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Fri 23rd Mar 2018 - Update: Drake & Morgan, gap widens between value and mainstream operators, Global Brands results
Drake & Morgan to open second Manchester city centre site: Drake & Morgan, the London-based bar and restaurant group backed by Bowmark Capital, is to open The Anthologist this summer for its second venue in Manchester city centre and 23rd in the UK. The 6,000 square foot, 185-cover bar and restaurant will be at One St Peter’s Square, part of a £185m development of the area. The Anthologist will feature a large statement bar, a mix of traditional dining and lounge seating, banquettes and booths, and distinctive dining and lounge areas. The venue will offer breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner with seasonal dishes, flatbread and sharing boards, small plates, gourmet sandwiches and burgers. An extensive wine list will accompany premium spirits, craft beer and cider, and an evolving cocktail list. There will also be “zero-proof concoctions” including super skinnies with fewer than 50 calories. Drake & Morgan managing director Jillian MacLean said: “I’m delighted to be launching our second site in Manchester on the back of The Refinery in Spinningfields. Manchester is a modern and vibrant city Drake & Morgan loves being part of and we are confident The Anthologist will provide the city with a refreshingly independent bar with new, exciting additions.” Drake & Morgan also operates The Anthologist in Gresham Street in the City of London where the company held its most recent launch – The Listing in Bush Lane – in November.

Jamie Rollo – gap is widening in trading performance between value operators and mainstream peers: Morgan Stanley leisure analyst Jamie Rollo has argued the gap is widening in trading performance between value operators and their mainstream peers. He said: “In the burger space McDonald’s recently reported +6% like-for-like sales in international, driven by the UK, whereas Byron was minus 6% last year. In pizza, Domino’s reported acceleration in like-for-like sales to +7% year-to-date, whereas PizzaExpress was +1% in the first half last year. In coffee shops, Greggs recently reported +3.2% like-for-likes, whereas Costa Coffee reported minus 1.5% in its most recent quarter. In pubs, JD Wetherspoon recently reported +3.8% like-for-likes (+5.8% excluding the snow), whereas Greene King was minus 1.4% in its most recently reported quarter. Finally, in hotels Travelodge recently reported +3.7% revpar in its fourth quarter, whereas Premier Inn was minus 1.5% in its most recently reported quarter. While data limitations mean these comparisons are not perfect and the time-frames not always comparable, we do think there is evidence of a growing gap between value and mainstream propositions in the UK being seen in other sectors such as retail (for example Primark and B&M doing well), likely caused by weak consumer confidence and a squeeze on disposal income. This is backed up by a recent survey by our strategy and retail teams on consumer attitudes to Brexit, suggesting a modest increase in headwinds for the consumer given an increased proportion of respondents reporting some financial stress, and an increased proportion reporting they expected to cut back on spending as the UK gets closer to leaving the EU, now just a year away. Finally, while supply is coming out of the restaurant market following a wave of chains getting into financial difficulties, our restaurant tracker suggests this will amount to a maximum 1% reduction in restaurant outlets, partly as the Company Voluntary Arrangement process enables many outlets to stay operating at reduced rents, funding further discounting and thus exacerbating the oversupply.”

Global Brands reports turnover up 16% to £42m, ‘strong start’ to 2018: Drinks manufacturer and distributor Global Brands has reported turnover increased 16% to £42m for the year ending 30 September 2017. The Derbyshire-based company saw gross profit up to £11.8m, compared with £10.8m the previous year. Its premium range of tonics, mixers and soft drinks, Franklin & Sons, recorded a 281% increase in volume sales, while the company added ready-to-drink (RTD) brand VK now accounted for more than a quarter of all RTD sales in the UK. Global Brands said it had experienced a “strong start” to the current financial year, with total volume sales up 20%. The company said it aims to launch new products and distribution partnerships during 2018. Founder and chairman Steve Perez said: “Consumer demands and taste preferences sit at the heart of what we do and are really driving our growth to keep pace with a fast-changing market. Understanding what people want, whether that’s premium-tasting mixers made using only natural ingredients or something different to sweet-tasting fruit ciders, has seen us trail-blaze. We created the alcoholic soda drinks category and established ourselves in the highly competitive premium tonics, mixers and soft drinks market. We never sit still when it comes to product development and there’s no greater buzz than working with supermarkets, bars and restaurants to answer their call for innovation.” The company, which has a portfolio of 19 brands, saw total exports for the year grow 50%. Global Brands currently distributes to 59 countries.

World’s Biggest Pub Quiz raises £100,000 – and counting: Funds raised from the World’s Biggest Pub Quiz, held earlier this month, have already passed the £100,000 mark with money still to come from more than half of the 2,200 pubs that took part. Now in its third year, the event is gathering industry support, with the number of pubs hosting a quiz up by more than 200% on 2017. Pubs can choose to support PubAid’s charity partner Prostate Cancer UK or another worthy cause. Pub Aid said it hoped the quiz would have raised more than £200,000 once all money was recorded. Co-founder Des O’Flanagan said: “We’re delighted more than 2,000 pubs hosted a quiz this year and excited about the impressive sum of money this has raised. More than 500 great charities are benefiting including Prostate Cancer UK. Pubs raise more than £100m for charity every year and we’re pleased to see this message getting through to consumers, MPs and others, helping to shape positive perceptions of the great British pub.” Prostate Cancer UK director of fund-raising James Beeby added: “We are thrilled to have partnered with PubAid for the second year and delighted so many pubs have raised money for Prostate Cancer UK. It will fund vital research into this disease, which affects one in eight men in the UK.”

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