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Thu 15th Dec 2016 - Coffer Peach Tracker, Be At One results
Coffer Peach Tracker – overall like-for-likes up 1.1%, pubs outperform restaurants: Managed pub and restaurant groups saw collective like-for-like sales grow 1.1% in November against the same month last year, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker – with London providing the biggest increase. Like-for-like sales in the capital were up 3.5% on last November, when sales were hit by public nervousness in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, with chain restaurants feeling the biggest impact. “London saw like-for-likes fall 1.5% last November and that had a knock-on effect on national figures, which were down 0.2% on 2014,” said Peter Martin, vice-president of CGA Peach, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM. “So although this November’s overall trading increase is to be welcomed, it has to be put in context. Outside London, groups recorded collective like-for-likes up just 0.3%, which might be a more accurate reflection of the essentially flat nature of the eating and drinking out market post-Brexit vote.” Pub groups had the best of trading last month, with collective like-for-likes up 1.7% and with drink-led pubs and bars performing better than food-led. Branded restaurant chains were up just 0.2% nationally on November last year. Martin added: “These latest numbers come on the back of three consecutive months of sales growth in the sector in July, August and September following the EU referendum, but a 1.0% decline in October, so operators need to remain cautious with plenty of volatility, uncertainty and competition ahead. Confidence in the market is slowly returning after the Brexit vote although, as our latest CGA poll of senior executives shows, longer-term optimism for the coming 12 months, at 36%, is lower than confidence for the immediate six months ahead, at 50%.” Total sales growth in November, reflecting the impact of new openings, was 4.1% among the 34 companies in the Tracker cohort. The underlying annual sales trend shows sector like-for-likes running at 0.7% ahead for the 12 months to the end of November, essentially in line with previous months. Coffer Corporate Leisure managing director Mark Sheehan said: “Trading for eating and drinking-out operators in November was up on a soft period the previous year. Many operators are cautiously optimistic about Christmas but more nervous about 2017. With pressure on many costs, including wages, food and other commodity costs as well as rent and rates increases, operators need stronger growth to stand still. 2017 could be a year many simply batten down the hatches but there are still some excellent schemes and opportunities for expanding food and beverage concepts in the right locations.” RSM Corporate Finance LLP associate director Adam Spencer added: “Generally positive results for November from across the UK, albeit compared with a relative low base month, will have provided hard-pressed operators with some respite in the run-up to the all-important festive trading season. With consumer confidence predicted to falter going into the new year, it will be interesting to see which operators break ranks to hike menu prices as the sector begins to see the full impact of the much-heralded cost headwinds.”

Be At One reports like-for-likes up 9% as turnover approaches £30m: Cocktail bar brand Be At One has reported like-for-like sales increased 9% as turnover approached the £30m mark. The company, founded in 1998 by Steve Locke, Leigh Miller and Rhys Oldfield, has enjoyed a significant period of strong organic growth as the business continued its selective national expansion. Turnover increased 32% to £29.8m for the year ended 27 March 2016, compared with £22.5m the previous year. Store adjusted Ebitda rose 30% to £7.5m, with group adjusted Ebitda increasing 42% to £4.7m. Six bars opened in the period, with the group’s out-of-London expansion extended to Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, Norwich and Sheffield, while adding another site in the capital in Camden. Since the year end, bars in Birmingham, Liverpool and Nottingham have launched taking the total number of sites to 31, with 18 in London. The company stated: “We continue to actively seek new locations in cities that culturally match our offering and expect to launch six to seven new bars annually. During the period, group turnover increased by 32% to £29.8m. This was driven by new bars, the full-year effect of our sites that opened in 2014-15 and strong like-for-like performance from the existing estate. Like-for-like sales were ahead 9%, continuing our long history of continuous like-for-like growth since the business was founded 18 years ago. Since the year end, group turnover and like-for-like sales growth have continued to build on a similar trajectory. Store adjusted Ebitda rose 30% to £7.5m. Gross profit margin grew stronger during the year to 72.6% due to systems implemented during the year, and we have continued to focus on this area in the current period, allowing us to continue to defend and further drive outlet Ebitda. Despite the challenging consumer outlook, we are confident Be At One is well placed to continue to perform in line with our expectations – maintaining strong like-for-like sales growth and substantial sales and profit uplifts. We will continue to invest in our people and industry-leading training as we believe it is a fundamental differentiator for the business and the platform for Be At One’s superior guest experience. We will also continue to open bars selectively in cities across UK and, while mindful of the headwinds confronting the wider leisure and hospitality industry, we know we face into these from a position of strength, confident that any pressure on consumer spending is likely to prompt a flight to quality, and a differentiated experience.” Locke added: “We are a business that continues to define and lead the specialist cocktail bar market. We have continued to grow over the past 18 years and are extremely proud that the Be At One experience can now be enjoyed in 14 cities across the UK. While our business has developed and evolved, it has also remained the same since it was founded in 1998 in that we have always been resolutely focused on the things that made our first bar in Battersea Rise so successful – excellent-quality cocktails, with warm, friendly service in a fun atmosphere, delivered by people who care. We remain committed to these values, to building the business one guest at a time, and to making decisions through the eyes of bartenders, with an absolute focus on the quality of our craft and the customer experience. This remains the recipe for our continued, measured growth and we are tremendously excited for the future of the business.”

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