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Thu 3rd Nov 2022 - Update: Wellington Pub Co update, Cook Coffee Co floats, Usher hits Kickstarter target
Wellington Pub Co sees revenue return to pre-pandemic levels: Wellington Pub Co, the UK’s largest free-of-tie pub estate with more than 700 tenanted sites, saw revenue climb 40% in the year to 31 March 2022, as it returned to pre-pandemic levels. It posted turnover of £27.776m in the year to 31 March 2022 (2021: £19.775m), with operating profit for the year of £50.8m (2021: £13.1m), including revaluation gains of £30m (2021: £2.1m). Pre-tax profit for the year stood at £45m (2021: £4m). The company said that a net increase in cash for the year of £9.1m was mainly attributable from the reduction in trade debtors and the proceeds on the disposal of 16 pubs. During the year, pubs that were disposed of generated a net gain of circa £600,000 (2021: £2.2m loss). It said that rent concessions offset against turnover for the year totalled £1.7m (2021: £8.9m). Capital expenditure for the year totalled £14m (2021: £15.5m). For the year, it said that investment properties were valued at £543.2m (2021: £509.7m) and the rental income was £28m, which is an increase of £8m on the previous year. It said that the increase in revenue was die to various support packages that the company offered its tenants last year to assist during the shutdown of the sector. 

One day to go before next edition of The New Openings Database release, to show details of 211 new sites, 10,000-word report included: The next edition of The New Openings Database will show the details of 211 newly announced site openings and upcoming launches for Premium subscribers when it is published tomorrow (Friday, 4 November) at midday, including which company has opened a site or its plans to open one in the future. It will have details on what type of site it is and its location, and there will also be a website link to the businesses. Premium subscribers will also receive a 10,000-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to three other databases – the Propel Multi-Site Database, produced in association with Virgate; the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book, produced in association with Mapal Group; and the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database. 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 jo.charity@propelinfo.com 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.

Cooks Coffee floats but raises only a third of its funding target, appoints new non-exec director: Cooks Coffee Company floated in London but secured only a third of the funding it hoped for. It raised about £500,000 through a rights issue and private placement alongside the listing. The company originally planned to raise about £1.5m. The New Zealand chain said it was the fourth largest in Britain behind Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero. It runs 111 coffee shops in the UK, Ireland and elsewhere under the Esquires, The Organic Coffee Company and Triple Two Coffee brands and says it is on track to open 18 new stores this year. Keith Jackson, executive chairman of Cooks, said: “We are delighted to be coming to the Aquis Stock Exchange, raising capital for growth and expanding our shareholder base in the UK.” He said the company sees “considerable opportunities for further growth” in the UK, as well as internationally. The company believes it can grow to more than 200 sites by FY2025. In September, the company announced plans to grow its UK estate by 10%, as part of plans to reach 120 stores globally by the start of 2023. Cooks Coffee had 111 outlets across the UK, Ireland and its international markets as at the end of September 2022. Esquires Coffee has 50 cafes in the UK and 15 in Ireland, while Triple Two has 20 cafes, with the estate almost doubling in size in the last 12 months. Separately, the company has appointed Elena Garside as a non-executive director with immediate effect. The company said that Garside who is UK-based, has “significant experience in financial and ESG communications with a focus on advising on current and emerging trends within these fields, including responsible investing, and sustainable finance”. It said: “Her clients have included FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, as well as privately owned businesses and global corporations. Elena started her career in journalism before becoming a PR consultant with Bankside Consultants, Hudson Sandler, and New Century Media. Elena is the founder and chief executive of Garside & Garside Limited which consults on ESG, media relations and reputational matters. She holds a degree in journalism from St Petersburg State University and the London College of Communication.” Jackson said: “Cooks Coffee is building a group of ethical coffee chains with community spirit. We have an ongoing commitment to objectives that will manage the organisation’s impact directly and actively on society and environmental sustainability. We are delighted to welcome Elena to the board and look forward to the significant contribution she will make, both as an independent director, but also in progressing these objectives.”

Chef Gary Usher hits Kickstarter target in less than 24 hours: Chef Gary Usher reached his Kickstarter fundraising target of £200,000 in less than 24 hours of the campaign’s launch. The chef, which launched the new campaign after cancelling an equity raise through Seedrs, has so far raised £209,948 from 1,206 investors with four days of the Kickstarter campaign to go. The funds raised will go towards opening Usher’s first pub, The White Horse pub in Churton, Cheshire, which the chef is currently refurbishing. Launched through Seedrs in August, Usher was looking to raise £750,000 for his north west-based Elite Bistros business to go toward the “purchase of our first pub; up to £1.5m – develop the new concept, ‘Joya Tapas’ with the aim of opening two sites; £1.5m-plus – further develop our first product line for retail and commercial sales”. The chef, who has previously crowdfunded over £700k on a non-equity basis, was offering 3.61% of equity in the business. The company subsequently acquired the freehold of The White Horse pub in Churton, Cheshire with the aim of creating a successful dining pub with rooms. However, despite raising over £500,000 toward its target, the Seedrs campaign was cancelled last week. The company said: “The truth is...It just wasn’t working. For one reason or another, it’s failed, and we’re sorry for that. We wanted to offer shares in Elite Bistros and we have big plans and projects we were itching to get started on, and we know you were behind us. But right now, the best thing to do was to cancel, get the funds back in your pockets and move on to something different...Something we know. So, we’re doing a Kickstarter. Stay tuned for details but it’ll go live next week and we’ll be looking to raise £200,000 for The White Horse Pub. We’re in there now clearing it up and getting it ready for trades to come in. We’ll have to adjust our plans slightly, so things like the rooms might take a little longer to happen but we really want this pub open. We’ve had people stopping by every day and asking us when we’re opening! They’re keen! And we are too. So, we hope you’ll stick with us. Sorry again. But thank you for always being on our side.” The chef is now looking to open the pub in the new year with the rooms on hold with a target of launching them in 2024.

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