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Thu 20th May 2021 - Young’s confirms sale of 63-strong tenanted division being pursued, reports outdoor trading hit 85% of normal sales
Young’s confirms sale of 63-strong tenanted division being pursued, reports outdoor trading hit 85% of normal sales: London pub operator Young’s has confirmed it is looking to sell its 63-strong tenanted division and reported that outdoor trading at the 144 pubs it opened on 12 April achieved 85% of normal trade. The company reported, meanwhile, that revenue was £90.6m in the year to 29 March, less than one-third of the £311.6m of the year before. The company lost £44.2m compared to a £29.1m profit the year before. The company has invested £17m to enhance its managed estate, including upgrades to its outdoor trading spaces, adding boutique rooms and transforming bar and restaurant spaces. It relaunched its Burger Shack brand and rolled out an additional ten new Burger Shacks. It opened two new pubs: Enderby House in Greenwich and Alban’s Well in St Albans. Patrick Dardis, chief executive of Young’s, said: “We were able to navigate our way through the pandemic, despite the last financial year being one of the most challenging in our 189-year history. I am extremely proud of the way our teams have reacted to the extraordinary challenges that we have faced. The absolute professionalism of our pub managers and their teams has enhanced our reputation as a highly responsible pub operator and underlined the exceptional quality of the Young’s business. Despite the many lockdowns and disruption to our business, the financing decisions taken during the summer allowed us to continue to make significant investments in our pubs, with some truly transformational projects. We expect to see excellent growth from that investment this year and beyond. We are confident with the steps we have taken to ensure Young’s continues to be in a position of strength and there is potential for a strong recovery this summer. April has started better than planned, with future bookings also looking strong. With this in mind, the board expects the business and margins by the end of June, assuming the roadmap, and in particular the 21 June ‘freedom day’, is not compromised.” Dardis added: “We noted yesterday’s media speculation regarding our appointment of Savills in connection with a possible sale of the tenanted estate. We confirm that Savills has been appointed and that we are in discussions regarding a possible sale. There can be no certainty, however, that any sale will proceed. We will make further announcements as appropriate. There are many reasons to harbour optimism for the year ahead. Following a period during which everyone has found their opportunities for social interaction and celebration significantly lacking, we know there is going to be a huge pent- up demand for special events, whether it be big birthday bashes, weddings or Christmas parties. People have missed these major life events in which the pub plays a significant role, and we have missed hosting them. We will also benefit from our exciting acquisitions from last year, including the five pubs in and around southwest London and Surrey that we purchased late in March 2020 and which have not yet been able to trade fully for any real period of time. Additionally, there are the recent major developments which have not yet had the opportunity to perform such as the Dog and Fox (Wimbledon Village) and the investments in all the Redcomb pubs. This gives us great reason to look forward with optimism. We are confident with the steps taken to ensure Young’s continues to be in a position of strength. April has started better than planned, with future bookings also looking positive. There is potential for a good recovery this summer and we believe that our strategy of running a differentiated, premium and well-invested pub estate will underpin the future success of Young’s.”

97 new companies added to updated database of multi-site businesses exclusively available to Premium subscribers, 12,500-word report to accompany May send-out: A minimum of 97 new companies have been added to the updated database of multi-site companies for May, which is available exclusively to Propel Premium subscribers. Subscribers will not only receive the database as a PDF and an Excel spreadsheet, they will also be sent an 12,500-word report on the businesses that have been added since its April update, when it is released on Friday, 28 May, at midday. When the most comprehensive multi-site database in the sector was first updated at the end of March, it had 1,631 companies; by the end of May, it will have at least 1,808. The go-to database provides company names, the people in charge, how many sites each firm operates, its trading name and its registered name at Companies House if different. In a new feature this year, there is a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The regular single subscription rate of £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers remains the same. Premium subscribers are also to receive access to a second exclusive monthly database, The Propel Blue Book. This database will provide an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. It will be available on Friday, 4 June, at midday. Subscribers also receive access to Propel’s library of lockdown videos and Friday Wrap interviews and now also have access to a curated video library of the sector’s finest leaders and entrepreneurs, offering their insights on running outstanding businesses in the sector. Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel insights editor Mark Wingett. Email jo.charity@propelinfo.com to sign up.

Northamptonshire pub and retail company Greedy Gordons Group to open two new pubs: The team behind an award-winning Northamptonshire pub and retail company are to open another two pubs in the county. Richard Gordon and Sonya Harvey, co-owners of Greedy Gordons Group, who have run Punch Pubs lease The Red Lion at Cranford for the past four years, are set to open two pubs in the next few weeks, creating 60 new jobs. The Pig & Waffle in Grafton Underwood, near Kettering, which is a private lease with Boughton Estates, is set to open in early June. A garden kiosk called The Pig Pen, will also in The Pig & Waffle’s garden in mid-July, offering walkers, cyclists and tourists drinks and snacks. Private lease The Snooty Fox in Lowick, which was acquired by the Greedy Gordons Group before the covid-19 pandemic, will finally open its doors in early July. The pub was due to open last April. Gordon, who has worked in the hospitality industry for 35 years, including in food development for McManus Pub Company and as an area manager for Northamptonshire Inns, said: “Our focus at present is being able to finally welcome customers into our wonderful new pubs and continue to safely maximise trade at The Red Lion. But we have an appetite for opening further sites in Northamptonshire, including Northampton, when the time and opportunities are right.” Greedy Gordons Group also has two online retail businesses – GG Express, a quality grocery business delivering local produce and household essentials to homes all over Northamptonshire and The Cigar Shop, which offers an extensive range of cigars for aficionados, along with gifts and vouchers, and has been built on the success of its cigar offer at The Red Lion at Cranford.

Peckham Levels and Pop Brixton operators to launch indoor dining hall and Sunday market at Hackney Bridge: The team behind Peckham Levels and Pop Brixton, which launched an alfresco space in Hackney last month, has announced it will open a indoor dining hall and Sunday market later this year. Hackney Bridge, once known as Clarnico Quay, launched its alfresco In The Courtyard area with a selection of local operators serving food and drink all week, with each serving a special dish every Wednesday for £5. Later this summer, guests at Hackney Bridge can expect the launch of a Sunday market, featuring produce and sustainable goods from independent Hackney retailers. This will be followed by the launch of Hackney Bridge Kitchens, a food hall at the heart of the site that will feature nine new food traders. Meanwhile, In The Courtyard will host events throughout the summer, including screenings of the football Euros and select Wimbledon matches on a giant two-metre-high by three-and-a-half-metre-wide outdoor screen. Current In the Courtyard operators include The Jewish Deli, which serves traditionally made hot salt beef, bagels, latkes, falafel and reuben sandwiches; soft shell crab and fish burgers from Da Fish Ting; sustainable steak and chips by Steakhaus; Filipino flame-grilled meats from Filigrillz; Hermanos Taco House serving tacos and burritos; Italian cuisine from both Made in Puglia and Pasta E Basta. Multiple bars serve craft beers and cocktails, with a half-price cocktail special on offer every Thursday. 

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