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Tue 31st May 2016 - Deltic flagship site licence review, Carluccio's results
Carluccio’s reports Ebitda up 7.3% to £15.3m: Carluccio’s, the international Italian restaurant group with operations in the UK, Ireland, US, Middle East and Turkey has reported turnover up 7.4% to £137.8m in the year to September 2015. The group opened 14 stores in the UK, Ireland, US and continued its expansion in Dubai and Turkey, under franchise. At the year end, the group operated from 112 worldwide locations. Ebitda before non-cash exceptional expenses increased 7.2% to £15.3m (2014: £14.3m). Eight new UK restaurants opened in the year and six internationally (four franchised and two company owned). Trading has continued ahead of the prior year since the start of the new financial year with the opening of four further UK stores before the end of April 2016 and a secure pipeline to deliver a further six openings before the year end. The first “grab and go” concept store (Via Carluccio’s) opened in Tottenham Court Road, London, at the end of February 2016 and is performing well. Chief executive Neil Wickers said: “Carluccio’s has shown good growth in turnover and Ebitda. It’s been an incredibly exciting start to 2016 with the opening of a second location in the States, the launch in the UK of our new ‘grab and go’ Via Carluccio’s concept and, most recently, our first ‘new generation’ store. I am confident that these will perform well and we will continue to meet our key objectives of delivering growth and brand development.” 

Deltic’s flagship Pryzm site faces licence review: Deltic Group’s flagship site in Kingston, Pryzm, is facing a fresh battle to retain its licence amid claims of violence and sexual assaults. Police asked Kingston Council to review the premises licence of the Pryzm venue after being told of “a series of serious offences” there. A notice outside the club reads: “The Metropolitan Police as a responsible authority has sought a review of the licence under the licensing objectives of the prevention of crime and disorder and public safety on the grounds that levels of crime – specifically violence, sexual assault and theft – are of concern to police.” Police asked for the review on grounds of public safety and the prevention of crime and disorder over the Christmas and New Year period. Officers held a meeting with the nightclub’s management to raise concerns in January and were told that “internal policies would be addressed”, according to the documents. Officers from Kingston police met members of Przym’s management again in February and were informed about a list of measures that would be implemented to reduce further incidents. A third meeting was held in March and police raised further concerns about the levels of crime associated with the club. A document submitted to the council said: “Since the last meeting with police it would appear that the action taken by the venue is not working and that the levels of crime specifically violence, sexual assault and theft are still of concern to police. In light of the above it is the view of the police that the licensing objectives of the prevention of crime and disorder and public safety are being undermined even with measures being put in place by the management at the venue specifically to reduce levels of crime and ensure the safety of their customers”. Police concluded by stating they were requesting a review of the premises licence “in order to address the failings of management at the venue in reducing crime”, along with the club’s hours of operation and number of partygoers allowed inside. In 2014, the club was rebranded from Oceana after the murder of Jamie Sanderson who was stabbed at the venue in 2012. The council revoked the club’s licence following the stabbing but the decision was overturned on appeal. A number of conditions were placed on Oceana’s licence in 2014, including agreeing to cut capacity by 15%, limiting the sale of alcohol and introducing ID scanners. A spokesman for Deltic Group, which owns Pryzm, told the local newspaper: “Pryzm is a professional and well-run venue and we are naturally disappointed with the decision to review our licence. We will continue to work closely with the authorities throughout the process to ensure that we reach an amicable outcome.” A Kingston Council spokeswoman said the application was expected to be heard at the licensing sub-committee meeting on Wednesday, 13 July.

Prezzo hires new chief executive: Prezzo has appointed Jon Hendry-Pickup to the role of chief executive, effective end of July. He brings 20 years of retail and consumer experience to Prezzo, having most recently served as chief operating officer at Travelodge Hotels and prior to that, as the operations director for Tesco in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The company said: “Leveraging his years of experience, Jon will play a significant role in leading and delivering on the company’s strategy; further developing its customer-focused initiatives and driving the company’s operational excellence, particularly in managing its growing portfolio of restaurants across the UK and Ireland.” Hendry-Pickup said: “I am very pleased to be joining Prezzo at an exciting time in the company’s evolution. I look forward to working with the company’s talented management team as we continue to build distinctive brands and deliver the highest quality offer for our customers – all while ensuring that Prezzo remains a rewarding place to work.” TPG Capital partner Dirk Eller, the interim chief executive and current chairman of Prezzo, added: “We are delighted to welcome Jon to Prezzo and are excited to have such a highly qualified individual join at a time of significant business momentum. Jon’s experience will be invaluable as the company continues to strengthen its focus on customer experience, grow its footprint, build its market share and further define itself as a leader in the UK and Ireland’s casual dining space.” Abel Halpern, partner at TPG Capital, said: “Dirk succeeded in leading Prezzo from the period following our original acquisition to this exciting next chapter. We will rely on his operational expertise and counsel in his role as our chairman. Jon’s customer experience and multi-site operations’ expertise will provide huge benefit to Prezzo as the business enters another exciting chapter of growth. We are fortunate to have an executive of his caliber on our team.” Established in 2000, Prezzo has grown from a single restaurant to a business now operating in every major city across the UK. Its portfolio of 284 sites includes 23 restaurants opened under both the Prezzo and Chimichanga brands in 2015. Having expanded into Ireland earlier this year, the company has over 20 new openings planned throughout the UK and Ireland in 2016.

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