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Thu 16th Sep 2021 - Fridays will list under Hostmore name in fourth quarter
Fridays will list under Hostmore name in fourth quarter: Fridays and its offshoot 63rd +1st will be floated under the name Hostmore in the fourth quarter of this year, owner Electra has stated. The company stated: “Over the 16 week period since the resumption of restricted indoor dining on 17 May, the company has reported like-for-like growth versus 2019 averaging +11.8%. On a VAT adjusted basis the like-for-like growth versus 2019 over this period was (0.3%). In the seven weeks since the further reduction of covid-19 restrictions on 19 July this like-for-like growth versus 2019 has averaged +15.2%. On a VAT adjusted basis the like-for-like growth versus 2019 over this period was 2.6%. Performance over the entire 16 week period reflected a +3.9% outperformance of the market and over the period since 19 July sales have outperformed the market by +3.5%.” Chief executive Robert B Cook, said: “We are delighted with the continued strong performance of our two brands, Fridays and 63rd+1st. Fridays continues to outperform the market and we are opening our next two 63rd+1st sites – in Glasgow later in September and Harrogate in November – following a successful launch in Cobham earlier this year in May. Whilst the industry continues to face covid-related challenges, I am confident in our ability to continue managing these well. We remain on track for listing Hostmore later this year, and our strong performance despite the challenges of the last eighteen months underpins our confidence in our ability to create long-term value for shareholders.” The board of directors of Hostmore will be: Neil Johnson, chairman and chair of the Nominations Committee. Neil has committed to chairing Hostmore through a period of approximately six months from its listing until its annual general meeting in Spring 2022; chief executive Robert B Cook; chief financial officer Alan Clark plus three newly appointed independent non-executive directors, namely Andrew Blurton, Louise Stonier and Jane Bednall. Neil Johnson, chairman of Electra, said: “We are pleased to have assembled a strong board to lead Hostmore as a newly listed group in the hospitality and leisure sectors. With these new appointments we have brought together significant experience in governance, finance, people and consumer markets, together with relevant sector and risk management expertise. These capabilities will promote the strategic development of the business and will complement the expertise of the senior leadership team led by Robert B. Cook.”

Findlay to chair C&C Group: Ralph Findlay, the outgoing chief executive of Marston’s, will replace Stewart Gilliland, C&C Group’s current chairman, after the company’s annual meeting next year, reports Sky News. The appointment is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Findlay will step down later this month as chief executive of Marston’s after two decades in charge. C&C and Marston’s both declined to comment.

C&C Group reports return to profit in May, own distribution network insulated company from driver shortage: C&C Group has reported a strong return to trading, driven by the gradual easing of on-trade restrictions since April 2021 and boosted further by a strong consumer response, a summer of good weather, the European Football Championship and ‘staycations’. Despite restrictions impacting indoor and outdoor hospitality in H1 FY2022, the group stated: “With indoor and outdoor hospitality open across our core markets for the last five weeks of H1 FY2022, we were pleased to serve 90% of the distribution points in August 2021 versus August 2019. Group net revenue in H1 FY2022 is expected to be €657m, compared with €398m in H1 FY2021 and €896m in H1 FY2020 (pre-covid-19). Operating profit for H1 FY2022 is expected to be €16m, compared to a loss of €12m in H1 FY2021 and a profit of €66m in H1 FY2020. With the gradual easing of restrictions in the UK on-trade from April 2021, the group returned to profit and underlying cash generation in May 2021, demonstrating the inherent strength of C&C’s business model. Trading performance continued to improve from May 2021 and Irish outdoor hospitality reopened from June 2021. Our key distribution businesses, Matthew Clark and Bibendum, returned to profitability in June and remained profitable over the key summer trading period. The group discontinued the use of government furlough support schemes in June 2021. As widely publicised, the UK is experiencing a shortage of heavy goods vehicle drivers, however, with the group’s distribution network controlled inhouse, we have been partly insulated and as a consequence have broadly met customer demand through the peak summer trading period. We continue to work closely with our partners to meet the resurgence in demand. The group is committed to market leading customer service and is taking steps to create capacity and continue to fulfil demand, however, we remain vigilant on the evolving situation. While there is general upward pressure on input costs and in our distribution business as we manage industry wide capacity constraints, our exposure to commodity inflation is largely mitigated in FY2022 through our long-term supply contracts and partnerships. We remain on track with the initiatives to deliver the €18 million in annualised cost savings announced in May 2021.” Chief executive David Forde said: “Despite sector challenges, our business has shown its inherent strength and cash generation capability in the first half of FY2022. As the on-trade has progressively re-opened, we returned to profitability and worked closely with our customers to meet the resurgence in consumer demand. We continue to invest in our brands, most notably with the recent launch of multi-channel advertising campaigns for our iconic Tennent’s, Bulmers and Magners brands. Our focus remains on building a better business by further developing our brand and system strength, while continuing to navigate the near-term capacity constraints our industry faces.”

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