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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Fri 23rd Mar 2018 - Update: BrewDog results, Admiral appointments, Carluccio’s, Fever-Tree
BrewDog reports Ebitda boost as turnover hits £112m: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has reported an Ebitda boost as sales surged past £100m. The company saw turnover increased 56% to £112m for the year ending 31 December 2017 compared with £79.1m the previous year. Ebitda was up to just under £9m compared with £6m the year before, which BrewDog said validated its strategy of investing heavily in new capacity to scale the business while maintaining healthy profitability. The group said it expected to see continued international expansion and further strong UK revenue growth in both the on-trade and off-trade channels. In 2017, BrewDog sales in the UK reached £89.9m, up from £58.5m the year before. In its annual report, the company, which has seen an average growth rate of 63% over the past six years, acknowledged it accounted for only 0.8% of the total UK beer market. In Europe turnover increased to £13m compared with £9.8m the previous year. Rest of the world sales grew to £4.7m compared with £3.6m the year before. In a year that saw the company valued at more than £1bn following a £213m investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partner, pre-tax profit dipped to £1.4m compared with £3.8m the year before as it ramped up expansion. The report also showed the company has disposed of its interest in coffee shop operator Third Wave Coffee. BrewDog acquired a 33% stake in the business in 2016 in attempt to win more daytime customers to its bars. During the year, BrewDog opened a second brewery, in Columbus, Ohio as it headed to the US. The first batch of beer was produced in June, and helped drive North American sales to £4m, the first time the company has separated out the US and Canada sales. BrewDog said it was “forecasting further strong revenue growth for 2018” as it takes advantage of a full year contribution from its Columbus brewery in the US. A lease has been signed on a site in Brisbane, Australia for a third brewery, which BrewDog said would open sometime in 2019. It is also looking at sites in Asia, noting the scale of opportunity in China. In addition, it launched a new spirits division in the year. Sales of these Lone Wolf products were described as “exceptional” in the first few months of distribution. This year will also see the launch of a sour beer brewery after BrewDog hit a £10m target in the fifth incarnation of its Equity for Punks crowdfunding campaign. The fund-raise has so far raised £13.8m. Writing in the accounts, co-founder James Watt, said: “2017 saw us shifting it up a gear across planet earth. The past 12 months were an absolute rollercoaster of a ride as we sought to build a brand new blueprint for business. We continue to re-invest these profits in our beer and people to underpin future revenue growth and solid profitability.” Part of its investment will pay for a hotel, which is being planned as part of a wider expansion of its Ellon base. The DogHouse, as the hotel will be called, is scheduled to welcome guests in the first half of 2019. BrewDog said it aimed to grow sales globally by pushing distribution further this year, continuing with an aggressive expansion plan, which will be aided by the new breweries. It added: “The wider we cast this net, and the more countries we can extend into, the greater our opportunity to thrive worldwide.” Wages increased to £22m compared with £14.8m the year before as staff numbers increased to 777 from 593, with 155 staff employed in production. There were six directors in the group, who earned total remuneration of £1.1m. The highest paid director saw their remuneration increase by 16.3% to £214,000.
Admiral Taverns appoints Ian Ronayne as managing director as it strengthens senior team: Admiral Taverns has strengthened its senior team with two new appointments, underpinning its ambitious growth plans. Ian Ronayne has joined the company as managing director, bringing with him a wealth of industry experience. Ronayne has held senior leadership roles at Molson Coors and more recently was operations director at Punch, prior to becoming managing director operations at Ei Group. Ronayne succeeds Admiral Tavern’s operations director Andy Hodgson, who will be retiring in April following a career spanning more than 30 years in the pub industry with seven years at Admiral Taverns. Meanwhile, David Wigham has joined as interim commercial director, leading the group’s commercial, sales and marketing activities. An experienced sales and operations director, Wigham’s career spans more than 17 years in the sector with his most recent roles including the posts of operations director and sales, marketing and development director at Punch. Admiral Taverns chief executive Kevin Georgel said: “On behalf of the entire team I would like to welcome Ian and David to the group. They bring with them a wealth of industry experience that will be invaluable as we continue to accelerate our ambitious growth plans, developing our position as the UK’s leading operator of community pubs. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Andy Hodgson for his significant contribution to our business during what has been a transformational period for Admiral Taverns. We wish him the very best for a long and enjoyable retirement.” Ronayne added: “Admiral has built an enviable reputation in the industry for their unique culture and approach, developing strong working relationships with their licensees. Its growth trajectory is impressive, and I am delighted to be joining this progressive team during an exciting phase in the group’s history.”
Carluccio’s ‘for sale’: Carluccio’s has approached a number of private equity firms in an effort to secure a sale. The company appointed KPMG to advise on possible restructuring plans earlier this month. Pret A Manger owner Bridgepoint and Wagamama owner Duke Street Capital had been approached by KPMG, reports the Financial Times. KPMG’s appointment follows a change of leadership with former chief executive Neil Wickers stepping down in January after three years in the post. He was replaced by Goals Soccer Centres boss Mark Jones, who previously headed Pizza Hut’s UK business. Carluccio’s was co-founded by Antonio Carluccio, the restaurateur and television chef, who died last November. He cut his stake substantially more than a decade ago. The company currently operates 103 restaurants.
Fever-Tree co-founder pockets £83m after selling three million shares: Charles Rolls, co-founder and non-executive deputy chairman of Fever-Tree, the world’s leading supplier of premium carbonated mixers, has sold three million shares in the company – twice the number expected. Rolls initially planned to offload 1.5 million shares but due to “significant institutional demand” has sold three million, representing about 2.6% of the issued share capital of Fever-Tree. The shares were sold at a price of 2,750p each, pocketing Rolls about £83m. Rolls now has 9,927,505 ordinary shares in the company, representing about 8.6% of the company’s issued share capital.

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