in 2018.” The company added: “2017 was a very successful year for Just Eat. We added a net 13,800 restaurants to end the year with 82,300 restaurant partners on our platform (2016: 68,500) and 21.5 million active customers (2016: 17.6 million) who ordered £3.3 billion of food in 2017. The growth of our marketplace and increase in Customer numbers translated into 172.4 million orders (2016: 136.4 million), up 26%, and revenue of £546.3 million (2016: £375.7 million), up 45%. Whilst we continued to invest in initiatives designed to drive an even better experience for both our customers and restaurant partners, we also grew uEbitda by 42% to £163.5 million (2016: £115.3 million). Taking into account the non-cash, IFRS-based impairment charge of £180.4 million in Australia & New Zealand, we posted a statutory loss of £76.0 million. 2017 was a highly successful year for our UK business. Supported by innovative marketing campaigns, which raised our brand awareness to new highs, we surpassed our previous monthly order record, achieving ten million orders in December. This was a strong performance and is attributable to exceptional execution by the team. We also delivered excellent growth in our international markets, led by SkipTheDishes in Canada, which outperformed our expectations in its first full year as part of the group. Elsewhere, our businesses in Spain and Italy continued to deliver strong growth, in still early-stage markets. We now have over one million active customers in each of our Spanish, French and Italian markets. In Australia and New Zealand, we have now migrated our platforms to the Just Eat core platform and, in 2018, will complement our marketplace business with the addition of restaurant delivery services using the advanced technology and logistics capabilities of SkipTheDishes. Across the group, we achieved our target of expanding our leading marketplace businesses into second tier cities, adding customers, restaurant partners and driving order growth. We have also learned a great deal from our pilots with branded restaurant chains in the UK, which have proven successful, fuelling a compelling expansion opportunity and basis for future investment. 2017 was a year of great change for the business. Despite management successions and the sad loss of our chairman, Dr. John Hughes, the team delivered an excellent set of results providing the business with a strong base as we enter 2018.”

Shepherd Neame reports turnover and underlying Ebitda boost in First Half: Shepherd Neame, Britain’s oldest brewer and owner and operator of 322 high quality pubs in Kent and the south east, has reported turnover increased by +6.3% to £84.1m (2016: £79.2m) in the 26 weeks ended 23 December 2017. Underlying Ebitda increased by +4.6% to £12.1m (2016: £11.6m) and underlying profit before tax3 up +2.6% to £5.8m (2016: £5.7m). Statutory profit before tax was £5.5m – down on the preceding year primarily due to an exceptional charge of £1.5m following reorganisation of the brewing and brands business. Managed pubs (66 pubs) like-for-like sales grew by +2.1% with strong performance from accommodation sales. Tenanted pub like-for-like Ebitdar grew by +2.1% (2016: +1.7%) and average Ebitdar per pub grew by +5.7%. Own beer volumes excluding contract increased by +4.2%. Chief executive Jonathan Neame said: “Despite more challenging trading conditions, the company has had a solid and satisfactory performance in the first half of the financial year. The strength of the business lies in our balanced strategic approach across each of our trading divisions. Thus, where the rate of growth of food sales in our managed estate has slowed, drinks sales have performed well, the tenanted like-for-like performance has been good and the brewing and brands business has enjoyed strong growth. We are a well invested business and are well positioned to navigate any future economic and political headwinds. In the second half, we have some exciting plans to develop our pub estate further and the brewery will undergo on-going modernisation. We remain focused on our core objectives of making investments for the long term benefit of shareholders.” Chairman Miles Templeman added: “Whilst the recent weather and trading conditions have been more challenging than in the prior period – at a time when we have to contend with significant cost inflation and political and economic uncertainty – we have achieved satisfactory growth. We have made the necessary changes to our brewing and brands business to ensure it is well positioned for the future and, in the second half, we have some exciting pub developments. The year ahead will continue to present challenges and uncertainty. We remain focused on our core objectives and on making investments for the long term benefit of shareholders.”

Bill’s founder – casual dining market correction will benefit consumers: Bill’s founder Bill Collison has blamed overexpansion for the casual dining industry’s woes, but said that the adjustment could be beneficial for consumers. Speaking to City AM, Collison said his own brand had previously made the mistake of expanding too quickly, but was now improving its offering. “If you’re opening one a week which we were at one point you can’t have the attention to detail that you should have,” he said. “There’s going to be a revolution, and the consumer is going to be happier at the end of it. It’s commerce, the strongest will survive. The natural instinct when faced with rising costs is to cut prices, cut portion sizes, cut the hours of the staff,” he added. “All that does is inflict pain on the customer, whereas what we’re trying to do is invest.”

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