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Thu 15th Aug 2019 - PAUL UK reports sales and like-for-like boost
PAUL UK reports sales and like-for-like boost: PAUL UK, the 37-strong French bakery and cafe brand, has reported like-for-like sales rose 3.4% (2017: 2.4%) for the year ended 31 December 2018, with turnover up 7.4% to £38m. Online sales increased by 43.9%. A new concept store, Paul Express, was launched at St Pancras Station, focusing on quick service with a new hot and cold food range. PAUL Canary Wharf relocated to a larger unit, selling a wider range of baked goods. The brand’s delivery range was further developed resulting in a partnership with City Pantry to allow PAUL to offer a greater platter selection for meetings. As part of the ‘PAUL Cares Policy’, PAUL increased its reusable cup benefit, from a 25p to a 50p customer discount, as well as removing all plastic straws from the business. The company stated: “Business experienced a positive uplift in second half 2018, which has continued for 2019. Like-for-like turnover is up by 9.5% year to date, with margins showing favourable variances to last year. The company opened a second PAUL Express in May on Tottenham Court Road, focusing on grab & go and offering Well Being breakfast and lunch choices. PAUL launched its first mobile payment and loyalty app, allowing customers to collect reward points and receive tailored offers through their phones. The company  has saved over 31,000 meals from landfill through its partnership with Too Good To Go, the app that helps to reduce food waste. The brand is in its fourth year of partnering with The Felix Project charity through its PAUL Share programme, distributing not only unsold items, but specially baked products such as bread pudding using surplus bread, to the homeless and underprivileged.” Susanne Sauerland, finance director at PAUL UK said: “This is a solid performance by PAUL in the light of continued uncertainty within the sector. Our results in the second half of 2018 and the first half of 2019 are showing significant increases in like-for-like turnover, primarily due to new product development, improved technology/online sales and, of course, the commitment, passion and capabilities of our team.”

Vianet boss – Steve Alton “ideally suited” to become new chief executive of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII): Vianet chairman James Dickson has argued that Steve Alton, who has headed his Smart Zones division, is ideally suited to become the new chief executive of the BII. He said: “We have no doubt that Steve’s draught beer quality expertise and insight make him ideally suited for his new role and he leaves with our best wishes.” He is being replaced at Vianet by Craig Brocklehurst, currently commercial operations director. Vianet reported trading for the first four months of 2020 financial year has been as anticipated with the group being on course to meet market expectations. The group’s Smart Machines division has successfully concluded negotiations on three long-term contracts with leading vending operators. The combined contracts for 20,000 units will generate in the region of £10 million of revenue over the three to five year contract terms, which further underpins the growth of Smart Machines. 

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