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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 5th Jul 2022 - Exclusive: Marston’s places circa 50-strong package of non-core pubs on market
Exclusive – Marston’s places circa 50-strong package of non-core pubs on market: Marston’s has placed a circa 50-strong package of non-core pubs on the market, which “no longer satisfies our pub strategy”, Propel has learned. It is understood the tenanted pubs, which are predominantly wet-led community sites, are spread across England and Wales. It is thought the package, which is being marketed by Sapient Corporate Finance, will be of interest to the likes of Admiral Taverns, Punch Pubs, Red Oak Taverns and Valiant Pub Company. A Marston’s spokesman told Propel: “As you would expect, we review our estate from time to time as part of the normal course of business. We are potentially looking to dispose of a small package of non-core pubs that no longer satisfy our pub strategy. In the event of a successful transaction, any disposal proceeds raised will be used to further reduce the company’s debt in line with our stated strategy. A further announcement will be made as appropriate.” In May, Marston’s reported like-for-like sales stood at 97% of 2019 for the 26 weeks ended 2 April 2022, but that like-for-likes sales were down 0.9% in the final ten weeks compared with the same period three years ago. In the same month, Propel revealed a portfolio of seven leisure investments located in south Wales, and let to Marston’s, had been placed on the market, with offers in excess of £4.6m sought. Marston’s features in Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is updated monthly for Premium subscribers and will features 590 companies when the next update is published in mid-July. Marston’s turned over £423.8m in its last financial year, generating a pre-tax profit of £119.3m, making it the second most profitable company in the database. The Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group, provides a five-year overview of turnover and profit, ranks companies according to turnover, pre-tax profit and profit conversion. The Blue Book also provides details of directors’ earnings and highest paid directors. 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 sign up.

Greggs opens debut eco-shop, 250 more to follow by end of 2022: Food-to-go operator Greggs has opened its first eco-shop, providing a test bed for future in-store sustainability initiatives, with 250 more to follow by the end of 2022. The new eco-shop – which has opened at The Causeway in Great Billing, Northampton – will test initiatives aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the company’s operations. Successful new ideas and technologies will then be rolled out across the broader shop estate. Eco-shop schemes being trialled this year include recyclable flooring, cistern-less and air assisted toilets, eco-ovens, heat pump air curtains and solar control glass. Longer term, Greggs has set a target for a quarter of its shop estate to feature eco-shop elements. Tony Rowson, property director at Greggs, said: “As a responsible business, we have a duty to our customers and planet to change the world for the better. Our new eco-shop format gives us a platform to develop and test solutions to minimise our impact on the environment by cutting our waste, energy and water usage. As we continue to trial new and innovative sustainability initiatives, we look forward to making real progress in our goal to becoming a greener Greggs.” Earlier this month, Greggs announced it has saved more than 6,000 tonnes of unsold food over the past year through a partnership with Too Good To Go.

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