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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 2nd Jun 2015 - Amber Taverns see sales rise 17.5% to £43m
Amber Taverns see sales rise 17.5% to £43m: Amber Taverns, the 100-plus community pub operator led by James Baer and Bryan Wardman, has seen sales rise to £43.34m for the year to 1 February 2015, an increase of 17.5%. Operating profit before exceptionals was up 15.4% on the previous year, to £6.44m, after company ebitda rose 20% to £9.14m, with unit ebitda, including central overhead costs, up 19.6% to £11.29m. Pre-tax profit was up 15.8% to £5.27m. The cost of sales was up 17.8% to £17.01m, while normal admin expenses rose 18.1% to $19.94m. Amber said it had continued to buy closed pubs in good positions at competitive prices, but had seen an increasing number of acquisitions of still-trading sites in good locations. It said  both had  "proven to be successful acquisition strategies, with returns exceeding target." After its sale to MXP Partners for £80m in an off-market deal a year ago, Amber said, it had held a full revaluation of its freehold property, which had seen an increase in the revaluation reserve of 13% to just under £20m from £17.69m At the year-end it owned 102 pubs, up from 93 at the same time last year, having acquired ten pubs and sold one, in Congleton. Eight of the new sites were trading at 1 February, with two still being refurbished. Another six more sites have been acquired since then, all due to open between May and August, which will take the estate to 108 pubs. Amber said that in May last year, after its change in ownership, it secured a term loan from HSBC Bank, and in March this year it secured a revolving credit facility to facilitate its expansion. Both are due to expire at the end of May 2019.

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