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Mon 21st Jan 2019 - Update: Patisserie Valerie, Just Eat, Elephant Park
Patisserie Valerie still in discussions with bank: Patisserie Holdings, the parent company of Patisserie Valerie, has announced, in a short announcement to the market this morning, that, further to the announcement on 16th January, the company “is still in discussions with its bankers to extend the standstill of its bank facilities beyond 18 January and will issue an update when those discussions have concluded”.

Just Eat – 2018 was transformational: Just Eat has reported, in a trading update, that “2018 has been transformational”. It stated: “In line with our objectives, we developed our marketplace into a world-class experience for our customers and partners, and we engineered our delivery services to be best-in-class to complement our marketplace. The results of these initiatives have surpassed our expectations. We now anticipate reporting full year 2018 orders of 221 million, revenue of around £780 million and underlying Ebitda in the range of £172 million – 174 million.. As we move into 2019, Just Eat is strongly positioned to take advantage of the rapidly-growing £83 billion+ market opportunity in takeaway food delivery. Our unrivalled marketplace reach, combined with the roll-out of our winning delivery platform, creates a unique hybrid platform which gives our growing customer base the best of both worlds through access to more choice and better service. In 2019, we will leverage the improvements we have made in our marketplace business to drive order and revenue growth, while we now also expect to grow marketplace Ebitda margins year on year. Furthermore, we anticipate 2019 will see our Canadian business, SkipTheDishes, report its first full year profit, confirming the route to profitability for delivery services. We will invest this increased profit to accelerate our exciting delivery initiatives along the pathway towards profitability, principally in the UK and Australia. The targeted roll-out of delivery in key zones will allow us to increase our overall customer base and serve even more brilliant food moments. In Latin America, iFood has already communicated its plans to invest in the significant opportunity it sees in the high-growth markets of Brazil and Mexico for further penetration of their £26bn takeaway market. Our operations in Mexico and Brazil are managed by our joint venture partner and will be excluded from our reported underlying Ebitda from full year 2019 onwards. The board therefore expects to report full year 2019 revenue in the range of £1 billion to £1.1 billion and underlying Ebitda (both excluding Brazil and Mexico) in the range of £185 million to £205 million. Under iFood’s latest plan, the board expects Just Eat’s LatAm operations (being Brazil and Mexico together) to report an Ebitda loss in the range of £80 million to £100 million.” Meanwhile, Peter Plumb is stepping down as chief executive and a director of the company. Peter Duffy, chief customer officer, is being appointed as interim chief executive officer and a director of the company. These changes take place with immediate effect. The search for a permanent replacement will begin immediately. Chairman Mike Evans said: “The board would like to thank Peter Plumb for setting Just Eat on a new course which better places it to address a much larger and rapidly expanding market. We wish him well for the future. Peter Duffy and the senior leadership team will continue to drive the execution of our strategy, which has the full backing of the board. Peter Duffy and Paul Harrison, chief financial officer, will provide a full update to the market at our full year results.” 

Elephant Park to feature unique and immersive food experience: Elephant Park, a partnership between Lendlease and Southwark Council to deliver a £2.3 billion regeneration project in Elephant & Castle, has announced that sustainable community food market operator, Mercato Metropolitano, has signed for 17,500 sq ft of retail, dining and social space to launch MM Factory, due to open in Summer 2019. A spokesman said: “As an anchor tenant, MM Factory will be situated at an important gateway to Elephant Park, facing onto Sayer Street – a new street for local and independent businesses – as well as overlooking Grade II listed Walworth Town Hall on Walworth Square, and will play a major role in establishing this part of the Elephant Park masterplan as a new food hub for London. MM Factory will represent a new concept of grocery, retail and dining experience. With core values aligned with those of Lendlease, Mercato Metropolitano is focused on revitalising local neighbourhoods, promoting a thoughtful attitude towards food and raising awareness of sustainability and environmental, economic and social aspects of the community through a host of activities. The highlight of MM Factory will be the urban production centre, a unique and immersive food experience where customers will be able to observe and participate in the traditional arts of food production. Heritage and organic grains will be milled on-site and worked into handcrafted bakery, patisserie and pasta products, allowing customers to enjoy the exceptional flavour and health benefits of natural and unadulterated flours. The space will also feature Mercato Metropolitano’s signature mix of micro-restaurants and high-quality, sustainable food concepts from around the world. Founded in Milan in 2015, the Mercato Metropolitano concept has became known as the city’s sustainable community market. Following this successful proof of concept, a UK debut meanwhile-use site focussing on artisan producers, urban farms, community activities and cultural programmes throughout the year, launched in Elephant & Castle in 2016. Mercato Metropolitano’s first site has generated more than 200 permanent new jobs, creating longer term sustainable changes in employment, skills and opportunity within the area. Building on this shared commitment to sustainability, MM will work with Lendlease to offer apprenticeships for community members, as well as community cooking classes to provide people from all walks of life the opportunity to learn how to prepare healthy, sustainably-sourced meals. Guy Thomas, head of retail at Lendlease, said: “The new MM Factory from Mercato Metropolitano will bring a vibrant and varied offer to Elephant Park serving Elephant & Castle’s diverse community. Lendlease is committed to creating the best places with longevity, sustainability and a strong sense of community, and like-minded Mercato Metropolitano is the perfect anchor tenant to help us deliver on this promise.” Andrea Rasca, founder and ‘chief executive dreamer’ of Mercato Metropolitano, said: “Elephant Park is an amazing opportunity for us, when looking at potential destinations it quickly became apparent that Lendlease is a landlord that shares our ideals and vision for the future. The Mercato Metropolitano ecosystem is all about community, a place for an ongoing dialogue between local people, farmers, chefs, retailer and artists, and we cannot think of a better place to build upon this community with a new approach to urban retail than Elephant Park.” Nash Bond and CF Commercial represented Lendlease, while Mercato Metropolitano represented themselves.

Easyhotel reports strong First Quarter: Easyhotel, the owner, developer and operator of super budget branded hotels, has reported that it continues to outperform both its competitive set and the wider hotel market. Total system sales were up 31% in its First Quarter with revenue up 60% .The company stated: “We are now in our fourth year of market outperformance (as measured by STR) for our owned hotels. The board however believe that the 2019 financial year will be more challenging than 2018 and have taken the decision to continue to drive revenue growth and brand recognition, at the expense of gross margin, through increasing the use of online travel agents (OTAs) as compared with prior periods. Our franchised hotels performed particularly well across the UK. However, results across the wider European market were more varied, and the Easyhotels in Holland performed less strongly than they had in 2018. Our hotels opened during the last quarter of last year are trading well, exceeding our occupancy targets. Already in the period we have opened three new hotels; a new 89-bedroom owned hotel in Ipswich and two franchised hotels (201-bedrooms) in Lisbon and Bernkastel Kues. The group has continued to extend its pipeline during the period with new hotel developments added both in the UK and mainland Europe. In October 2018 a freehold site in central Bristol was acquired for the development of a 145-bedroom Easyhotel which, subject to planning permission, is expected to open in 2020.” In December 2018 the group also confirmed that it had submitted a planning application for the development of a 209-room leased Easyhotel, close to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, France. The new-build hotel is anticipated to open in the 2020/21 financial year. The £7m full refurbishment of the group’s freehold property at 80 Old Street is also now underway. The building is expected to reopen as an 89-bedroom hotel in the second half of 2019 with 15,500 sq ft of separate air-conditioned office accommodation available for let. The construction of the 124-bedroom Easyhotel Milton Keynes is well advanced and the hotel will open later this financial year. Other new owned hotels projects currently in development include Oxford (180 rooms) Cambridge (100 rooms), Chester (109 rooms), Cardiff (120 rooms), Dublin (130 rooms) and Blackpool (103 rooms). All are anticipated to open in the group’s 2020/2021 financial year. The group currently has a further seven franchised hotels currently under development including openings in 2019 in Malaga (146 rooms), Zurich (150 rooms, across more than one hotel), Basel (24 rooms) and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (154 rooms) – all planned in 2019 – and Bur Dubai (300 rooms), which will open in 2020. Guy Parsons, chief executive of Easyhotel, said: “Whilst we are not immune from the ongoing political and economic challenges and their impact on the hotel sector, our robust business model means that we have continued to outperform our markets in the period. These current uncertainties are presenting us with opportunities, which might not otherwise be possible, to acquire sites on good terms in central locations in our core target cities, such as Dublin, Bristol and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Well publicised uncertainties and frequent regulatory delays can postpone completion of our hotels and how quickly they reach maturity. However, we are making good progress with our strategic priorities and are confident that the appeal of Easyhotel’s super budget brand will deliver long-term growth.” 

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