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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Thu 30th Jul 2015 - Update: Restaurant lettings, Britvic, Diageo
Intu reports 39 restaurant lettings out of 96 in total in first six months: Shopping centre business Intu has reported that 39 of the 96 new long-term leases it completed in the six months to 30 June were with restaurant operators. The 96 new long-term leases in the period produced £17 million new annual rent, at an average of 12% above previous passing rent (like-for-like units) and in line with valuers’ assumptions. Among the 39 restaurant lettings across the portfolio, were Five Guys at intu Braehead, YO! Sushi and Byron at both Intu Derby and Intu Bromley, Joe’s Kitchen at Intu Derby and Intu Victoria Centre, and Coast to Coast at Intu Trafford Centre and Intu Potteries. Chief executive David Fischel said: “Our ten year UK investment programme has risen to £1.5 billion. We are on site with leisure and restaurant projects at five separate centres and expect to start the major retail and leisure extension at Intu Watford in the final quarter of 2015, turning the centre into a major north of London regional destination. In summary, we are now clearly seeing the benefits of our strategy of the last few years, combining selective quality acquisitions, a focus on tenant mix, improved customer experience, both on and offline, and continuing investment in our existing centres. Retailers, as ever, focus on their most productive growth strategies. As their multi-channel approach becomes more mature with a greater understanding of the requirements and position of the physical store in this strategy, retailers are particularly targeting larger stores in the best locations. With minimal new space in the pipeline, this involves targeting the best retail and leisure locations which deliver high footfall, extended dwell time, digital integration and an attractive mix of retail, entertainment and experience. As previously guided, we remain on track to return to a positive like-for-like rental performance for the full year and are well positioned to deliver a more meaningful uplift in 2016.”

Britvic hires Mathew Dunn as chief financial officer: Britvic has hired Mathew Dunn as its new chief financial officer. He will join the company later in the calendar year and following a period of overlap to ensure a smooth transition, he will succeed John Gibney who will remain as chief financial officer through to the release of the company’s preliminary results on 25 November 2015. As previously advised, Gibney will remain with the Company until his retirement in April 2016. Dunn is currently chief financial officer of South African Brewerie, a division of SABMiller in South Africa, where he has been based since 2014. He first joined SABMiller in 2002 where he held various financial planning and management, as well as leadership positions before joining EMI Music Ltd as CFO of their Global Catalogue division in 2009. He returned to SABMiller in 2010 as CFO, Asia (based in China) a role which he held until his 2014 move to South Africa. Britvic chief executive Simon Litherland said: “We are delighted to welcome Mathew as CFO and to the Board. His significant experience in the international beverage sector and expertise in operational leadership will be very valuable as we continue to execute our strategy to pursue the expansion of our brands globally.”

Diageo reports net sales up 5% in year ended 30 June, Guinness back in growth: Diageo has reported net sales up 5% in the year to 30 June although organic sales were flat. It reported that productivity gains will release a further £50m of cost to invest in growth and improve margin over a three-year period. Chief executive Ivan Menezes said: “Our F15 performance reflects the challenges we have seen on top line growth. However, it does not diminish my confidence in what we can achieve in F16 and even more so beyond that. Diageo has an enviable position, by geography, by brand and by category range, in an attractive consumer market place with strong long term growth drivers. This year we made further changes to build strong, sustained performance including embedding our sell out discipline, improving cash conversion and strengthening our route to consumer. We have consistently applied a long term perspective in making these changes, despite the short term challenges we have faced from an external environment where currency volatility continues to impact the emerging market consumer. We acquired control of United Spirits in the year giving Diageo unparalleled access to one of the world’s most attractive spirits markets. We have enhanced our position in tequila by acquiring the remaining 50% of Don Julio, a brand that is already growing net sales double digit and for which I see significant potential now we have full control. Our participation strategy is clear by market and category. We are focused on our core and have a more proactive approach to our portfolio. We sold Gleneagles in the year, and since the year end, have sold the shares USL owned in United Breweries and we restructured our South African operations to focus on spirits and monetise investments worth £125 million. We are delivering the change which will further strengthen this business and deliver our performance ambition. In F16 we believe stronger volume growth will deliver an improved top line performance. As we achieve our productivity gains from F17 we expect to deliver mid single digit organic top line growth on a sustained basis and operating margin expansion of 100 basis points over 3 years. Our brands, our global footprint and our people give me confidence that Diageo can deliver strong and sustained performance.” Of its European performance it stated: “Europe’s performance reflected an improved momentum in Western Europe, growth in Turkey, and a challenging environment in Russia. In Western Europe net sales were up 1%, as performance improved in more than half of our markets. Reserve brands delivered another strong performance with net sales up 20% and growing double digit even in the more challenging economies in Southern Europe. Innovation remained a key performance driver with net sales up 30%, driven by successes such as ‘The Brewers Project’ which helped put Guinness back in growth in both Great Britain and Ireland. We continued to invest in our route to consumer, increasing the number of sales people by 30% and the number of outlets we cover by 60%. In Russia, which continued to be impacted by economic volatility, consumers traded down, and customers reduced inventory levels, while Diageo gained share in scotch and rum. Turkey net sales were up 3% driving premiumisation in the raki category and gained share in scotch and vodka. Total operating margin for the region improved 75bps largely driven by gross margin improvement in Turkey, and overhead cost reduction in Western Europe, which was partially reinvested in marketing spend and route to consumer.”

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