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Tue 11th Jul 2017 - Hot weather boosts Young’s like-for-likes by 8.6%
Hot weather boosts Young’s like-for-likes by 8.6%: London pub retailer Young’s has reported like-for-like sales up 8.6% at the start of its financial year thanks to hot weather. Stephen Goodyear, chairman of Young & Co.’s, said: “I am pleased to report that we have had a very good start to the current year and have announced this morning that, in the first thirteen weeks, managed house revenues were up 10.8% in total and up 8.6% on a like-for-like basis. The dry and warm weather in April and the longest continuous hot spell in June for over 40 years has particularly benefitted our beautiful gardens and river based pubs. This year we are benefitting from the four acquisitions made last year. Since the start of the year we exchanged on the Bull (Bracknell), which will open in September. We also transferred three tenanted pubs into our managed house estate: the Hope & Anchor (Brixton), Kings Arms (Wandsworth) and the Grove (Camberwell). These additions, along with other investments made in our existing estate last year, will provide a helpful tailwind for continued growth. As every year of strong performance goes by, we set the bar higher for ourselves while the economic environment is becoming more challenging. Nor is the Government making life much easier for our sector, with additional cost pressures from increased business rates, the National Living Wage, the Apprenticeship Levy and the general uncertainty created first by Brexit and more recently by the outcome of the General Election. However, I am confident that the expertise and energy that exists throughout Young’s and our very deliberate strategic positioning gives us the armoury to continue our outperformance of the sector. We operate very much at the premium end of the sector and the resilience of this segment’s customer base has, so far, been encouraging. Consumers, when they do go out, are looking for an experience and going to a Young’s pub is seen as an affordable lifestyle choice – a treat but not an extravagance. Long may that continue.”

Research suggests coffee drinking provides positive health benefits: People who drink coffee have a lower risk of dying from a host of causes, including heart disease, stroke and liver disease, research suggests. The connection, revealed in two large studies, was found to hold regardless of whether the coffee was caffeinated or not, with the effect higher among those who drank more cups of coffee a day. But scientists say that the link might just be down to coffee-drinkers having healthier behaviours. “It is plausible that there is something else behind this that is causing this relationship,” said Marc Gunter, a co-author of one of the studies, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer. But, he added, based on the consistency of the results he would be surprised if coffee itself didn’t play a role in reducing the risk of death. About 2.25bn cups of coffee are consumed worldwide every day. While previous studies have suggested coffee might have health benefits, the latest research involves large and diverse cohorts of participants. The first study looked at coffee consumption among more than 185,000 white and non-white participants, recruited in the early 1990s and followed up for an average of over 16 years. The results revealed that drinking one cup of coffee a day was linked to a 12% lower risk of death at any age, from any cause while those drinking two or three cups a day had an 18% lower risk, with the association not linked to ethnicity. “We found that coffee drinkers had a reduced risk of death from heart disease, from cancer, from stroke, respiratory disease, diabetes and kidney disease,” said Veronica Setiawan, associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California and a co-author of the research. The second study – the largest of its kind – involved more than 450,000 participants, recruited between 1992 and 2000 across ten European countries, who were again followed for just over 16 years on average. “We felt this analysis would capture some of [the] variation in coffee preparation methods and drinking habits,” said Gunter. After a range of factors including age, smoking status, physical activity and education were taken into account, those who drank three or more cups a day were found to have a 18% lower risk of death for men, and a 8% lower risk of death for women at any age, compared with those who didn’t drink the brew. The benefits were found to hold regardless of the country, although coffee drinking was not linked to a lower risk of death for all types of cancer. The study also looked at a subset of 14,800 participants, finding that coffee-drinkers had better results on many biological markers including liver enzymes and glucose control. “We know many of these biological factors are related to different health outcomes, so it is another piece of the puzzle,” said Gunter. But experts warn that the two studies, both published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, do not show that drinking coffee was behind the overall lower risk, pointing out that it could be that coffee drinkers are healthier in various ways or that those who are unwell drink less coffee. 

Staycity unveils details of new premium brand: Staycity, the aparthotel operator, has unveiled details of its new premium brand – Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity. With the name inspired by Irish 19th century playwright Oscar Wilde to emphasise its Irish provenance, the concept will be rolled out across gateway city centre locations throughout Europe. The first will open this Autumn on London’s Strand, followed by properties in Edinburgh, Manchester and Berlin. “Wilde by Staycity has a clear personality and its distinctive style, comfort and clever design will appeal to today’s city traveller whilst retaining our trademark home-away-from-home hospitality,” said Tom Walsh, Staycity Aparthotels’ chief executive and co-founder. The 106-room building on The Strand, managed by LaSalle Investment Management on behalf of one of its clients, was developed for Staycity by Galliard. Staycity Aparthotels has a 35-year lease on the property, which will offer studios and deluxe studios over eight floors including three sky level studios. Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity offers guests the latest intelligent in-room technology including a 43” flat screen smart TV and touch control panels for lighting, air conditioning, towel rails and blinds. Luxury features include a super-comfy XL-sized bed, rainfall shower and high quality bed linen complemented by a collection of Irish inspired crafted accessories and soft furnishings. The studios and deluxe studios have fully equipped kitchenettes with a Nespresso machine and Nutri-Bullet for quality coffee and juicing. All rooms are fitted with a Handy guest smartphone device offering free local and international phone calls to selected destinations. The look is completed with solid oak flooring and a finely detailed piece of handcrafted joinery curated with local curiosities whilst also housing the kitchen and bathroom. Rooms and public spaces contain bespoke artworks, commissioned by Wilde to capture its distinct personality. “The brand combines design cues from its locality coupled with an Irish stamp that alludes to its heritage. We intend Wilde to have a true sense of place, with designs continuing to evolve at each property,” added Walsh. The Wilde concept was created by Staycity’s in-house design team along with renowned architects Heneghan Peng, the London branch of design firm Perkins + Will, and Dublin-based branding agency Zinc Design.

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