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Wed 25th Jul 2018 - Update: Caffe Nero like-for-likes, Marston's trading update
Caffe Nero reports 2.5% like-for-like sales growth: Caffe Nero Group has announced 2.5% like-for-like sales growth for the 12 months ending 31 May 2018, with group sales increasing by 10%. The results for the year marks 82 consecutive quarters of positive like-for-like sales growth and Ebitda growth for the group. Over the same time period, Caffe Nero opened an additional 75 stores worldwide, with 35 new stores openings in the UK. That brings the group stores total to 885, with over 690 stores in the UK and over 24 stores now located in the USA. As part of the new opening and expansion programme, Caffe Nero created over 500 new jobs and now employs over 7,500 people across nine different territories. Gerry Ford, founder and group chief executive of Caffe Nero, said: “Our positive sales performance supports our belief and investment in quality coffee, supporting and growing our people and providing exceptional customer service. We have also continued to reinvest heavily in growing our estate and in maintaining a warm, welcoming and vibrant coffee shop environment. Despite a challenging climate for hospitality, we will continue to grow the business in the right locations and invest where we can continue to make a real difference for our customers.”

Marston’s – like-for-like sales up 2% over the last 12 weeks: Marston’s has issued a trading update for the 42 weeks to 21 July 2018. It stated: “Trading in the second half year to date has been good overall, helped by recent good weather and the World Cup. As in previous years, our wet-led pubs, leased estate and brewing business benefited significantly from the World Cup and, despite the negative impact on food-led pubs the tournament was positive for the group. This improvement, after a first half-year affected by poor weather, means that we have achieved encouraging sales growth in both our pub and beer businesses in the 42 week period to date, and we expect to deliver underlying earnings in line with expectations for the full year. Total managed and franchised pub sales were up 5.2% in the 42 week period, including like-for-like sales growth of 0.3% and the contribution from our pub expansion programme. In the most recent 16 weeks, like-for-like sales were up 0.9%, helped by good weather and the football, but with some offset from poor weather in April. Post April, overall like-for-like sales growth over the last 12 weeks has been 2.0% with the Destination and Premium performance continuing to improve as well as weather benefiting Taverns. In Destination and Premium, like-for-like sales for the 42 week period were 1.5% behind last year, an improvement on the first half-year, with like-for-like sales down 1.2% in the last 16 weeks despite the negative impact from the World Cup. We continue to remain disciplined in terms of pricing, discounting and promotion, with operating margin only slightly below last year and in line with our expectations. In Taverns, managed and franchised like-for-like sales for the 42 week period were 3.8% ahead of last year, including growth of 5.0% in the last 16 weeks. Most of our pubs have attractive outside areas allowing our customers to enjoy the good weather, and we created a brilliant World Cup atmosphere in many, building on the demand for experiences and the fact that pubs are the ‘next best thing’ to live football. Leased profits for the 42 week period are estimated to be 2% ahead of last year. Marston’s Beer Company achieved strong growth, including total volumes up around 61% in the 42 week period with good growth in the underlying business. We continue to realise benefits from the acquisition of Charles Wells Brewing and Beer Business. Our portfolio, which includes an outstanding range of premium ales, world lagers and craft beers, increased market share. We remain on track to meet our openings growth targets for 15 pub restaurants and bars, and six lodges, in the current financial year.” Chief executive Ralph Findlay said: “We are encouraged by our stronger trading performance in the second half-year, including the benefit of recent good weather and the impact of the World Cup in our Taverns estate and in Marston’s Beer Company. We have a strong pipeline of sites which will contribute to continued growth in pubs, and see further opportunity in brewing following the acquisition and successful integration of Charles Wells Brewing and Beer business in 2017. Our strategic objectives and progressive dividend policy remain appropriate for current market conditions and we remain confident of delivering underlying earnings in line with expectations for the full year.”

Women’s Entrepreneur Conference open for bookings: Propel has partnered with Elliotts chief executive Ann Elliott to launch the sector’s first conference featuring an all-female line-up of company leaders. The event, which is open for bookings, takes place on Tuesday, 4 September at One Moorgate Place, London. Speakers will be Wahaca founder Thomasina Miers (“How to ascertain if your business idea is genius or madness”); Mowgli founder Nisha Katona (“From barrister to bunny chow: why risk it all for restaurants?”); Sophie Bathgate, of Sophie’s Steakhouse (“What I would do differently next time”); Artizian founder Alison Frith (“How to market a startup”); Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars founder Mary Mclaughlin (“Growing an idea from startup to sustainable”); Eve Bugler, founder of BabaBoom (“How to keep the joy when it’s all on your shoulders”); Jane O’Riordan, founder of The Dynamo (“The importance of patience”); Sally Jackson, owner of The Pink Pig Farm (“The ten hardest lessons I’ve learned”); Christine Winton, of Siam Eatery (“Can you have work-life balance when you start a business?”); Vanessa Hall, co-founder of Jack & Alice (“The importance of staying true to your values when you start and expand your business”); and Laura Harper-Hinton, co-founder of Caravan (“Why people are key to your success”). Elliott said: “Female entrepreneurs are making an enormous contribution to the hospitality sector – but we need even more of them. The conference is intended as a showcase of some of the sector’s best female entrepreneurs and to encourage even more of them to take the plunge.” Propel managing director Paul Charity added: “If our sector is to truly serve its market, we need more companies led by women at senior levels. We hope companies send their brightest female talent to the conference to pick up inspiration and develop their entrepreneurial talent. We also believe it’s a great opportunity for male colleagues to gain insights into female entrepreneurial skills.” Tickets are £195 plus VAT for Propel Premium subscribers, £245 plus VAT for operators and £395 plus VAT for suppliers and can be booked by emailing or calling her on 01444 817691.

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