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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 29th Mar 2022 - Update: Ten Entertainment and AG Barr results, Pret sales
Ten Entertainment Group reports like-for-likes up 41.7% in early 2022 against pre-covid levels, anticipates record year of profitability: Ten Entertainment Group, the operator of 46 bowling and family entertainment centres, has reported its sales momentum has continued and accelerated into the first quarter of 2022, with like-for-like sales growth of 41.7% compared with 2019 in the 12 weeks to 20 March 2022. Four new centres have been secured for 2022, with the pipeline for 2023 and beyond looking “strong”. Despite challenging external factors, management expects growth throughout 2022 and the group is anticipating delivering a year of record profitability, ahead of current market expectations. Seven refurbishments are planned in 2022, expecting to deliver more than 30% return on investment. The company plans to reinstate a dividend this year. Revenue for the year ending 26 December 2021 was £56.9m (2020: £42.7m) and was also up 33.3% on 2019 levels. Like-for-like sales for the period were up 30.3% year-on-year and 21.7 percentage points on 2019. Group adjusted Ebitda was up £26.4m (2020: £18.4m), which was also an increase of 43.5% in 2019. The group delivered £26.4m of Ebitda in a record-breaking second half. Group adjusted profit before tax was £13.8m (2020: £7.1m), up 94.4% on 2019. Chairman Adam Bellamy said: “2021 has been an extraordinary year of transition for Ten Entertainment Group, and the entire team have raised their game in taking the business to a new level. We have returned the group to profit for the full year and have strengthened the balance sheet back to pre-pandemic levels, with significant headroom in place to provide a strong platform for future growth and investment. Perhaps as a result of the difficult circumstances many people have lived through over the last couple of years, we have seen that our customers want more from their time together. I believe that this is one of the reasons why our business has significantly outperformed the wider hospitality sector, with customers prioritising a fun, social and competitive environment in which they can also enjoy food and drink. This trend was already developing in 2019 and has been accelerated by the lifestyle and attitude changes that were driven by the restrictions which covid enforced.” Chief executive Graham Blackwell said: “2021 has been a hugely successful year despite covid related closures and restrictive trading. We have raised our game in every aspect of customer experience. Customers have embraced our highly successful competitive socialising model. I am very pleased with the return to profitability after such a challenging first half with our growth principally driven by increased footfall. I am grateful to our teams for delivering a step-change in service under difficult circumstances. We have recognised this exceptional performance through enhanced rewards and recognition for our people. Since the pandemic, there has been a significant change in the market, with customers wanting more from their time together. We have demonstrated that we are perfectly positioned to deliver that value for money and fun leisure experience for our customers. I am looking forward to 2022 where we will open four new state-of-the-art centres for our customers to enjoy and we will continue to invest in a first-class customer experience. We have started the year with strong momentum despite the inflationary headwinds and we are set to achieve further growth and record profitability in 2022.”

Host of bar operators set to join updated Premium Database of Multi-Site Companies: A host of bar operators are among the 69 new multi-site companies being added to the next edition of the Propel Premium Database of Multi-Site Companies, which will be released on Friday (1 April), at midday. The updated Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, features Mr Lyan bar group, which is owned by Ryan Chetiyawardana, and has recently launched a new cocktail bar, Seed Library, at east London’s newest hotel, One Hundred Shoreditch. Also added is Surrey-based cocktail bar company Komo, which has been operating a site in Millbrook, Guildford, since 2015, and has announced it is opening a second site next month, in Woking's Victoria Place. In addition, Soho Bars Group, which was founded by Siobhan McGill and Keith Todd, and operates Freedom Bar, Soho Residence and the newest site to its portfolio, theatrical bar and restaurant, The Act, will be featured. Meanwhile three-strong, Nightjar, which was founded by Edmund Weil and Roisin Stimpson, and is now opening Nightjar Kingly Court in the heart of London’s West End next month, is included. Premium subscribers will also receive a 5,156-word report on the new additions to the database. The comprehensive database is updated monthly and 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. It features more than 2,000 companies. Premium subscribers will also receive the eighth edition of the New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock, on Friday, 8 April, at midday. It focuses on newly announced openings and upcoming launches in the sector and is updated every month. The eighth edition also includes a 17,200-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to another database – the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group. The Blue Book, which is also updated monthly, provides an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. Premium subscribers are also to be given exclusive access to a new database early next month. The UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database will be an exhaustive guide to the companies offering a food and beverage franchise in the UK and be updated every two months. The first edition will feature more than 100 companies, providing insight on the offer, locations, cost and other key details. The first edition provides almost 25,000 words of content. 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 single subscription rate is £445 plus VAT for operators and £545 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to upgrade your subscription. 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 group editor Mark Wingett.

Pret sales in London airports at 96% of pre-pandemic levels: Pret sales in London’s airports were 96% of pre-pandemic levels last week in a potential sign that airlines are seeing demand finally pick up after two years mired in restrictions. Bloomberg’s Pret Index shows Pret’s business in London’s airport terminals has risen for nine consecutive weeks in a sign that residents are increasingly resuming business and leisure travel. Sales in London’s entertainment and shopping district are now higher than they were before the pandemic. Pret sales in London’s suburbs are just shy of a pandemic high but are still more than a third higher than they were before covid struck – a sign that many residents working from home have kept their office lunch habits. Sales in London train stations are almost entirely back to normal. The Pret Index is calculated against a baseline from January 2020.

AG Barr reports full-year sales up 18.3%, profit ahead of pre-covid levels: AG Barr, the owner of Irn-Bru, Rubicon and Funkin, has reported sales increased 18.3% to £268.5m for the year ending 30 January 2022 (2021: £227.0m). Pre-tax profit before exceptional items rose 26.5% to £41.5m (2021: 32.8m). The company said it was an “excellent” financial performance, generated by strong sales growth, resulting in a profit performance ahead of 2019-20 pre-covid levels. The group said strong trading reflected the successful execution of its growth strategy – investing in its brands, innovation, operations and people ­– combined with a general market recovery. All brands are in growth with core brands now ahead of pre-covid levels. The company said Barr Soft Drinks has strong momentum across the portfolio supported by continued brand investment and innovation, with a particular focus on the energy category. Significant progress has been made in further establishing Funkin as the leading consumer cocktail brand in both the take home and the hospitality sectors. Chief executive Roger White said: “Our business and brands have once again proven their resilience in uncertain and often challenging circumstances. We have accelerated our revenue growth and consequently delivered a strong financial performance. In the year we have recommenced our dividend, alongside paying a one-off special dividend, and our balance sheet has continued to strengthen. Our focus on environmental sustainability has accelerated, as we increase our use of recycled materials, reduce our carbon footprint and ready our business for a successful deposit return scheme implementation, due to go live in Scotland in August 2023. We enter the new financial year with good momentum and exciting brand and sales plans. Trading in the early weeks of the new financial year has been well ahead of the prior year and in line with our expectations. Like most companies we are facing significant inflationary pressures but we are well placed as a group to deal with these and will continue to seek to manage our exposure proactively through mitigating actions across revenue management, pricing, procurement and cost control. The growth potential of our business is underpinned by our growing brands, our highly capable people and our resilient infrastructure. We plan to invest further in all of these important areas and I remain confident in our ability to deliver continued growth in both revenue and profit in the coming year.”

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