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Thu 3rd May 2018 - Update: Whitbread directors’ £12m share bonanza, Starbucks, Subway, Dalata
Whitbread directors get £12m share bonanza: Whitbread directors have been handed more than £12m of shares – as it prepares to demerge its Costa Coffee business. Chief executive Alison Brittain was awarded £2.1m worth of shares under two of the company’s share-based incentive plans, while Costa’s managing director Dominic Paul got £2.5m. The group’s general counsel Chris Vaughan and operations and transformation director Nigel Jones, 51, got payouts of £1.3m and £2.1m each. Simon Jones, managing director of Whitbread’s Premier Inn and restaurants division, and Mark Anderson, 47, the head of Premier Inn in Germany, both got £1.4m. Finance director Nicholas Cadbury was awarded £1m in shares, while HR director Louise Smalley received £643,000. The awards are based on past and future performance, some of which will be paid out in three years’ time. last month, Whitbread revealed it will list Costa Coffee separately. There have been rumours of a split since last autumn when analysts said Whitbread could demerge Costa, and in doing so provide better returns for shareholders. Brittain said the demerger process would take about two years although activist shareholder Elliott Advisors said it should be achieved within six months. Costa is planning to open more drive-thru cafes and put its express machines into more shops and motorway service stations. It is also ramping up expansion in China while Premier Inn wants to push growth into Germany. Whitbread announced it would split the business little more than a week after Elliott Advisors took a stake. Whitbread’s share price has surged almost 9% since Elliott invested in the business.
Starbucks reaches settlement over racial discrimination incident: Starbucks has reached a settlement with the two men involved in a racial discrimination incident in Philadelphia. The agreement made with Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson includes an undisclosed financial settlement, and an offer to pay for their undergraduate degrees at Arizona State University through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. The settlement comes less than a month after both men, who are black, were arrested for trespassing while sitting in the cafe without making a purchase. Starbucks chief executive Kevin Johnson said: “I want to thank Donte and Rashon for their willingness to reconcile. I welcome the opportunity to begin a relationship with them to share learnings and experiences. Starbucks will continue to take actions that stem from this incident to repair and reaffirm our values and vision for the kind of company we want to be.” Robinson and Nelson said in a statement: “We appreciate the opportunity to have meaningful discussions with Kevin Johnson and the group around the table to address hard issues. We all recognise the importance of communication about differences and solutions, and that we will be measured by our action, not words.” Since the incident, Johnson has been working furiously to restore confidence in the brand by apologising in various national media interviews. He called the incident “reprehensible” and blamed local store practices that call for asking people who are not customers to leave the store. The manager at the outlet has also since left the company. Starbucks will be closing 8,000 company-owned stores on the afternoon of Tuesday, 29 May for a training meeting with nearly 175,000 employees. The educational program is designed to ensure Starbucks employees and customers feel safe and welcome, the company said.
Former UK development manager takes Subway helm on interim basis as chief executive retires: Subway chief executive Suzanne Greco is to retire after three years in the post. Chief business development officer Trevor Haynes, who in the early stages of his Subway career worked in the UK as a senior area development manager, has been appointed as interim chief executive. Subway said Haynes, who joined the company in 2006 and serves on the brand’s executive leadership team, would work with Greco to assure a “smooth transition”. Greco will leave on Saturday, 30 June 30 and she will continue as a senior adviser to the company. Greco was named chief executive in 2015 and, as sister of brand co-founder Fred Deluca, had worked with the brand since 1973. Prior to her role as chief executive, she was part of the research and development team for more than two decades and was promoted to lead the group as vice-president of operations and research and development in 2013. She said: “Subway has been part of my life since I was seven years old. I love the brand and the company, and I always will, but it’s time for me to have more balance in my life. I feel very good about the strategic moves we’ve made in the last three years, and I have confidence in the future of the company.” Haynes started at Subway in 2006 as territory manager in Australia and moved to the UK in 2009 to serve as the senior area development manager for the UK and Ireland. In 2014, he joined the headquarters team to serve as the global director of operations. Subway has about 44,000 restaurants in 112 countries.
Appeal for Deliveroo ruling review rejected: The High Court has rejected an application for a judicial review of an earlier ruling that found Deliveroo drivers should not be classed as workers. The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) had sought to represent riders in Camden, hoping to secure for them rights such as the minimum wage. Britain’s Central Arbitration Committee rejected the move in November and the IWGB had gone to the High Court to seek a judicial review. Deliveroo UK and Ireland managing director Dan Warne said: “This decision is a victory for riders who have overwhelmingly told us the flexibility to choose when they work, and where they want, which comes with self employment, is their number one reason for riding with Deliveroo.”
Dalata – 2018 trading ‘a little ahead of expectations’: Irish hotel group Dalata has revealed trading in 2018 has been “a little ahead of expectations”. Ahead of its annual general meeting today (Thursday, 3 May), chairman John Hennessy said: “Following another very successful year in 2017, trading performance in the first four months of 2018 has been a little ahead of our expectations. Revpar growth in our Dublin properties has been marginally ahead of our expectations. Revpar growth in our regional Ireland properties is in line with our expectations. STR has reported weaker market conditions in the UK for the first quarter of 2018 but we are delighted to report we continue to outperform the market in terms of revpar growth and the performance of our UK properties is in line with our expectations. Management is very satisfied with the trading performance of the group’s hotel portfolio in the first four months of the year. The outlook for the first six months of the year is positive. We are delighted Maldron Hotel Belfast City opened ahead of schedule on 13 March. Although, it is very early days, the hotel is trading well and most importantly, customer feedback has been very positive. The additional 106 rooms at Clayton Hotel Dublin Airport will open in the first week of June while Maldron Hotel Kevin Street Dublin will open in the first week of July. Construction of Clayton Hotel Charlemont Dublin (November 2018), Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork (December 2018) and Maldron Hotel Newcastle (February 2019) all remain on track to open on time and within budget. The extensions currently underway at Maldron Hotel Sandy Road Galway (June 2018), Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge Dublin (August 2018) and Maldron Hotel Parnell Square Dublin (December 2018) all remain on schedule and within budget. We have engaged Savills on our Tara Towers Hotel site and expect to finalise our approach to the redevelopment of this site in the coming months. We remain very encouraged by the quality and number of potential new developments that we are currently reviewing. We completed a large proportion of our annual capital refurbishment programme in the first quarter of this year and this has been well received by our customers. Our investment in technology continues apace. The roll-out of our new procurement systems is being extended to additional suppliers this month, we completed the installation of the Opera property management system across our portfolio in March while we continue to invest in our website customer journey. It continues to be a very exciting time for the group and management remains focused on delivering excellent returns for our shareholders.”

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