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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Sat 8th Feb 2014 - Breaking News - Results: Corney & Barrow, SSP UK, Di Maggio’s
Corney & Barrow reports disappointing year: London wine bar operator Corney & Barrow has reported a disappointing year with a 7% drop in like-for-likes sales that followed an 11% drop the year before – headline sales were down 3%. The company saw turnover of £16,325,262 in the year to 30 April 2013 compared to £16,923,311 the year before. Pre-tax losses widened to £1,544,531 compared to £1,057,4843 the year before. A recovery is forecast for the current financial year. The company stated: “The trading environment in the City remained extremely challenging throughout the year. The distraction of the Olympics, the quite appalling weather in the spring and the summer and continuing depressed economic conditions all contributed to a disappointing outturn for the year. The company has remained rigorous in the management of all controllable costs but was again required to absorb significant additional costs arising from an increase in the minimum wage, business rates, service charges, utilities, licensing and various external compliance costs. “In October last year, Corney & Barrow sold its Cabin bar at Waterloo station to SSP UK. Ed Gardner, managing director of Corney & Barrow Bars, said at the time: “The new executive team at C&B Bars has recently completed a strategic review of the company’s bar estate. This has resulted in a decision to terminate C&B’s interest in Cabin at Waterloo Station. Our priority going forward is to consolidate and build on our pre-eminent position within the Square Mile and Canary Wharf. We have a number of key investment plans for the City estate and this realignment of resources will enable us to focus on our core strengths as the economy and trading conditions around us improve. No other disposals are contemplated at this time.”

SSP reports strong growth in the UK market: Transport hub foodservice company SSP UK, which operates franchised Burger King and Starbucks sites as well as its own brands such as Caffe Ritazza and Upper Crust, has reported UK sales grew 5% to £603.1m in the UK in the year to 25 September 2013. An increase in gross profit margin to 15.1% (from 14.6%) saw underlying profit grow to £20.2m from £11m in 2012. The company reported like-for-like sale growth of 3.4% in its first half, which accelerated to 4.3% in its third quarter, helped by higher passenger numbers. The final quarter saw like-for-like sales soften to 3.7%, principally due to the impact of challenging comparatives in the rail business due to the previous summer’s London Olympics. SSP UK derives 73% of sales from concessions at railway stations and 23% from concessions at airports with the remainder coming from shopping centres, leisure parks and hospitals. Airport sales were up by 6.2%, driven by increasing passenger numbers and improving average spend per head. Like-for-like sales in the railways concessions part of the business were down by 2.5% on a like-for-like basis as a result of the “difficult environment for consumer spending”. The company stated: “We have set our budgets for the coming period based on expectations of relatively modest growth in passenger numbers and same-store sales, but have taken action to deliver further productivity improvement that should help underpin the achievement of our financial targets for the 2013 to 2014 year.” Ebitda was £43,693,000 compared to £40,498,00 the year before. Capital expenditure was £17,180,000 compared to £14,124,000 the year before.

Di Maggio’s Group reports profit drop: Scottish restaurant operator and property firm Di Maggio’s Group, Scotland’s largest independent restaurant company, has reported a drop in profits. Turnover increased by £1,851,000 to £23,121,000 in the year to 27 April 2013. Group operating profit decreased by £2,073,000 to £932,000. The company stated: “The directors are satisfied with the financial performance and health of the group at the 42-week period end. The group will continue to be a significant employer within the Scottish central belt.” In the period the average number of employee numbers were 505 (2012: 484). Operating margin was 4% compared to 14.1% in the prior period. Pre-tax profit was £320,411 compared to £2,368,205 the year before. The firm operates around 20 outlets in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, including venues under the Di Maggio’s, Cafe Andaluz and Amarone brands.

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