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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Fri 31st Jul 2015 - Update: Fulham Shore, Eclectic and Easyhotel
Fulham Shore reports turnover growth: Real Greek and Franco Manca operator Fulham Shore has reported sales of £8,310,000 for the nine months ended 29 March (12 months ended 29 June 2014: £8,646,000). The company reported headline operating profit for the nine months ended 29 March 2015 of £790,000 (12 months ended 29 June 2014: £1,229,000). Operating profit for the nine months ended 29 March 2015 was £25,000 (12 months ended 29 June 2014: £1,099,000) after incurring £374,000 of costs in relation to the reverse acquisition of Kefi Limited. It opened one new The Real Greek during the nine months ended 29 March 2015 and a further four restaurants – one The Real Greek and three Franco Manca since the year-end. Chairman David Page said: “Since the period end, the Group has acquired 99% of Franco Manca Holdings Limited, which owns the eponymous sourdough pizzeria business. We are excited about the new financial year with the prospect of expanding our two excellent restaurant businesses, The Real Greek and Franco Manca. Since the year end and the acquisition of Franco Manca, we have opened one new Real Greek restaurant in St Martins Lane in Covent Garden, London and three new Franco Manca pizzerias in Covent Garden (London), Soho (London) and Ealing (London) which opens today. This takes the total number of restaurants operated by the Group to 24 restaurants today. We are also building two more Franco Manca pizzerias in Earls Court (London) and Bermondsey (London) which will open this autumn. We look forward to the further expansion of our two restaurant businesses during the current year.”

Paul Viner joins Eclectic board: Premium bar operator Eclectic Bar Group’s shareholders have voted in favour of the move to raise £1.65m with Luke Johnson becoming executive chairman. The company also announced Paul Viner has joined the board as a non-executive director and chairman of the Audit Committee with immediate effect. Viner is a chartered accountant and has worked predominantly in the leisure sector. He was previously finance director at Tottenham Hotspur. He subsequently moved to Riva Gaming Group, where he participated in both an MBI and later an MBO. He then spent several years in the property sector as chief financial officer of Residential Land before being appointed chief financial officer of Giraffe Concepts in March 2009. Viner was a key part of the management team which sold Giraffe to Tesco for £50 million. He left Giraffe in late 2014 to set up his own business, Intelligent Goat Limited, which amongst other things provides mentoring advice for finance directors and chief executives. Viner currently holds a number of board positions including as chief executive of Feng Sushi, as well being a non-executive director in the bingo and arts and culture sectors. Luke Johnson, executive chairman said: “I am delighted that shareholders have supported my appointment and the consequent subscriptions by the executive team. The monies raised will put the company on a firmer footing and enable us to begin the task of returning Eclectic to growth. We are pleased to welcome Paul Viner to the Board. He is an experienced leisure industry director, particularly in small, growing companies. His knowledge and expertise will be invaluable to the team and the Board.” Luke Johnson is beneficially interested in 3,000,000 Ordinary Shares, representing approximately 18.5% of the issued share capital of the company as enlarged by the subscriptions, chief executive Reuben Harley will be beneficially interested in 2,006,920 Ordinary Shares, representing approximately 12.4% of the issued share capital of the Company as enlarged by the Subscriptions, and chief financial officer John Smith will be beneficially interested in 1,253,719 Ordinary Shares, representing approximately 7.7% of the issued share capital of the company as enlarged by the Subscriptions.

Guy Parsons to become chief executive of Easyhotel: Guy Parsons will become chief executive of Easyhotel from 10 August. He started his career in sales and marketing in the FMCG sector, then spent seven years working for Accor SA as the director of operations, sales and marketing of Novotel UK. Parsons joined Whitbread in 1997 as marketing director for Travel Inn before being promoted to sales and marketing director for the Whitbread Hotel Company and subsequently, managing director of TGI Friday’s. He joined the Travelodge Board in 2004 and was promoted to chief executive in 2010, leading the successful growth of the business to over 500 hotels in the UK, Ireland and Spain. The company also announced that Simon Champion has stepped down from his role as chief executive to pursue other interests. Chairman Jonathan Lane said: “I am delighted to welcome Guy as chief executive. As an experienced chief executive in the hotel industry, he is ideally suited to advance the Easyhotel brand. Guy’s hotel, marketing and development skills will be a great addition to the senior management team at Easyhotel. Having led the company during key stages of its development from a privately-owned business through its IPO in 2014, the board thanks Simon for his contribution.” Guy Parsons said: “I am delighted to be joining the business as chief executive. Easyhotel has a strong brand and clear strategy and I am looking forward to leading the company as it grows and delivers for its customers, its people, its franchise partners and its shareholders.” Simon Champion added: “Since joining Easygroup in 2013, under my tenure Easyhotel has been transitioned from being family office owned business to being an independent AIM company with a small and loyal leadership team. The business has solid foundations for growth based on sound franchises and a developing freehold portfolio. I believe the business is in good shape, and it is now time for me to step aside to pursue other interests. I wish the business well for the future.”

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