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Fri 2nd Oct 2015 - Update: Rick Stein's £1m profit, Gordon Ramsay, Turtle Bay, Dishoom and more
Rick Stein’s restaurant company reports profit before tax passes £1m mark, agrees new £4m facility: Rick Stein’s restaurant business, The Seafood Restaurant (Padstow) has reported turnover increased by 1.5% to £15,292,000 in the year ending 28 December 2014, up from £15,067,000 the previous year. Profit before tax also passed the £1m mark at £1,053,000 compared to £986,000 the year before, according to accounts filed with Companies House. The company stated: “Turnover was £15.3m (2013: £15.1m), which was a 1.5% increase on 2013. Gross margins were 1.1% up on last year at 71.0% (2013: 69.9%) due to the benefits from a central warehouse and better cost reporting. Wage costs were £6.3m (2013: £6.2m), which was 2.8% up on 2013. The operating profit improved by £58,000 from £1,108,000 in 2013 to £1,166,000 in 2014. Capital expenditure was £639,000 (2013: £141,000) with the main items being restaurant and room refurbishments, IT projects and investment in production facilities. The directors consider this to be a satisfactory performance given the competitive conditions facing the hospitality sector and with continued pressure on discretionary spend. The group continues to actively seek future business investment opportunities that will increase its operating cash flows. A new revolving credit loan facility of £4m was agreed in February 2015 to support the future growth of the business. There is a bank loan, which was £2.9m (2013: £3.1m) at the balance sheet date. The directors are satisfied with the trading results for the first 13 weeks of 2015 with sales up 10% on the prior year.”

Gordon Ramsay and Clare Smyth to launch new venture: After 11 years at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, head chef Clare Smyth is seeking a new location in London to set up an independent restaurant. Matt Abe who has been head chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay Royal Hospital Road for two years and with the Gordon Ramsay Group for eight, will continue to run the restaurant on a day-to-day basis, working closely with Gordon and group development chef James Petrie and with the support of Maître D’ Jean Claude Breton and restaurant manager Enrico Baronetto. Gordon Ramsay said: “It’s been fantastic watching Clare develop. She is undoubtedly one of the greatest chefs to have graced my kitchen and has now become the most prominent female chef of our generation. It’s the right time for her to take this next step and I am thrilled to be supporting her new venture. I am also delighted that Matt Abe will now be at the forefront of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. He is an incredibly talented young chef and I have no doubt he will rise to the occasion.” Smyth said: “After 11 years, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay has been a big part of my life. I have a great fondness for the restaurant and the team, it has formed me into the chef that I am today and I am grateful for the opportunities it has given me. I also remain ambitious and want to build on my success. The natural way to do that is by opening my own restaurant and, with Gordon’s blessing and support, I am excited to embark on this new chapter. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay has always been a melting pot for amazing talent and it continues to grow and produce some of the finest chefs in the UK. Matt Abe has been working by my side for the last six years – he has real passion and an incredible work ethic and deserves this opportunity to shine.”  The new restaurant is scheduled to open in autumn 2016 and in the meantime Smyth will continue to act as consultant chef for the Gordon Ramsay Group.

Premier Inn appoints first development director for Germany business as part of roll-out plans: Whitbread-owned Premier Inn has appointed a first development director for its Germany business as part of its plans to roll-out in the country. The company has appointed Ian Biglands to the role and he will be responsible for all acquisition and development for Premier Inn Germany. Premier Inn is currently developing its first site in Germany, which is scheduled to open next spring, and has a target to open eight to ten hotels in prime locations in the biggest cities in the countries in the next few years. Biglands has more than 15 years’ experience of working with real estate businesses in Germany and was previously director for development for B&B Hotels in the country. Mark Anderson, managing director – property, commercial and Premier Inn Germany, said: “Ian is the ideal candidate for this important position as we look to roll-out our brand in Germany and build a strong portfolio of sites. His expertise in hotel real estate in Germany is unparalleled and he will help us to accelerate the expansion of our brand into the German market.” Earlier this summer, Richard Pearson moved across from the UK acquisitions team to deliver acquisitions in Germany together with Steve Hammond, who moved across from the UK construction team.

Arc Inspirations opens third Banyan Bar & Kitchen, this time in Manchester:
Arc Inspirations, the Leeds-based operator of bars and restaurants, has opened its third Banyan Bar & Kitchen, this time in Manchester. The company, led by Martin Wolstencroft, has invested £1.5m in the venue in the new Corn Exchange development, which employs 70 staff. The 10,000 square foot site has 150 covers inside, two private dining rooms downstairs – The Root and The Well – and 140 external covers on Exchange Square. Wolstencroft told the Manchester Evening News: “We’ll attract all-day shoppers and commuters and we want to be famous for a very strong all-day offering, across the board.” Arc Inspirations, which celebrates its 15th birthday this year, operates 12 sites currently trading in four segments of the market: student bars, The Pit, offering craft beer and “sticky” food, aspirational neighbourhood bars and Banyan Bar & Kitchen in Harrogate and York. It also opened a new concept, Kith & Kin, last month after converting its Zed Bar site in Chapel Allerton.

Turtle Bay set to open first site in north east of England in Newcastle: Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay is set to open its first site in the north east of England in Newcastle. The company has submitted a licence application to Newcastle City Council as it plans to open on the ground floor of the former Co-op building in Newgate Street. It is one of four units in the building, which is being restored to its former glory in a £17m project and is next to the Whitbread-owned 184-bedroom Premier Inn hotel, due to be completed this year, reports Chronicle Live. The company, established by Ajith Jaya-Wickrema, who also co-founded Las Iguanas, has 22 restaurants across the UK.

Spanish bakery Granier Bakery Café set to expand across London after securing first permanent site in UK:
Spanish bakery Granier Bakery Café is set to expand across London after securing its first permanent store in the UK. The company will open a new bakery in Powis Street in Woolwich town centre in November, reports Property Week. The 1,280 square foot venue will be the brand’s second in the UK following a pilot in Wood Green earlier this year, and marks the start of an expansion programme in London. Granier has more than 270 bakeries in Spain and is famous for its artisan recipes, including 64 different varieties of bread and the high-quality design of its bakeries.  As well as the brand’s full range of breads and pastries, the new Woolwich Arsenal Estate bakery will include a 40-cover cafe. Cradick Retail and Nash Bond acted for the Woolwich Arsenal Estate while Outlet4Property represented Granier Bakery. Emma Clarke, partner at Cradick Retail, said: “As the opening of Crossrail draws nearer, Woolwich is increasingly sought after by retailers, restaurants, bars and cafes seeking to capitalise on the growth in the town’s population.”

Dishoom to open fourth site in Soho this month: Bombay-style cafe Dishoom is set to launch its fourth site in London this month. The brand is opening a venue in Soho, just off Carnaby Street in Kingly Street. Dishoom Carnaby will have space for 196 inside and a courtyard with 38 more seats, and there will be a new cocktail list, exclusive to the venue. A handful of new, as-of-yet unannounced, dishes will also be available. Dishoom currently has sites in the capital at Covent Garden, King’s Cross and Shoreditch.

Former McDonald’s managers open first pub: Former McDonald’s managers Stuart and Melanie Blackledge have opened their first pub in Accrington, Lancashire. The couple are the licensees at the Hyndburn Restaurant & Bar, a Star Pubs & Bars site, which has reopened after being closed for a year. Together with Star Pubs & Bars, they have completed a £340,000 refurbishment to transform the venue, formerly known as The Hyndburn Bridge, into a family-friendly pub serving home-cooked food and freshly made pizzas, creating about 30 jobs. The revamp includes the installation of a theatre-style pizza preparation area so customers can see their pizzas being made, and a deli counter to showcase some of the products available in the range of tasting platters on the menu. A new drinking area features high butchers block tables and seating and the rear room has become a multifunctional area, doubling as both a dining area with party table and a function room. The couple has run a deli in Blackburn for the past eight years and between them have over 25 years of experience at McDonald’s.

Smoke Barbecue starts expanding by opening second site in Leeds: Texan-inspired restaurant Smoke Barbecue has started to expand after opening its second site in Leeds. The company, owned by Sean Gregory and Duka Nagy, has spent £500,000 on refurbishing the 4,400 square foot site at the Merrion Centre after completing an agreement worth more than £1m over 15 years with the shopping centre’s owners Town Centre Securities, creating 35 jobs. Gregory and Nagy, whose brand carries the slogan: “Put the fork down, it’s time to get dirty” opened their first site in Sheffield after being inspired by the Man versus Food television show. Duka told The Yorkshire Evening Post: “There’s such a hub of activity going on in the Arena Quarter especially with the shops in the Merrion Centre and the First Direct Arena, we are confident that customers will love this.”

Aston Manor Brewery reports fall in turnover and profit before tax: The Birmingham-based cider maker Aston Manor Brewery has reported a fall in both turnover and profit-before-tax for the year ending 31 December 2014. Turnover dropped by more than £5m to £122,772,725 compared to £128,087,509 the previous year while profit-before-tax fell by about £1.3m to £6,917,194 from £8,237,805 the year before, according to accounts filed with Companies House. The company stated: “In light of a continually declining UK market, the directors are satisfied with the performance of the group during the current year. Revenue for the year to 31 December 2014 amounted to £123m (2013: £128m). The company is continuing to explore new markets and products whilst managing its cost base. Once again, the company continued to make significant capital investment throughout the year, particularly in relation to the purchase of a national distribution centre, close to its existing cider production facilities in Birmingham. This is a strategic investment that simplifies the geographical distribution footprint of the group and will further enhance our ability to service our customers. Ebitda for the year amounted to £9.9m (2013: £10.5m). Cash inflow from operating activities amounted to £12.0m (2013: £6.8m). The operating profit (Ebit) for the year amounted to £7.5m (2013: £8.9 million). The directors are satisfied with the performance in both our branded business and our lower margin private label business. The net profit for the financial year, after taxation, amounted to £5.4m (2013: £6.6m). In 2015 we will continue to invest in plant and equipment across all of our facilities. All of this investment is geared towards the continuous improvement in the quality of our products and the efficiency of their production. Further, we will continue to make commercial investment into our brand portfolio, and in particular our brand Kingstone Press through its multi-faceted sponsorship of the Rugby Football League. UK cider volumes contracted in 2014, and this will most likely continue in 2015. Our diverse portfolio of customers and products inevitably means that we have some exposure to this trend. Aston Manor has historically operated almost exclusively within the UK market, and as such 2015 will see gathering momentum into Aston Manor’s exploration of overseas markets, and other diversification. Nonetheless, we rightly maintain our confidence for the business results of 2015 and beyond.”
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