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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 29th Jan 2018 - Update: Admiral’s Simon Eyles passes away aged 50, Easyhotel, The Pig and Meat & Drink
Admiral Taverns’ Simon Eyles passes away: Admiral Taverns’ commercial director Simon Eyles has passed away after a short illness. Kevin Georgel, chief executive of Admiral Taverns, said: “It is with the deepest sadness and regret that we confirm that Simon Eyles, commercial director at Admiral Taverns, tragically and suddenly passed away on Wednesday 24th January 2018 at the age of 50 after a brief illness. Simon joined Admiral in 2005 to head our commercial operations. With a background in marketing and a long-standing passion for community pubs, he had extensive experience in the industry, having joined Admiral from North West brewer and pub operator Burtonwood. Simon’s contribution to Admiral was immeasurable. He will be greatly missed and all our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time. Simon was one of the most professional, hardworking, talented and modest people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. He was bright, honest, principled and cared passionately about our business and all of the people who he worked with. His loss will leave a significant void in all of our lives but his contribution to the success of Admiral Taverns will never be forgotten. Simon was born and continued to live in Salford Manchester. He was very proud of his roots and was a passionate supporter of Manchester United and his beloved Salford Red Devils rugby league team where he was a season ticket holder. He was a talented musician, a keen runner and cyclist, an active fund raiser for many local and national charities but most of all he was a devoted family man, husband to Joanne and very proud father to Connie and Joseph. Simon’s family have asked that any donations in his memory should be to Salford Royal Hospital.”

Easyhotel reports ‘strong trading’: Easyhotel, the owner, developer and operator of super budget branded hotels, has reported the strong trading experienced in the prior year across the group’s owned and franchised hotel estates has continued, with the group’s performance since the financial year ended 30 September 2017 in line with the board’s expectations. It added: “The period saw the opening of a new owned 78 room hotel in Liverpool, and the acquisition and opening of a 104-room hotel in Newcastle. Both hotels are trading in line with the strong performance of the hotels opened during the last financial year. The group’s franchised hotels have also continued to trade strongly, particularly in Continental Europe. A £1.5m refurbishment of the hotels in Croydon and Glasgow is now well underway to bring them into line with the updated brand look. The group expects the refurbishment to be revenue enhancing during the current financial year. As previously announced the board plans to retain a 92-room hotel at Old Street, refurbishing the hotel in line with our new brand format. Planning permission is being sought to add an additional floor to the building and increase the Net Internal Area of the building, for use as office accommodation, which should maximise value from this freehold property. In October 2017 the group acquired a freehold site in central Cardiff for the development of a 120- room hotel, subject to planning permission. The hotel is anticipated to open in 2019. On 26 January 2018 the group announced the conditional acquisition of a 125-year leasehold of part of Norfolk House on Silbury Boulevard, a central site in Milton Keynes. The group intends to convert its part of the building into a 124-bedroom hotel, which is expected to open by mid-2019. Other new hotels projects currently under construction include Leeds (93 rooms), Sheffield (131 rooms), Ipswich (89 rooms) and Barcelona (204 rooms) which are all expected to open in 2018. In November 2017 the group announced a further two franchised hotels (162 rooms) under development in The Hague and Maastricht, scheduled to open in the second half of 2018. Other new franchise hotel projects currently under construction include Lisbon (101 rooms), Bernkastel-Kues (100 room hotel), Belfast (81 rooms), Reading (54 rooms) and Bur Dubai (300 rooms) which are all planned to open in 2018. The group also has hotels under development in Istanbul (300 rooms), Iran (500 rooms) and Sri Lanka (200 rooms) for beyond 2018 which will, on completion, enhance its position as the super budget hotel brand of scale in the UK and Middle East.” Guy Parsons, chief executive of Easyhotel, said: “We have been pleased with the group’s performance to date in the new financial year, reflecting the growing strength of the Easyhotel brand. The like-for-like revenue growth trends across both our owned and franchised estates in the prior financial year have continued. Whilst we are very mindful of the wider UK macro-economic uncertainty and the impact this continues have on consumer confidence, we are encouraged by the strong outperformance of our hotels, both in the UK and overseas. Easyhotel has a committed pipeline of 941 owned rooms under development which will make a significant contribution to system sales, revenue and adjusted Ebitda going forward. The latest addition of Milton Keynes to our committed pipeline completes the deployment of funds from our 2016 equity fundraising and bank loan. As previously highlighted, we continue to see a good number of attractive potential development opportunities to further accelerate the growth of our owned hotels. These are both larger and more numerous than we had originally anticipated. It is for this reason that we are currently considering our long-term financing options, including raising new debt and equity capital, to position the group to take advantage of these opportunities and underpin Easyhotel’s long term objective to be the market leader in super-budget sleep.” 

The Times – The Pig to add three more sites: Upmarket hotel chain The Pig is set to add three sites, The Times has reported. The company plans to open in Kent, West Sussex and Cornwall at a total cost of £30 million. Co-founder Robin Hutson told The Times: “There’s a huge market for people who don’t want to spend £1,000 but will spend a few hundred on a more relaxed experience.” Its five existing hotels are running at occupancy level of more than 90 per cent at an average room rate of £185. Once the next three are open Hutson told The Times that turnover for the group would rise from a projected £22 million this year to £37 million, with underlying earnings increasing from £5 million to about £8.5 million.

Fledgling pub company Meat & Drink takes on Preston city centre venue for second site: Fledgling pub company Meat & Drink has taken on The Market Tavern in Preston for its second site in the city. The company, led by Jeremy Rowlands and Rebecca Scott, operates The Plungington Hotel in the city, with work also under way to launch gin bar the Plau Gin And Beer House in Friargate. At The Market Tavern, new breakfast, lunch and evening menus will be introduced, with plans to create an outside seating area that would link up with the new Starch House Square, which the council wants to create as part of a new Market Quarter in the city centre. Drinks will include a greater emphasis on small craft beer producers, a new range of quality wine and spirits, a small cocktail menu and a range of freshly squeezed juices. Scott told Blog Preston: “We are really excited about what the new Market Quarter is going to give to Preston and look forward to getting involved in the rebirth of this part of Preston city centre.”

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