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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 30th Apr 2024 - Update: McDonald's and Mowgli results, Revolution meeting postponed, Greene King's new £40m brewery
McDonald’s reports global like-for-likes up 1.9% in first quarter with UK seeing growth: McDonald’s has reported global like-for-likes were up 1.9% in its first quarter ending 31 March 2024 – with the UK seeing growth. Chief executive Chris Kempczinski said: “Our global comparable sales growth in the first quarter marks 13 consecutive quarters of positive comparable sales growth with 30% growth over the last four years. As consumers are more discriminating with every dollar that they spend, we will continue to earn their visits by delivering leading, reliable, everyday value and outstanding execution in our restaurants. As we look to the rest of 2024 and beyond, we remain focused on leveraging the competitive advantages within our Accelerating the Arches plan and growing quick service restaurant market share to drive long-term growth.” Systemwide sales to loyalty members across 50 loyalty markets were nearly $25bn for the trailing 12-month period and more than $6bn for the quarter. First-quarter like-for-likes were up 2.5% in the US, with the results benefiting from average transaction growth driven by strategic menu price increases. McDonald’s said: “Successful restaurant level execution, effective marketing campaigns featuring the core menu and continued digital and delivery growth contributed to positive comparable sales results.” Like-for-like sales in the quarter for the “international operated” segment, which includes the UK, were up 2.7%. McDonald’s said segment performance was driven by positive comparable sales in most markets, led by the UK and Germany, partly offset by negative comparable sales in France. In the “international developmental” licensed segment, first quarter like-for-like sales were down 0.2% “as the continued impact of the war in the Middle East more than offset positive comparable sales in Japan, Latin America and Europe”. Revenue in the quarter increased to $6,169m from $5,898m the previous year.

Mowgli FY turnover tops £30m: Indian street food brand Mowgli reported a 15% rise in turnover for the year to 31 July 2023 to £30,874,316 (2022: £26,877,190), driven by two new openings in the period and growth of its existing estate, and despite lower VAT rates in the prior 12 months. The company, which operated 17 sites during the period, said adjusted Ebitda was £3.8m (2022: £4.7m), while it posted a pre-tax loss of £476,456 (2022: profit of £1,859,816). The company, which secured new backing from TriSpan at the start of 2023, said: “Prior year Ebitda included a number of one-off benefits including lower VAT rates and other post covid support measures that were not in place in 2023. Additionally, the company saw higher utility rates in 2023 due to increase in wholesale energy costs. These utility costs have since reduced following a new fixed contract from October 2023. Post year end, the company has successfully opened four restaurants, taking the total to 21 trading sites. In January 2023 TriSpan acquired a significant shareholding in the company's ultimate parent company. Purpose Topco. As a result of the investment the loan facilities with NatWest were repaid in the year. Net cash in bank and at hand stood at £2.2m at year end (2022: £400,000).” Mowgli is set to open its latest site this summer in the former Two Seasons store in Lincoln’s High Street. Mowgli also plans to open in the former Cafe Royal, in Newcastle’s Nelson Street and in Knutsford’s King Street this autumn. At the same time, Propel understands that Mowgli is eyeing an opening at the Designer Outlet in Bridgend. Mowgli features in the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is available exclusively to Premium Club members. Mowgli’s turnover of £30,874,316 is the 291st highest in the database. The Blue Book ranks companies by turnover, profit and profit conversion, listing directors’ earnings for the past five years. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £995 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £495 plus VAT for operators and £595 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to upgrade your subscription.

Revolution Bars Group postpones general meeting ‘to provide additional time to fully explore all strategic options’: Revolution Bars Group – the operator of the Revolution, Revolución de Cuba and Peach Pubs brands – has postponed its planned general meeting on Thursday (2 May) “to provide additional time to fully explore all strategic options”. Earlier this month, the company set out its proposed restructuring plans, including a £12.5m fundraise that has been completed, and the closure of 18 sites, alongside the launch of a formal sales process. The group stated: “Following discussions with key shareholders and in order to provide additional time to fully explore all strategic options, it has decided to postpone the forthcoming general meeting, scheduled for 11am on Thursday (2 May). It is currently intended that the postponed general meeting will be held at 11am on 20 May and a further announcement will be made in due course.” The group plans to use the fundraising proceeds to fund the implementation of the restructuring plan, which will primarily impact the Revolution branded sites and provide additional working capital to the company. The group’s proposed strategic focus for FY25 will include executing the restructuring plan, rationalising its trading estate and protecting the group’s liquidity; continuing the “premiumisation of Peach Pubs’ product and service”; and “continuing the enhancement of Revolución de Cuba’s entertainment and brand proposition”. In FY26 its proposed recommencing the five-year investment cycle for the group’s bars, with a target return on capital employed (ROCE) of 50% from refurbished sites; recommencing the seven to eight-year investment cycle for the group’s pubs, again with a target ROCE of 50% from refurbished sites; and exploring site acquisition opportunities across the Peach and Revolución de Cuba brands. For FY27, it plans to recommence the expansion of the group’s brands, with a focus on Peach, Founders & Co and Revolución de Cuba. The business previously said that without the additional funding from the fundraising, and without the cost savings delivered through the proposed restructuring plan, it anticipates that the group will face liquidity pressures from the first quarter of FY25 onwards.

Greene King to invest £40m in new state-of-the-art brewery in Bury St Edmunds: Brewer and retailer Greene King is to invest £40m in developing a new state-of-the-art brewery in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. The company said the investment into a new custom-built facility represents a “major commitment from Greene King to the future of British brewing and the company’s production of cask ale, alongside its newer premium craft beer brands”. It builds on the company’s 200-year history of brewing in Bury St Edmunds since its founding in 1799. Greene King’s brewing operation will continue in its current form at its Westgate Brewery throughout the construction of the new site, which is currently slated for completion in 2027. It said the proposed new brewery forms a key part of the company’s wider transformation programme, as “Greene King continues to evolve to meet its customers’ needs”. It said the project is directly in line with its “strategic driver of optimising its assets as it seeks to deliver on its strategy to be a modern hospitality business”. Greene King’s new operation will be located next to its new distribution centre and the company said it will significantly improve the sustainability of the company’s brewing operations. Per pint, water usage in the brewing process will be reduced by more than 50%, alongside significant improvements in energy efficiency. It will drive Greene King’s progression towards its science-based environmental targets, which includes the company’s aim to be carbon net zero by 2040, as well as reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. Over the last two years, Greene King has invested in the new multimillion-pound distribution centre as well as more than £9m in its Belhaven Brewery in Dunbar, as “further evidence of its commitment to brewing in the UK”. Nick Mackenzie, chief executive at Greene King, said: “Brewing in Bury St Edmunds is a core part of Greene King’s DNA. This investment represents a further and significant ongoing commitment to our brewing operations in a town which has such a rich and storied connection with our business and with brewing. As we seek to make our operations more sustainable, our new brewery will future proof our ability to brew our much-loved brands, as we create a thriving modern hospitality business.” Matt Starbuck, managing director Brewing & Brands at Greene King, added: “We have been brewing in Bury St Edmunds for more than 200 years. We are passionate about our craft and the development of this state-of-the-art facility will allow us to maintain brewing at the core of our business going forwards. We are excited by the opportunity that this affords and the chance to invest in innovation and the development of our world-class beer portfolio.”

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