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Mon 15th Oct 2018 - Coffer Peach Tracker, Antic puts 11 pubs on the market
Managed pubs enjoy 1.9% like-for-like sales growth in September but restaurants see 0.2% fall: Sunny weather in September proved good news for Britain’s managed pubs, with collective like-for-like sales up 1.9% on the same month last year, the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker has revealed. However, restaurant chains continued to experience depressed trading, with like-for-likes down 0.2% on the same period in 2017. Overall, the managed pub and restaurant sector saw a 1.1% uplift in like-for-like trading last month but that was due entirely to strong pub sales – especially from drink. “As ever, the good weather played a big role, and although restaurants as a whole failed to benefit, it provided an overall boost for the out-of-home market as the public were tempted out,” said Karl Chessell, director at CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM. Regionally, London outperformed the rest of the country, with like-for-likes ahead 2.0% against 0.9% for outside the M25. “London pubs and bars also had the best of the trading, with like-for-likes up 3.0%. It’s also worth noting that within those national managed pub numbers food sales were flat, with drink sales up 3.0%,” Chessell added. “Although casual dining chains are collectively finding trading difficult, they are not in wholesale retreat. Despite some high-profile announcements of site closures, many are still opening in new locations, especially out of London. As the data for September shows, while same-store sales outside the capital were down 0.4% for the month, total sales were up 2.4%, fuelled by restaurants opened over the past 12 months. The market remains challenging but some operators – especially wet-led pubs – are trading strongly,” Mark Sheehan, managing director of Coffer Corporate Leisure said. Total sales growth across the whole pub and restaurant sector was 3.5%. Underlying like-for-like growth for the 49 companies in the Tracker cohort, which represents both large and small groups, was running at 0.6% for the 12 months to the end of September, virtually the same as at the end of August and July, showing the eating and drinking out market remains consistently flat.

Antic puts 11 pubs on the market: Antic, the Downing-backed London pub operator led by Antony Thomas, has put 11 pubs on the market. Antic and Downing have instructed agent Fleurets to market 11 of the 48 London sites the pub company operates. Fleurets said the limited life funding structure in the 11 sites had matured so the pubs were being offered for sale with either vacant possession or on a leased/managed contract with Antic remaining in situ. The remaining Antic sites are unaffected by the marketing process and the company continues to grow with a strong pipeline in place, it added. Andy Frisby, of Fleurets, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for buyers to acquire commercial property investments underpinned by a proven industry operator or buy the sites with vacant possession and add value through development and trade at the units. There are some really popular locations in this portfolio, including Elephant and Castle, Dalston and Streatham, and we expect demand for these assets to be strong.” Last month, Antic opened the latest pub in its estate, Arkstar, in Holloway Road, north London, close to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. The pub is housed in a railway arch, with a restaurant to follow in an adjacent unit in early 2019. Arkstar takes its name from a combination of the words “arch” and Telstar – the hit sixties song written by record producer Joe Meek at a site close to the pub. 

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