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Thu 11th Apr 2019 - Kevin Georgel steps down at Admiral Taverns to become St Austell chief executive
Kevin Georgel steps down at Admiral Taverns to become St Austell chief executive: The board of Admiral Taverns confirms that, after nine years with the company, Kevin Georgel will step down from his role as chief executive. He leaves the group to take up the position of chief executive at St Austell Brewery in January 2020, where he is currently a non-executive director. The process to appoint his successor is well advanced and a further announcement concerning this appointment will be made in due course. Commenting, chairman of Admiral Taverns, Tom Ward said: “On behalf of the entire team at Admiral Taverns – our colleagues and investors, I would like to thank Kevin for the significant contribution he has made to the business. During his tenure, Admiral has strengthened its reputation as a champion of tenanted pubs and a leading operator in its field. Kevin leaves the business well positioned for an exciting future as we continue to make excellent progress against our growth strategy. He goes with our warmest wishes.” Kevin Georgel added: “It has been a true privilege to have had the chance to work with such a passionate and committed team of colleagues and licensees and I would like to thank each and every one of them. With a highly experienced leadership team in place and supportive investors behind the business, Admiral is well positioned to continue to deliver against its plans and I feel now is the right time for me to move on and pursue this personal opportunity, closer to my home and family. I look forward to working closely with Tom and the board to ensure a smooth transition to my successor.” Chairman of St Austell Brewery, Will Michelmore said: “On behalf of the board, shareholders and the entire team at St Austell Brewery and Bath Ales, I am thrilled that Kevin has agreed to take on the role of chief executive when James retires in January 2020 and excited that he will lead our business into its next chapter. Kevin’s skills, experience and values are a perfect fit for our company, our culture and for the customers we serve so we are all delighted about his appointment and look forward to welcoming him to the business. Whilst we are fleet of foot and adapt to changing market opportunities, St Austell Brewery is proud to take a long-term view and I am pleased that today’s announcement of both Kevin and James’ plans will enable a smooth handover of this key role from January 2020. I would like to personally thank James for the huge contribution he has made to our company. Under his leadership our business has grown significantly with beer production increasing tenfold and our pub and wholesale businesses extending from Cornwall to Bristol and beyond. James’ passion for the company means he will hand over the business in excellent heart to Kevin.”

Easyhotel report system sales revenue up 24% in First Half: Easyhotel, the owner, developer and operator of super budget branded hotels, has reported total system sales up 24% to £19.9m for the six months ended 31 March 2019. Owned hotels like-for-like RevPar was up 5.4% whilst franchise like-for-like RevPar down 3.5%. The company stated: “Both the group’s owned and franchised hotels significantly outperformed the market in the UK. Looking across the wider hotel market, falling consumer confidence has dampened total hotel demand, with RevPar up 0.4% during the period (STR MSE UK). Relatively strong market demand in London was off-set by a weaker regional market performance, with a marked deterioration in RevPar across the UK in Q2 as compared with Q1. As a result the short-term market outlook remains uncertain. The group’s European franchised hotels performed less strongly than those in the UK, despite European hotel markets generally outperforming the UK. Trading is mixed on a country-by-country basis. As in the UK, overall market demand has softened in 2019. Our hotel in Dubai is trading in-line with the wider market. The imbalance between supply and demand continues to affect RevPar. Our new owned hotel in Ipswich and two further franchised hotels in Lisbon and Bernkastel Kues have added 290 rooms to our network during the period and are already trading in line with management’s expectations. Further new owned hotel openings at Milton Keynes (124 bedrooms) and our refurbished Old Street hotel (89 rooms) are well advanced. Both hotels and the 15,500 sq ft of self-contained office space at Old Street are expected to open this June, which will be earlier than we had expected. Already there is encouraging interest in leasing the offices. The group has continued to extend its pipeline during the period. In the UK, the 145-bedroom Easyhotel Bristol development was added, subject to planning permission. Further to the successful opening of the group’s flagship Continental European hotel in Barcelona last summer, the establishment of the group’s European development team has added a 209 room Easyhotel at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to the development pipeline. A planning decision is expected soon. We have now received planning permission for the group’s hotels in Oxford (180 bedrooms) and Blackpool (103 rooms), both of which are expected to open in the 2020/21 financial year. Other new owned hotel projects currently in development include Cardiff (120 rooms) which will open next (financial) year and Cambridge (100 rooms), Chester (109 rooms), and Dublin (130 rooms) which are anticipated to open in the group’s 2020/2021 financial year. Franchised hotel openings for this financial year include Zurich (150 rooms, across more than one hotel), Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (154 rooms) with Malaga (146 rooms) and Bur Dubai (300 rooms) expected to open in the next financial year.” Guy Parsons, chief executive of Easyhotel, said: “Ongoing political and economic uncertainty continues to impact consumer confidence as demonstrated by weakening quarter-on-quarter demand across the market, both in the UK and in Europe. However, our actions to drive occupancy, including working closely with on-line travel agents (OTAs) to increase brand awareness, has meant that Easyhotel has continued to outperform its competitors as consumers seek out the best value for money. Subject to our continued overall market outperformance as we enter our key trading period and whilst mindful of the ongoing uncertainty, the board expects the outturn for the current financial year to be in line with its expectations. We remain focused on our strategic priorities and believe the current economic uncertainties will present attractive investment opportunities to continue to expand our development pipeline in our target destinations, creating value for our shareholders and underpinning the long-term growth of the brand.”

Christie Group reports turnover and operating profit growth, Venners sets turnover record: Professional services company Christie Group has reporter venue up 6.3% to £76.1m for the 12 months ended 31 December 2018. Operating profit up by 8.4% to £4.1m (2017: £3.8m). David Rugg, chairman and chief executive of Christie Group, said: “2018 was a year of solid performance. Currently, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit is causing UK transaction related activity to slow. We do have, however, an increased pipeline of transactions. We fully expect these to flow through to completed assignments once investors have more certainty of the Brexit outcome. We expect the second half to be our stronger performance.” The company added: “Venners, the largest provider of stocktaking services and related systems to the UK hospitality sector, broke its turnover record in 2018. This was due in no small part to the excellent performance of its stock audit, compliance and consultancy divisions. The business achieved a number of client wins, including Millennium Hotels, Giggling Squid, Thorley Taverns and the Doncaster Trust. The company’s growth in recent year has driven staff numbers from 200 in 2013 to 269 in 2018. Vennersys, which develops and provides cloud-based ticketing, admission and retail systems to the visitor attractions industry, focused a great deal of attention during 2018 on improving and broadening the functionality of its core Venpos Cloud software suite. As a result, it has been able to extend its range with existing clients, including Blenheim Palace, Burghley House, 360 Play and Folly Farm. The company also won major new contracts with Dunvegan and Cardiff castles, Kelmarsh Hall and Wentworth Woodhouse.”

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