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Fri 28th Sep 2018 - Update: Richoux, Jamie Oliver, Applegreen and Shaftesbury
Richoux Group reports sales drop but reduces losses: Richoux Group, the owner and operator of Richoux, Friendly Phil’s, Villagio and The Broadwick restaurants, has reported revenues of £5m for the 26 week period to 1 July 2018, 10.3% lower than the comparable 28 week period. Ebitda improved to a loss of £0.75 million (H1 2017: loss of £0.90 million). The company has eighteen restaurants trading and cash of £1.10m at period end (December 2017: £4.73 million). The company stated: “Revenue for the 26 week period ended 1 July 2018 was 10.3% lower than the 28 week period ended 9 July 2017 to £5.0 million (2017: £5.65 million). Company Ebitda was (£0.75 million), representing an improvement of 16.7% over the prior period (H1 2017: (£0.90 million), and the Adjusted operating loss decreased to £0.67 million (2017: £0.76 million), with pre-opening costs of £0.10 million (2017: £0.39 million). The net loss for the period was £0.98 million (2017: £1.10 million).The directors are not recommending the payment of a dividend.” Chairman Simon Morgan said: “We successfully disposed of one underperforming unit during the period, and have rebranded a further two. Since the period end we have taken on two new sites under The Broadwick brand. As at the end of the period under review, the group held cash of £1.10 million (December 2017: £4.73 million) and the company subsequently completed a subscription to raise a further £1.09 million on 29 August 2018. As at today’s date, the group holds cash of £1.8 million. As indicated in our trading update on 29 August 2018, in line with a number of other companies in the sector, the group has seen continued pressure on trading during the period, with further impact from temporary restaurant closures due to conversion or refurbishment. In view of these continued headwinds, the group has remained focused on cost reduction and, where necessary, refinement of both its brand and property portfolio. We do not expect to see any material improvement in trading over the balance of the current financial year. The group had been in negotiation regarding a potential lease sale for one of the group’s restaurant locations in Central London. However, we have concluded that the disposal of this lease on the terms available is not in the best interest of the group at this time and we have terminated those negotiations.”

Jamie Oliver reports £19.9m loss: Jamie Oliver reports Jamie Oliver’s business portfolio made to a loss of £19.9 last year, hit by results at his restaurant chain – it made a profit of £700,000 the year before. Oliver still paid himself dividends of more than £6m during the year, according to accounts set to be filed at Companies House this week. Oliver’s licensing business, of which he owns more than half in partnership with other investors and includes cooking equipment and homewares, also took a hit with profits down 9.3% to £6.6m. Sales at Jamie’s Italian dropped nearly 11% last year to £101m, and the chain was saved from administration by a £13m last-minute injection of cash from its owner, part of almost £17m of new funding provided to keep the restaurants afloat. The problems at Jamie’s Italian offset rising sales at Oliver’s media business, which includes his cookery books and TV shows, where revenues rose £2m to £32m and underlying profits jumped 45% to £8m. The strong media performance was driven by the success of Oliver’s 5 Ingredients, Quick & Easy book, which sold a million copies in the UK alone last year. The accompanying TV series, Jamie’s Quick and Easy Food, was sold in to 121 territories. Paul Hunt, chief executive of Jamie Oliver Group, said: “The success of our media business, driven by the stellar performance of 5 Ingredients, Quick & Easy Food, was fundamental to our ability to support the restaurant business and ensure its continuity. With a reshaped restaurant estate, a new management team, and a focused investment plan backed by HSBC, we are making steady headway in a challenging market.”

Applegreen to float this morning: Applegreen, the petrol forecourt retailer with operations in the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States, expects to post to shareholders later today an AIM and ESM Admission Document and EGM Notice. The Admission Document, which, amongst other things, contains further information on its proposed purchase of a majority stake Welcome Break. As a result of the company publishing the admission document, the company’s ordinary shares are expected to resume trading on AIM and ESM with effect from 8.00am today. In addition, further to company’s intention to raise a minimum of €100 million to part fund the consideration for the acquisition of Welcome Break as set out in the Transaction Announcement, the company has conditionally raised €175 million (circa £156 million) before expenses through the proposed issue of 28,782,895 New Ordinary Shares at the Placing Price of €6.08 (543p) per placing share.
 
Shaftesbury reports robust summer trading in the West End: West End property landlord Shaftesbury, a Real Estate Investment Trust that owns a 15-acre portfolio in London’s West End with almost 400 pub, restaurant and cafe freeholds, has reported robust trading across the summer as it announces a trading update for the period 1 April 2018 to 27 September 2018. Chief executive Brian Bickell said: “Despite well-publicised uncertainties affecting business confidence nationally, London’s West End economy continues to be resilient. Trading across our restaurants, cafes, bars and shops has been robust over the summer months. In particular, our food and beverage occupiers have benefited from good footfall in our locations and the attraction of a wide variety of carefully-curated, innovative casual dining choices.” The company added: “The availability of assets to buy, which meet our strict criteria, continues to be limited. However, we continue to identify and investigate a number of potential acquisitions, although the timing of purchases is always impossible to predict. Since 1 April 2018, we have acquired four buildings in Carnaby, Covent Garden, Chinatown and Soho. Comprising one restaurant, three cafés, one bar, one shop and 13,400 sq. ft. of office space, the total cost was £50.4 million, bringing total acquisitions for the year ending 30 September 2018 to £167.8 million. Demand for our smaller, regular space continues to be healthy, although the average time to conclude lettings has increased slightly from six weeks last year to around eight weeks, currently. Vacancy levels in our regular space remain in line with our long-term average, at or below 3% of ERV. Although the current climate is causing prospective occupiers for larger space to be cautious, in recent months we have made considerable leasing progress in our larger schemes in Chinatown and Seven Dials.” 

Damien Hirst to close Ilfracombe restaurant: Damien Hirst is to shut down his quayside restaurant in north Devon. The restaurant is due to close next month. Sources close to Hirst, who has a home and workshop in the area, said the move was part of a wide-ranging restructuring of his company Science Ltd that would help clear more time for him to spend in the studio. Hirst shut down his gallery Other Criteria in Ilfracombe last year. A spokesperson for Science said: “Damien is making changes at his company and has made the difficult decision to close the Quay and sell or rent all the properties he owns on the seafront, finding the right people to take them on.”

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