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Wed 11th Jan 2023 - Majority of Crussh business saved in pre-pack deal, SSP appoints new UK & Ireland CEO
Majority of Crussh business saved in pre-pack deal: The majority of the London-based healthy food and juice business Crussh has been saved as part of a pre-pack administration deal. Propel revealed before Christmas that the 11-strong business had appointed advisors at FRP to carry out an accelerated sales process and earlier this month it filed an intention to appoint administrators. More than 160 jobs have been saved following the sale out of the business, with eight sites transferring over to the new owners – an unnamed investor group. Ian Corfield and Philip Reynolds of specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory were appointed as Joint Administrators for Krush Global Limited on Monday 9 January. On their appointment they said that they immediately secured a pre-pack sale of the company to the investor group. FRP said the sale of the business will allow the brand to continue with the vast majority of employees transferring to the new owners. Corfield said: “We are pleased to have secured a positive outcome for a long-established business that has sought to navigate through the range of challenges facing the hospitality and catering sector because of the pandemic. Crussh is a well-known and strong brand, and the deal ensures that trading will be unaffected with the continuation of supply to customers and the vast majority of sites and employees transferring across to the new owners. We wish the new management team every success as they take the business forward.” Reflecting the short shelf life of the products sold by Crussh, FRP and the new investors are working cooperatively to maintain customer supply through a short transitional period. Under the terms of the sale, the sites at Canary Wharf and Westway as well as the concession within the Everyone’s Active gym at Winchester will be closed and the administrators will continue their work to maximise the returns to creditors from the remaining assets of the business. Crussh, which is led by Simon Foster, has been backed by Hattington Capital since the start of 2015, although a connected company, KG Investco, ceased to be a “person with significant control” of the business last month. At the same time, and as previously revealed by Propel, Jonathan Hart, the former UK managing director of Caffe Nero and chief executive of Thorntons, has stepped down as chairman of Crussh. In August 2021, Crussh permanently closed 13 of its circa 30-strong estate due to the impact of the pandemic. Kunal Gadhvi, restructuring & insolvency partner at Irwin Mitchell, advised FRP throughout the transaction.

SSP appoints new UK & Ireland CEO: UK-based transport hub foodservice specialist SSP has appointed Kari Daniels as chief executive of its UK & Ireland business. Daniels succeeds Richard Lewis, who will step down from the role and depart the business at the end of the month following an orderly transition period. SSP stated: “Kari brings a wealth of relevant food retail experience, including more than 20 years at Tesco where she most recently spent four years as chief executive of Tesco Ireland with responsibility for more than 150 stores and more than 13,000 colleagues. Prior to this she was UK commercial director at Tesco. Kari also currently serves as a non-executive director at Topps Tiles. She has a track record of driving performance across commercial and marketing in both retail and branded FMCG businesses and will work with the UK leadership team to continue to accelerate growth and profit, build market leading food and beverage propositions, collaborate with our clients and brand partners, and shape the sustainability agenda. Richard Lewis will continue in a consultative capacity until the end of April while Kari completes her induction.” Patrick Coveney, chief executive of SSP Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome Kari to SSP. Her extensive knowledge and experience of both retail and food industries make her an ideal successor to Richard in the role, and I’m confident she will accelerate growth in our UK business by putting a clear focus on developing our customer offer and innovating our brands and concepts to cater for the changed world we now operate in. Kari joins at an exciting time for the group as we continue to make strong progress in our recovery and deliver our growth strategy to further strengthen our market-leading positions in food travel markets globally. I would like to thank Richard for his invaluable contribution to the group during his time in the role. Richard successfully led SSP UK, Ireland and the Netherlands through the covid-19 pandemic, managing the needs of the business, our clients and customers through extremely challenging and volatile times and steering the business through the recovery. The board and I wish him the best in his future endeavours.”

‘Oldest Cornish pasty-maker in the world’ sees retail sales jump 30%: Warren’s Bakery, which was founded 160 years ago and runs 40 bakeries across south-west England and South Wales, as well as selling its goods through other shops and wholesale channels, experienced a 30% increase in retail sales and announced expansion plans in its accounts for the year ended 30 June 2022. Overall turnover for the period was £12,496,401, compared to £9,605,610 in the year to June 2021, with a profit before tax of £2,741,598 (2021: profit of £347,513). Turnover still has some way to go before it returns to pre-pandemic levels; sales in the year to June 2019, for example, were £18,574,953. The company received government grants of £12,584, but this was a huge reduction on the previous year’s figure of £1,056,075. Post year-end, a new store was opened in Torquay in July 2022, and plans were announced for a further opening at Bath Spa Station before June 2023. Director Mark Sullivan said: “Sales at our hospital sites continued to be lower due to the impact of the covid-19 pandemic, but margins continue to improve and overheads were well controlled, resulting in a significant increase in profitability.”

East Sussex McDonald’s franchisee sees profits soar as turnover passes pre-pandemic levels: East Sussex McDonald’s franchisee DNP Restaurants saw its profits soar in the year ending 31 December 2021 as its turnover passed pre-pandemic levels. DNP, which operates eight branches in the south east and is owned by David Padmore, reported a pre-tax profit of £3,028,574 compared to £961,597 in 2020 and minus £86,645 in 2019. Turnover rose 47.90% to £32,365,170 from £21,881,789 and was also up on the last pre-pandemic figure of £28,369,272 reported in 2019. The company said it has positive cashflows and its balance sheet shows net assets of £2,004,888, an increase of £1,634,786 on 2020. It received £512,575 in government grants (2020: £2,095,438). The directors’ report stated that the company continued to benefit from national McDonald’s refurbishment projects, which “continued to have a positive impact on sales growth” and has invested in new digital drive-thru signage at several restaurants.

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