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Wed 2nd May 2018 - Update: Bill’s results, Corbin and King to open ninth London site
Bill’s reports turnover and Ebitda boost, averaging 5,000 a week app downloads: Bill’s Restaurants, owned by Richard Caring, has revealed its app is receiving an average 5,000 downloads a week as it reported a turnover and Ebitda boost. The company, which appointed former Punch boss Duncan Garrood as chief executive in January this year, saw turnover increase 7.3% to £118,572,000 for the year ending 30 July 2017 compared with £110,547,000 the previous year. Adjusted Ebitda up 0.5% to £13,600,000 compared with £13,526,000 the year before. Pre-tax profit fell to £4,880,000 compared with £7,003,000 the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House. In their report accompanying the accounts the directors stated: “During the reported year, significant investments have been made to evolve the menu, training systems, operational structure and management tools to further empower restaurant general managers to consistently deliver outstanding guest experiences in an increasingly competitive market place. Despite the focus of the fiscal year 2016/17 being on consolidating the strong position of the Bill’s brand in the market and building solid foundations for future growth, the business opened four restaurants – in Chelmsford, Southampton, Victoria and Canterbury and each has outperformed its targeted sales by a significant margin. While the volatility of the macro environment is likely to lead to a slower rate of new unit growth in the short term, four further restaurants have been opened in Braintree, Bracknell, Rushden Lakes and at Drake’s Circus in Plymouth. Despite significant increases in underlying costs for food, gross profit margins have remained broadly in line during the period, with a slight decrease from 74.9% in the prior year to 74.5%. The adjusted Ebitda margin has seen a slight decline in the period, from 12.2% to 11.5%, reflecting some of the investments that have been made during the year. During the period, the company has reviewed the carrying value of certain sites, and as a result has charged an impairment of £2.1m against tangible fixed assets and £0.6m against property lease premiums. In the year ahead, further significant investments are being made to further enhance the business for both our employees and guests including the launch of the Bill’s Hub for employees and the Bill’s mobile app for our guests. The app launched in October 2017 and downloads have averaged 5,000 per week since launch and payments using the app have reached 2.5% of total sales and continued to grow weekly.” Since the year end Bill’s has launched an evolved “Best of Bill’s” concept at three of its circa 75 sites – in Convent Garden, St Albans and Westfield. 
Corbin and King to open ninth London site with St John’s Wood restaurant: The restaurateurs behind The Ivy and The Wolseley have announced plans to open their ninth site in London – in St John’s Wood later this year. Chris Corbin and Jeremy King will open the as-yet-unnamed restaurant in St John’s Wood High Street on the former Carlucci’s site. It will become their only London site to sit beyond Zone 1. The pair’s current portfolio boasts The Delaunay in Aldwych, Brasserie Zédel in Piccadilly, Colbert in Sloane Square, Fischer’s in Marylebone High Street and Bellanger in Islington, along with The Wolseley in Piccadilly and their hotel The Beaumont in Mayfair. King said: “Think Colbert meets Fischer’s but with its own identity.” Corbin and King previously owned Caprice Holdings restaurant group and were responsible for opening The Ivy in 1990, as well as renovating and relaunching Theatreland favourite J Sheekey in 1998. They are also due to open Café Wolseley at Bicester this summer, incorporating a takeaway counter and a shop.
Sainsbury’s reports on success of foodservice concession partnerships: Sainsbury’s has reported how its foodservice concession partnerships are becoming a valuable part of its business. The company stated: “We are using space innovatively in our larger supermarkets by partnering, often exclusively, with premium brands such as Godiva Belgian chocolates, available in 500 stores, and Patisserie Valerie, whose gateaux and pastries are popular with customers. Customers can buy the cakes over the counter in 31 stores, or order ahead for collection in an additional 13 stores. We work with selected concession partners to maximise our use of space and help make Sainsbury’s an attractive retail destination. We have 59 Sushi Gourmet and Sushi Daily counters, as well as two Crussh fresh food and juice bars. Across our supermarket estate we are improving the layouts of our stores so that customers can shop quickly and conveniently. We are taking a disciplined approach to investing in stores, focusing on areas that matter most to customers.” Sainsbury’s saw sales increase 9% for the year ending 10 March 2018 to £31,735m.

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