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Thu 19th Sep 2019 - The City Pub Group reports turnover and profit boost
The City Pub Group reports turnover and profit boost: The City Pub Group has reported sales rose 37% to £27.1m in the 26 weeks to 30 June, with like-for-like sales up 2.6%. Adjusted Ebitda up 20% to £3.6 million (2018: £3.0 million) and adjusted profit before tax rose 19% to £1.9 million (2018: £1.6 million). The company stated: “Strategic expansion continued with four pubs opened in 2019. The expanded estate and our wet-led focus resulted in substantial Ebitda and sales growth. Progress has continued into the second half with sales up by 35% over the last eleven weeks. With a further four projects in development and a continued focus on the existing estate, the board expects the group to continue to deliver significant growth for the foreseeable future. The group is beginning to see the benefits of the new regional management structure and the new Weekly Employee Bonus Scheme, both of which will drive growth and further incentivise the group’s employees. Due to political and economic uncertainty the group will take a much more prudent and even more selective approach to acquisitions and focus instead on completing the development sites for trading, reducing debt and improving the dividend for shareholders as cash generated increases, until a time where there is more certainty.” Clive Watson, executive chairman of The City Pub Group, said: “Our targeted expansion of high-quality larger pubs with letting rooms has delivered strong progress for the group in the first half. In the face of robust comparatives, we have delivered good like for like growth too. As our development sites begin trading during 2020, they will drive our performance onward. Our momentum has continued into the second half with strong sales growth. We cannot ignore the uncertainty in the market due primarily to Brexit and the potential impact of a No Deal. We are a management team that is focused on the long-term and as such we believe it is prudent for us to rein in our expansion programme until there is more certainty. Instead we will focus on getting our development sites trading, developing our existing estate, reducing our debt and improving our dividends for shareholders. This will further strengthen our position and minimise the impact of any headwinds whilst continuing to deliver significant growth into the future.” Of recent trading, Watson added: “Sales in the 11 weeks since the period end have increased 35% driven by our strategy of opening larger sites and capitalising on local trading opportunities. The quality of our trading estate is continually improving and has been enhanced by the recent openings. The increased number of letting bedrooms across the estate will drive future operational efficiencies. The group’s focus is now on raising the quality of the estate, completing our development programme, acquiring new sites on an opportunistic basis, reducing our debt and growing dividend payments for shareholders as cash generation increases.”

Fuller’s hires Iain Rippon to head tenanted division: Fuller’s, the premium pubs and hotels business, has appointed Iain Rippon to the role of head of operations – tenanted, with effect from 30 September 2019. The company stated: “Iain has over 15 years’ experience running tenanted and leased pubs with his former employer, Punch Taverns, where he held several positions, most recently operations director for the south east division. Before joining Punch, Iain worked in the off trade, prior to which he worked in France. Iain has a strong track record of developing his team, bringing together a wide range of functions to support his tenants and lessees, and – as a result – attracting and retaining great licensees.” Rippon said: “I’m delighted to be joining Fuller’s. It’s a company and a culture I’ve long admired and this is a great opportunity to help shape the division going forwards. Fuller’s has some amazing tenanted pubs and I’m excited about getting know the licensees and business development managers that are behind them.” Simon Emeny, chief executive of Fuller’s, said: “This is a great hire for Fuller’s – and I’m delighted to have appointed someone with Iain’s experience and track record. Iain is a great fit and he completes my senior team line up. I’m looking forward to seeing how he builds on the initiatives started under Fred Turner and brings in new ideas to inspire his team and our tenants to grow this important part of our business.”

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