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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 26th Mar 2014 - Breaking News - Eclectic buys Lowlander, Covent Garden for roll-out
Eclectic reports sales and Ebitda up in maiden half year, buys Lowlander: Premium bar and nightclub company Eclectic has reported sales up 9.6% at £11.4 million (2012: £10.4 million) and company Ebitda, before adjusting items (predominantly costs associated with the listing of the company on AIM), was up 13% at £1.7 million (2012: £1.5 million) in its maiden half year as a quoted company, ending in December 2013. Since the end of the half-year, Madame Geisha in Brighton has been closed and refurbished as the company’s first Dirty Blonde which opens tomorrow (27 March). The company has also exchanged contracts to acquire Lowlander in Covent Garden, an established bar and brasserie business. Eclectic said it “provides an immediate profit contribution and importantly a food-led brand which can be rolled out nationally over time”. The company has also increased the RCF facility with Barclays Bank from £1.5 to £5 million to give the group the capacity for further new acquisitions. Chief executive Reuben Harley said: “This has been a very exciting period for Eclectic and we are delighted with the successful listing and the support of our new shareholders. It has also been a busy time within the business with four new sites taken on over the last six months as well as a major refurbishment in Brighton. The Manchester Lola Lo site has outperformed sales expectations since opening in December. The newly refurbished Derby site will open in April as the tenth Lola Lo. Our first Dirty Blonde outlet, based on a new “speakeasy” concept, opens this week in Brighton. We are also pleased to have acquired the Lowlander business which gives us a brand able to operate throughout the day, led by a quality food and drink offer. We have identified site opportunities across the UK which would suit this type of business building on past experience in restaurants. Throughout this busy period our team have continued to do an excellent job supporting the business. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank them and look forward to their continuing support.”

Adnams reports turnover up, operating profit down: Adnams, the Suffolk brewer, distiller and retailer, has reported sales up 6.3% at £60.5m in 2013 and £3.3m of operating profit, down 2%. The company reported a 1.2% growth in beer volumes and a 6% increase in like-for-like turnover in its Cellar & Kitchen business. Commenting on the performance in 2013, chairman Jonathan Adnams said: “Despite a difficult start to 2013 due to adverse weather conditions and poor consumer confidence, we saw a much-improved second half to the year as the economy, and the weather, started to pick up. 2013 was a year of many achievements for Adnams with the introduction of new beers, our first whiskies and a number of prestigious awards across all areas of the business. I am delighted to announce that Adnams Triple Grain Whisky and Adnams Single Malt both picked up medals at the World Spirits Awards in San Francisco earlier this week. 2014 has started reasonably well for us and we believe that our long-term focus will help us to surmount the challenges that we will undoubtedly face.” Debt reduced by £3m to £10.8m. Adnams beer volumes rose 1.2% while take-home beer volumes were up 20% (2012: +14%).

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