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Fri 28th Dec 2018 - Results: Anglian Country Inns and Spaghetti House
Anglian Country Inns reports like-for-likes up 4.1% as turnover hits £11m: Anglian Country Inns, the award-winning operator of gastro-pubs and restaurants led by James Nye, has reported like-for-like sales increased 4.1% for the year ending 31 March 2018. The company, which operates nine sites, saw turnover rise 6.4% to £11m, compared with £10.4m the previous year. Site level Ebitda was up 29% to £1.8m, compared with £1.4m the year before. Pre-tax profit rose to £186,000, compared with £77,000 the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “2018 has seen strong sales performance with 6.4% sales growth, 4.1% of which is like-for-like with the remainder coming from a couple of additional months trading from The Kings Head and nine months of extra accommodation sales at The Fox at Willian, providing a strong initial return on the capital investment at the site. Despite continued inflationary cost on food and drink, both the wet and dry gross profit margin has increased and with the extra revenue from rooms, the overall conversion has seen a 1.1% increase across the group to 71.6%. Guidance from the central team with menu engineering and better purchasing has helped to protect and drive the margins. Labour cost has been a consistent concern for the group as the staff pool is indexed heavily to National Minimum Wage. The increases continue to put pressure on the budget, which has been relatively well contained this year and both the site level and group labour margin has been reduced through better staff deployment and use of labour management software. The company has also invested heavily in staff development and welfare solutions this year to help retain staff and attract the right people to our family. Administrative expenses including site labour costs increased to £7.6m (£7.2m in 2017) an increase of 7% principally on salaries and wages, which are impacted by the national living wage increases and continued investment in the head office team, which grew by £0.3m year-on-year. Site Ebitda continues to grow with £1.8m generated in 2018 (£1.4m in 2017), while the return of sales increased to 17% (15% in 2017). Operating profit for the year was £275,000, up £114,000). The directors are pleased with the performance and the negotiation of some testing trading conditions as well as managing to mitigate heavy cost headwinds.”

Spaghetti House appoints new chief operating officer as it reports increased losses: London restaurant company Spaghetti House, owned by the Lavarini family and operating the Spaghetti House and Pescatori brands, has appointed a new chief operating officer as it reported an increase in losses following a fall in turnover. The company saw turnover drop 8.9% to £11,259,088 for the year ending 26 March 2018, compared with £12,395,424 the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Pre-tax losses increased to £1,260,309, compared with a loss of £528,171 the year before. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “The decline in revenue was a result of difficult trading conditions in the restaurant industry. This combined with increases in wages and rent led to an operating loss to the group of £1.30m. Due to the losses incurred the group had a deficit of £359,050 on its balance sheet as at 25 March 2018. The group looks to improve on the financial performance achieved during the period and actively reviews the market place for new sites and opportunities to grow and expand the business. Since the reporting date, the directors have appointed a new chief operating officer. Under the chief operating officer’s direction, a programme of minor refurbishment for all restaurants is being implemented and the directors anticipate a growth in sales and improvement in profitability. The group has also entered into a contract to sell one of its loss-making units.”

‘Skinny’ drinks brand Thomson & Scott closes crowdfunding campaign after raising £1.1m: Thomson & Scott, which has a portfolio of low-calorie, vegan sparkling wine such as Skinny Champagne and Skinny Prosecco, has closed its fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, having raised £1.1m. The company was initially looking to raise £300,000, offering 3.61% equity in return for investment, giving a pre-money valuation of £8m. It has now closed the campaign with 375 investors pledging £1.1m. Thomson & Scott is expanding rapidly in major territories including the US, South Africa, New Zealand and South America. The company was founded by Amanda and Ian Thomson, while Patrik Franzen, who co-owns London bar group Barworks, is a key investor and advisor. The company will use funds raised to “challenge the drinks industry again in 2019” by launching an alcohol-free, organic, vegan sparkling wine.

Propel launches Leadership Summit, open for bookings: Propel is launching the Leadership Summit, which will see a select group of the sector’s most experienced bosses share their expertise on leadership. The full-day event, in partnership with Elliotts, will take place on Tuesday, 12 February at One Moorgate Place and is open for bookings. Speakers will include Will Stratton-Morris, chief executive of Caffe Nero, who will talk about building high-performance teams. Alasdair Murdoch, chief executive of Burger King, speaks about the role of leadership in business turnarounds. Elliotts chief executive Ann Elliott will talk to Des Gunewardena, chief executive of D&D London, about the lessons of leadership he has picked up in his career in the sector. Duncan Garrood, chief executive of Ten Entertainment, will give his views on leadership and the customer experience, while Jo Fleet, managing director of Flat Iron, will talk about empowering people and trust and getting the team to “buy in” through clear communication and vision. Mark Jones, chief executive of Carluccio’s, will explain how the company is building the quality and skillsets of its general managers to lead the business out of decline. Simon Townsend, chief executive of Ei Group, will give his views on the challenges of leadership during a period of immense change and Zoe Bowley, managing director of PizzaExpress, will give her top ten tips on leadership. Meanwhile, Loungers founder Alex Reilley will talk about the adaptations involved in growing a business from one site to more than 100, celebrating success and the art of succession, while Ann Elliott will give her views on the power of mentoring to grow talent in organisations. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “With the industry facing such challenging times, effective leadership has never been more important. This is an unmissable opportunity to learn from high-profile leaders in our sector.” Prices are £295 plus VAT for Premium members, £345 plus VAT for operators and £445 plus VAT for suppliers. To book, email

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