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Thu 15th Mar 2018 - Marston’s chairman to step down, Cineworld results
Roger Devlin to step down as Marston’s chairman: Marston’s has announced Roger Devlin has informed the board of his intention to step down from his role as chairman, and from the board, in view of his other increased business commitments. It has been agreed with the board these changes will take effect from 31 May. Marston’s said the process for a replacement is under way. Devlin will join the board of Persimmon as chairman on 1 June. Devlin said: “Marston’s is a great business that has been transformed over recent years into the high quality pub portfolio and market-leading beer business which it comprises today. The company benefits from a strong board, well established leadership team and a clear strategic plan for continued growth. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the business and wish Ralph Findlay and the team continued success in the future.” Chief executive Ralph Findlay added: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Roger for his contribution and counsel during his chairmanship of Marston’s. He leaves with our best wishes and we wish him every success with his future endeavours and other business interests.”
 
Cineworld reports UK and Ireland retail revenue increases 7.1%, boosted by 29 Starbucks sites: Cineworld has reported retail revenue in the UK and Ireland increased 7.1% for the year ending 31 December 2017, including 29 Starbucks sites. Group revenue increased 11.6% to £890.7m. Total revenue in the UK and Ireland was up 6.2% to £524.5m. Meanwhile, group retail sales increased 15.5% and group pre-tax profit increased 22.7% to £120.5m. Group adjusted Ebitda was up 12.7% to £198.2m. During the year the group completed the acquisition of the 16-screen Empire Newcastle site. Nine new site openings during the year – four in the UK and five in the rest of the world – added 109 screens, bringing the total number of screens to 2,217 at 31 December 2017. Six major refurbishments were completed in 2017 – four in the UK and two in the rest of the world. Two new IMAX screens and 11 new 4DX screens were added. The company has now completed the acquisition of Us-based Regal Entertainment Group, making Cineworld the second largest cinema chain in the world by number of screens. The company stated: “Food and drink sales are the second most important source of revenue and represented 24.0% (2016: 23.8%) of total revenues for the UK and Ireland. Total retail revenues in the UK and Ireland were £125.8m (2016: £117.5m) increasing by 7.1%. Net retail spend per admission increased by 4.4% in the year to £2.37 (2016: £2.27). This was partly due to the film mix, but predominantly reflects the expansion of our cinemas’ retail offerings, strong promotions and operational improvements. A further five Starbucks outlets were opened during the year taking the total to 29 at 31 December 2017. Box office revenue represented 65.8% (2016: 65.6%) of total revenues for the UK and Ireland. Admissions in the year increased by 2.3%, which is reflective of the film slate as well as the additional cinemas acquired and opened in 2016 and 2017. The increased admissions combined with an increase in the average ticket price of 4.1% this resulted in total revenue growth of 6.5%. This is a pleasing result as admissions in the UK and Ireland cinema industry as a whole were up only 1.4% during the same period (Source: UK Cinema Association). The overall box office performance in 2017 was underpinned by a strong film slate, despite a weaker third quarter compared with 2016. In 2017, in the UK market overall, the top three films grossed £197.4m (Beauty And The Beast – £72.4m, Star Wars: The Last Jedi – £68.3m, and Dunkirk – £56.7m) compared with the top three films in 2016 which grossed £149.4m (Star Wars: Rogue One – £50.7m, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them – £50.6m and Bridget Jones’s Baby – £48.1m). The average ticket price achieved in the UK and Ireland increased to £6.51 (2016: £6.25). The increase in average ticket price was in part due to price rises during the period, but is mainly reflective of the continued expansion and popularity of premium offerings and a result of the renovation program we have started three years ago. The most popular IMAX films during the year were Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Dunkirk and 4DX films were Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Fate and the Furious.”
 
Vianet makes board changes: Vianet, the provider of business-to-business data solutions in the leisure sector, has appointed Dave Coplin to the board as non-executive director with effect from 1 April. Meanwhile, Mike McGoun, who joined as non-executive director in February 2013, will retire from the board at the group’s annual general meeting on 28 June. The company stated: “We would like to thank Mike for his contribution and support during a period of significant change over the past four years, including the successful repositioning of the group. Dave Coplin is an established technology industry leader who has worked across a wide range of industries and organisations providing strategic advice and guidance around the intersection of a modern society and technology. He will provide Vianet with strategic insight and guidance across the Internet Of Things and big data spectrum as we look to develop further the delivery of our ground-breaking insight and actionable data, and services to customers. Dave’s significant experience includes over a decade with KPMG in several countries rising to the role of director of technology architecture and research office and 12 years with Microsoft including seven years as chief envisioning officer through to September 2017. He is currently a non-executive director at Mitchells & Butlers, where he provides strategic insight and guidance around the increasing role of technology in the development of brands and operations; and director of The Envisioners, which he founded in 2009. As an industry authority, Dave contributes internationally in media, to conferences and consultancy on a wide range of topics including the future of education, privacy and online safety, big data, Internet Of Things, machine learning and artificial intelligence.” Chairman James Dickson added: “While we are sorry to see Mike retire, the group is delighted to welcome Dave to the board of Vianet as a non-executive director. Dave brings a wealth of experience and insight within the technology space which will be an invaluable asset to the group as we execute our growth strategy in the Internet of Things and big data areas. It is a credit to the progress, ambition and potential of the group and the Vianet team that someone of Dave’s standing has chosen to come on board and we look forward to working with him.”

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