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Mon 30th Jul 2018 - Update: City Pub Group buys three, Heineken
City Pub Group buys three pubs, exchanges on fourth: The City Pub Group (CPG) has bought three new pubs and exchanged contracts on one other. CPG has completed the acquisition of three sites in London; the Travellers Friend in Woodford and two Jam Tree pubs in Chelsea and Clapham, and has exchanged on a premium seafront café-style bar in Brighton. The total consideration for the sites is £8.1 million, payable in cash from CPG’s existing resources. The Travellers Friend pub, also known as “the Spivs”, was acquired from private owners in an off-market transaction. It is a well-established, freehold pub with considerable heritage dating back to 1840s. It has strong potential for growth with a new dining area opening last October. The Jam Tree sites in Clapham’s Old Town and King’s Road in Chelsea were acquired from a small independent pub company and are both leasehold. The pubs are locally renowned for their modern seasonal food, art deco interiors and expansive beer gardens. The seafront café-style bar in Brighton is a long leasehold with Brighton City Council as the landlord. It will complement the CPG’s other two Brighton pubs. The company also announced that the Old Ticket Office in Cambridge and the Pontcana Inn in Cardiff have now opened. Following the above acquisitions, CPG now has 41 trading sites and the size of its estate (once exchanged pubs are completed and development pubs are opened) will have increased to 46. The company expects to announce its interim results for the six months ending 30 June 2018 in mid-September 2018. Clive Watson, chairman of the company, said: “The purchase of these pubs demonstrates CPG’s broad acquisition network. All fit our criteria and will sit well alongside our existing sites. The Travellers Friend, the two Jam Tree sites along with the new Brighton seafront venue will help position the business for future growth and expansion in 2019. The existing trading estate further underpins our expectations for 2018. Our pipeline remains strong with further deals currently being appraised. Our strong balance sheet will enable us to capitalise on these. We are now being offered pubs from many sources and we are able to transact at attractive prices in a buyer’s market. We are confident that we will own c.50 pubs by the end of this year, ahead of the plan set at IPO and have the potential to continue to grow the estate faster than planned.”

Heineken reports strong First Half: Heineken has reported organic revenue was up 5.6% in its First Half with revenue per hectolitre up 1.1%. Consolidated beer volume was up 4.5% and Heineken volume rose 7.5%. Net profit was €1,076 million, up 8.9% organically. Jean-François van Boxmeer, chairman of the executive board and chief executive, said: “Top line came in strong in the first half, with organic net revenue growth across all regions. Europe was back to growth in the second quarter whilst the other regions maintained their positive momentum. The Heineken brand grew strongly by 7.5%. Operating profit margin was lower than last year mainly due to the consolidation of Brasil Kirin, adverse currency effects and higher input costs. In the second half, we expect a continuation of our revenue growth and an acceleration of our operating profit growth on an organic basis. We continue to invest steadily behind our brands, innovations, e-commerce platforms and commercial strategy. For the full year, given the marked acceleration of our business in Brazil with margins still below group average and the negative impact from currencies, we now expect the operating profit margin to decrease by approximately 20 bps.”

Distinctive to launch £1m Japan-inspired cocktail bar in form Deltic site in Canterbury: Kent-based Distinctive Bars, which is owned by the Jones family and operates Club Chemistry in Canterbury, is set to launch a second site in the city. The company is investing £1m to convert a site, formerly occupied by The Deltic Group brand Steinbeck & Shaw, into late-night venue Tokyo Tea Rooms, which will offer a “grown-up experience, evolving cocktail menus and immersive live performances”. Contractors have gutted the interior, which is being refitted in “Japanese-style opulence” ahead of its launch on Saturday, 18 August. The venue will initially only open in the evenings but a food menu could be added in the future to expand into earlier dayparts. A spokeswoman told Kent Live: “We didn’t have a vision from the outset but the idea has evolved and we brought a professional interior designer on board to get the look and feel. It was certainly never going to be dark and dreary.” Meanwhile, another cocktail bar will open in the city next month. Angela Long acquired underground public toilets in Lower Bridge Street at auction from the city council in 2015 but work to convert them has been beset by technical difficulties. Now the venue, Privy, will open on Thursday, 16 August. Long said: “The vibe will be reminiscent of a 1920s speakeasy.”

Women’s Entrepreneur Conference five weeks away: 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”). The event will also see an award given to the Wireless Social Female Entrepreneur of the Year. 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 anne.steele@propelinfo.com or calling her on 01444 817691.

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