Revolution Bars Group appoints advisers: Revolution Bars Group, which operates the Revolution and Revolución de Cuba brands, has appointed advisers as it explores options for the business, including a possible company voluntary arrangement (CVA). The company stated: “Further to the continuing challenging trading environment and exacerbated by the further covid-19-related restrictions announced by the government earlier this week, the board of Revolution confirms it has been working with advisers to assess various strategic options for the group. The board is currently evaluating the potential impact of the latest developments on the group’s business before deciding what the next steps should be. One of the potential options being explored is a reduction in the size of the group’s estate by the implementation of a CVA. No decisions have yet been made and there is much further work to complete before the board decides on any appropriate course of action. Revolution has a strong balance sheet following the £15m equity fund-raising and the extension of its banking facilities announced in June but the board believes the long-term nature and potential impact of the latest operating restrictions means that it must consider all necessary options to ensure that its business remains viable.” Revolution Bars Group is working with AlixPartners on the process.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen system-wide sales down 66.2%: Famous Brands has reported system-wide sales at Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) fell 66.2% for the six months ending 27 August 2020 compared with the previous year. At the end of August, 65% of the 67-strong GBK estate had reopened. Famous Brands said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and resultant national lock-downs and trading restrictions has been “extremely severe” on the business in the UK and South Africa. The company stated: “During the lock-downs, in line with regulations, our South Africa and UK operations were entirely shut with the exception of the South Africa retail division. Prescribed restrictions in the Asia and Middle East region were slightly less onerous, affording some trading activity. The gradual easing of restrictions in South Africa and the UK in the second half of the review period enabled us to reopen parts of the business in compliance with regulations. However, significant components remained in hibernation until July. Aligned with our three-year roadmap, and accelerated by the pandemic, our focus over the review period was to right-size the business, reduce costs, and preserve cash to facilitate balance sheet flexibility. In this regard, it is pleasing to report that the R300m contingency facility raised during the period has not been utilised.” The basic loss per share is expected to be within the range of 382 to 689 cents per share, compared with the prior comparable period’s basic earnings of 159 cents per share. The anticipated decrease relates primarily to an impairment of R1.3 billion (net of tax), recognised at group level in relation to the investment in GBK. This impairment means GBK has now been impaired in full at group level. The earnings per share loss is also as a result of operational losses due to the impact of the pandemic. Famous Brands provided the update as it warned its financial results for the period would differ by at least 20% from the year before.