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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 1st Jan 2019 - Coaching Inn Group reports record December, Caprice Holdings results
Coaching Inn Group reports record December trading with like-for-likes up 9.4%: Coaching Inn Group has reported record festive trading with like-for-like sales up 9.4% for the five weeks to 31 December. The company saw net sales of £3,061,708 – a 27.1% increase on the previous year. A particularly strong Christmas period generated a like-for-like sales improvement of 11.2% for the final two weeks of the period. The 15-strong estate achieved average weekly sales of £41,000 net per site during the period, with average sales rising to £46,000 during the final two weeks of the period. Finance director Edward Walsh said: “Our latest acquisition, The Swan Hotel in Stafford, was the stand-out performer with weekly net sales averaging £67,500 net over the period, and reaching £80,000 in the final week before the Christmas break. New Year’s Eve continues to be the biggest day in the calendar with sales topping £158,000 across 15 sites – up 11.8% on a like-for-like basis. These results are a clear reflection of our continued investment in the estate, as well as our continued investment in our central sales office with improved take-up of our Christmas accommodation packages, festive party nights, and Christmas menus helping to drive the overall performance.” Coaching Inn Group is backed by the BGF.

Caprice Holdings reports full-year like-for-likes up 2.1%: Caprice Holdings, owned by Richard Caring, has reported like-for-like sales, excluding restaurant closures, grew 2.1% for the 52 weeks ending 31 December 2017. Turnover was up 0.8% to £67.7m, compared with £67.1m the year before. Adjusted Ebitda was down to £11.1m, compared with £12.4m the previous year, due to “significant” rises in labour and property costs. Pre-tax profit was up to £9.2m, compared with £8.7m the year before, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Gross profit margin increased to 76.4% from 75.7% the previous year. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “The sales growth was driven by a fantastic performance from Daphne's (up 11% like-for-like, with the growth coming from increases in both covers and spend), backed up by great sales from J Sheekey (up 5%) and The Ivy (up 4%, boosted by its 100th anniversary year). In the prevailing tough market conditions, the directors consider the result to be a satisfactory performance.” At the end of the period the number of employees increased from 844 to 854. 

Seedrs hits £500m milestone for funds raised: Seedrs has reported more than £500m has been pledged by investors on the crowdfunding platform since its launch in 2012. This has resulted in more than 720 successful fund-raises, with sector businesses such as Italian street food market Mercato Metropolitano, bakery and coffee shop concept Tart and London-based steakhouse and beer concept Beef & Brew among those companies to benefit. Almost £200m was invested into pitches in 2018 – an increase of more than 60% on 2017. Seedrs stated: “Behind all the investment activity is a highly diverse range of investors using the platform, something that reflects our ethos of democratising early-stage equity investment. Since our launch, investors from more than 80 different countries have invested in pitches, illustrating our investor community’s global reach. Entrepreneurs have also come from an international community, with businesses from 19 different countries using the platform. Along the journey to reaching £500m invested, we have seen an increasing number of companies at different stages successfully using equity crowdfunding to raise funds alongside venture capital funds.” Co-founder and executive chairman Jeff Lynn said: “It’s been quite a journey since we launched, and hitting £500m invested on the platform is a fantastic achievement. From funding £10,000 campaigns back in 2012 to €12,000,000 campaigns in 2018, we’ve come a long way and we’re still just getting started. With the recently increased funding round limit and our expansion plans across Europe, what the future holds for Seedrs is very exciting indeed.” 

Propel launches Leadership Summit, open for bookings: Propel is launching the Leadership Summit, which will see a select group of the sector’s most experienced bosses share their expertise on leadership. The full-day event, in partnership with Elliotts, will take place on Tuesday, 12 February at One Moorgate Place and is open for bookings. Speakers will include Will Stratton-Morris, chief executive of Caffe Nero, who will talk about building high-performance teams. Alasdair Murdoch, chief executive of Burger King, speaks about the role of leadership in business turnarounds. Elliotts chief executive Ann Elliott will talk to Des Gunewardena, chief executive of D&D London, about the lessons of leadership he has picked up in his career in the sector. Duncan Garrood, chief executive of Ten Entertainment, will give his views on leadership and the customer experience, while Jo Fleet, managing director of Flat Iron, will talk about empowering people and trust and getting the team to “buy in” through clear communication and vision. Mark Jones, chief executive of Carluccio’s, will explain how the company is building the quality and skillsets of its general managers to lead the business out of decline. Simon Townsend, chief executive of Ei Group, will give his views on the challenges of leadership during a period of immense change and Zoe Bowley, managing director of PizzaExpress, will give her top ten tips on leadership. Meanwhile, Loungers founder Alex Reilley will talk about the adaptations involved in growing a business from one site to more than 100, celebrating success and the art of succession, while Ann Elliott will give her views on the power of mentoring to grow talent in organisations. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “With the industry facing such challenging times, effective leadership has never been more important. This is an unmissable opportunity to learn from high-profile leaders in our sector.” Prices are £295 plus VAT for Premium members, £345 plus VAT for operators and £445 plus VAT for suppliers. To book, email

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