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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 24th May 2017 - Malcolm Heap stands down as Truman’s chairman to focus on pub business
Malcolm Heap stands down as Truman’s chairman to focus on pub business: Malcolm Heap is standing down as Truman’s chairman to focus on his rapidly expanding Urban Pubs and Bars business and is replaced by Robert Taylor, formerly chief executive of Kleinwort Benson Investment Bank. Heap, who co-founded the Realpubs business sold to Greene King for £53m in 2011, has overseen rapid expansion at Truman’s with a compound annual growth rate in excess of 65% over the past four years. The brewer recently doubled capacity at its Hackney Wick site to 66,000 HLs per annum. “I have had a great three years helping to develop Truman’s. It’s a very exciting time for Truman’s and the brewing industry in general and I’m sure they will continue to grow the popularity of the brands both in the UK and beyond,” said Heap. Taylor added: “I’d like to thank Malcolm on behalf of the board and team at Truman’s for taking the helm at such a vital time. Urban Pubs and Bars is growing at a phenomenal rate and it’s exciting to see its development as a key supplier.” Truman’s recently appointed new sales director Danny Hoskins who joined the ‘old’ Truman’s in 1989 as their youngest ever field representative at the age of 18 and now returns to the resurgent ‘new’ Truman’s as a director. Hoskins stated: “I’m so thrilled and proud to be part of Truman’s again. Being part of East London’s Craft brewer with a 350 year history and such a commitment to quality at every level is a very exciting prospect.” Truman’s has also beefed up their brewing team with Charlotte Cook joining as lead brewer from Pohjala and formerly BrewDog. James Rabagliati has been promoted to lead brewer having joined the business four years ago as an apprentice. Truman’s chief executive James Morgan added: “A big thanks to Malcolm for his help over the past few years. It’s always exciting to promote members of our existing team and equally to welcome new talent to the business at a time when the popularity of our beers is growing fantastically. We have a number of big announcements to make over the coming months with 2017 extremely positive on all fronts.”

Hollywood Bowl Group reports strong First Half: Hollywood Bowl Group, the ten-pin bowling operator, has reported sales up 7.9% to £59.3m in the six month period ended 31 March 2017, with like-for-like sales up 1.2%. Adjusted group Ebitda rose 8.6% to £18.2m. Two further Bowlplex rebrands were completed with two more planned for H2. Total game volumes increased by 8.8% and like-for-like game volumes increased by 2.1%. Southampton opened in H1 and is performing in line with expectations. The company reported a strong site pipeline has been secured, with Derby opened in April 2017, Hollywood Bowl at The O2 due to open in June 2017 and Dagenham due to open in September 2017a further three centres are agreed for FY18/19. Chief executive Stephen Burns said: “The strength of this first half trading performance reflects the continued progress we have made in delivering against our three growth priorities; opening new centres and acquisitions; growing like for like revenue; and continuing to improve our existing estate through our refurbishment and rebrand programme. We will continue to focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience every time, investing in our customer proposition and our centres to continue the growth of the business. This customer focus, combined with our disciplined capital and cost management, gives us confidence in delivering another year of progress, and reporting results in line with board expectations. As highlighted in our post close statement, the business has a strong balance sheet and cash generation remains strong. Assuming that cash generation remains in line with expectations through the second half of the year, the board will consider the most appropriate use of the group’s financial position to enhance shareholder returns.” 

Britvic unveils John Daly as new chairman: Britvic has announced that John Daly, currently senior independent director and chair of the Remuneration Committee, will succeed Gerald Corbett as chairman with effect from 1 September 2017. Gerald Corbett, who has served as chairman of Britvic since the Company’s flotation in November 2005, will retire from the board on 1 September 2017. John Daly joined the board of Britvic in January 2015 as an independent non-executive director and became senior independent director and chairman of the Remuneration Committee in January 2016. Daly has more than 30 years’ of extensive international business and management experience having held a variety of senior leadership roles, most notably at British American Tobacco plc. His most recent positions at BAT were chief operating officer (from 2010 to 2014) and regional director for Asia Pacific, based in Hong Kong (from 2004 to 2010). Prior to his time at BAT, John held various sales and marketing positions with Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pennwalt Corporation and Schering-Plough. John currently serves as a non-executive director on the boards of Wolseley and G4S. As a consequence of Mr Daly’s appointment, the board will make two further changes to its composition, effective from 1 September 2017. Ian McHoul will succeed John Daly as senior independent director. McHoul has been an independent non-executive director of the company and chair of the Audit Committee since March 2014. He will remain chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Nomination and Remuneration Committees. Sue Clark will succeed John Daly as chair of the Remuneration Committee. Clark has been an independent non-executive director of the company and a member of the Remuneration Committee since February 2016. Britvic chief executive Simon Litherland said: “Gerald Corbett has calmly steered Britvic through its first twelve years as a plc, leaving it a considerably bigger and better business as a result. I am personally grateful to Gerald for his unstinting support of me and the wider business over the last four years, and I wish him very well in his future endeavours. John Daly has already made a significant contribution to the board as senior independent director and I look forward to working closely with John as we continue to build together an exciting future for Britvic.”

Britvic reports strong First Half: Britvic has reported sales rose 11.5% to £756.3m in the 28 weeks ended 16 April 2017. Pre-exceptional Ebit increased 6.7% to £73.6m with organic revenue increased 3.7% and organic pre-exceptional Ebita increased 5.1%. Profit after tax decreased 4.9% to £38.6m, impacted by £5.8m of exceptional and other items. Chief executive Simon Litherland said: “Britvic has delivered a strong first half performance driven by organic revenue growth in all our markets and successful management of input cost inflation. We have continued to make progress delivering our strategic priorities and have exciting commercial plans for the second half of the year. I am confident that we will deliver full year performance in line with market expectations.”

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