Seafood Pub Company reports turnover and Ebitda boost: The opening of three new sites has helped boost turnover by 37% at Seafood Pub Company in the year it secured a private equity investment. Seafood Pub Company Holdings posted turnover of £8,025.817 for the 2016 calendar year compared with £5,844,326 the year before. Ebitda increased by 104% to £863,732 from £422,594 the previous year. Pre-tax losses narrowed by 77% to £70,175 over the same period. It made an operating profit of £133,365 compared with an operating loss of £101,348 the year prior. During the year the company opened Roosters Bistro in Higham, the Alma Inn in Laneshawbridge, and Forest in the village of Fence, near Burnley. It also launched The Fleece in Addingham in May and is on the verge of opening the doors to The Inn in the village of South Stainley as part of its expansion into Yorkshire. Penta Capital, which has helped grow La Tasca and EAT, bought a majority stake in Seafood Pub Company in July 2016. The private equity firm arranged an £18m funding package to acquire a majority stake in the business and provide funds for expansion. In their report accompanying the accounts, signed by managing director Joycelyn Neve, the directors said the group has traded well during 2016 with sites increasing both revenues and profits compared with the previous year. Neve founded Seafood Pub Company in 2010.

Gusto lines up Chislehurst opening: Premium casual dining restaurant brand Gusto, which recently opened in York, is opening this month in Chislehurst, south east London, its 18th site. Managing director Sue Crimes said: “2017 has been incredibly exciting for Gusto and we are thrilled to be extending our brand to new areas. We’ve been overwhelmed with the positive response to our restaurants to date and can’t wait to hear the reception for our Chislehurst venue. It’s a great location for our clientele and at the heart of a growing food and drink scene in the area.” Gusto has invested almost £2m in the two venues to open this summer, creating more than 100 jobs in total. Crimes added: “We want to position our restaurant-bars as the ‘third place’ in our guests’ lives. First is home, second is work and the ‘third place’ is somewhere you go to unwind and socialise. We believe our venues achieve this, as our relaxed environment enables guests to enjoy a variety of social situations, from daytime with the family right through to date night with a partner.”

Middlesbrough site let to Premier Inn acquired for £6.2m: A site in Middlesbrough that will home to a Whitbread-owned Premier Inn has been acquired by property investment company LXi Reit for £6.2m. LXi Reit has exchanged contracts to forward purchase the site in Wilson Street, of which practical completion is scheduled for December. The purchase price reflects a net initial yield of 5.1% and the acquisition is being funded from the company’s Scottish Widows debt facility. The property, which has been fully pre-let to Premier Inn, is being purpose-built for the tenant and will comprise 83 bedrooms across six storeys. Premier Inn’s lease will run for a term of 25 years, with a one-off tenant break right at the end of year 20. The rent is subject to five-yearly upward-only reviews, index-linked to the Consumer Prices Index. LXi Reit partner Simon Lee said: “We are pleased to be forward purchasing this new and well-located Premier Inn hotel, which will provide the company with a long, inflation-linked income fully underpinned by the strong Whitbread and Premier Inn covenants.”

Wasabi reports Ebitda boost as turnover nears £90m: London-based sushi and bento business Wasabi, which also operates Korean casual dining brand Kimchee, has reported turnover increased 21.4% to £88,241,267 for the year ending 31 December 2016 compared with £72,659,539 the previous year. The company said this was driven by strong like-for-like sales growth and the continuation of its opening programme. Ebitda rose 7% to £5,121,000 compared with £4,787,000 the year before, according to accounts filed at Companies House, mainly driven by decreases in pre-opening costs and a review of its price structures. Pre-tax profit was up to £2,471,345 compared with £2,392,755 the previous year. The company stated: “The business continued to grow in 2016, opening a further five branches during the period, this included one branch outside of London. By the end of the period, the company had 50 branches in total, 44 branches in the London area and six outside of London. The director believes the company has a strong platform for future domestic expansion, as the imminent introduction of our new central production unit will provide cost efficiencies and sustained quality in our bento production range. The company’s innovative and fresh approach to food has helped to establish a strong brand that continues to grow in popularity. The company continues to research and evaluate opportunities to expand the company’s portfolio within the UK and overseas to maintain its competitive position in the fast food sector. The company has plans to open branches in the UK and New York during 2017 and remains confident these will be successful and it is able to improve the level of performance of its existing portfolio at the same time. Funding for these developments comprise a mix of internally generated cash and available loan facilities. Further expansion will follow a similar funding model, including the assessment of the company’s ability to afford new loan facilities from third parties.”

Restaurant magazine and MCA publisher reports turnover and profit growth: Publisher of Restaurant magazine and MCA, William Reed, has reported underlying turnover growth of 6% to £48.8m for the year ended 31 March 2017 with growth in digital and face-to-face income offsetting a modest decline in magazine income. Underling Ebitda of £8.3m (2016: £8.1m) grew by 2% and underlying Ebitda margin fell by 1% to 17%. Included within asset amortisation of £22.3m (2016: £3.1m) is goodwill amortisation of £1.7m (2016: £2.5m) relating to its retail research consultancy Him! Net cash grew by £2.5m to £26.9m. Profit before tax was £6,856,000 compared with £3,481,000 the year before. A dividend of £356,000 was paid in the year (2016: £356,000). Magazine turnover was £11,428,000 (2016: £12,018,000), digital income was £13,812,000 (2016: £12,661,000), face-to-face income was £20,161,000 (2016: £14,855,000), insight income was £5,066,000 (2016: £4,856,000) and licensing produced turnover of £303,000 (2016: £258,000). In terms of turnover by geographical market, the UK produced £36,248,000 (2016: £32,488,000), Europe produced turnover of £5,685,000 (2016: £4,958,000), the US saw turnover of £5,214,000 (2016: £4,184,000) and the rest of the world produced turnover of £3,623,000 (2016: £3,018,000). The highest paid director earned £500,000 with bonuses, down from £549,000 the year before. Subsidiary company Him! saw turnover of £3,360,000 (2016: £3,343,000) and pre-tax profit of £799,000 (2016: £983,000). The Morning Advertiser magazine, in which the Licensed Trade Charity owns a 25% stake, reported turnover of £3,756,000 (2016: £3,986,000) and pre-tax profit of £535,000 (2016: £584,000).

Seren Collection strengthens management team: The Seren Collection, operator of luxury hospitality venues in south west Wales, has strengthened its management team. The company has promoted Alice Bussi to group food and beverage manager and Oliver Crittenden to group human resources manager after creating the new roles. Managing director Neil Kedward said: “As a business we love change and people developing and so it comes as no surprise that our teams keep evolving. This is a big step for the group strengthening our ability to support our businesses from the centre while significantly bolstering the management teams in each of our businesses.” Seren Collection operates boutique hotel Grove of Narberth and restaurants Coast Saundersfoot, Kiosk and Beach House Oxwich.

Ivy Collection to open first Kent site after acquiring former Jamie’s Italian outlet in Tunbridge Wells: The Ivy Collection is to open its first site in Kent after acquiring the former Jamie’s Italian outlet in Tunbridge Wells. The company is opening the restaurant in High Street in November following the closure of Jamie’s Italian earlier this year. The Ivy Tunbridge Wells will include space for 105 covers, a bar and a Parisian-style alfresco seating area. An Ivy Collection spokesman told Kent Live: “Tunbridge Wells, with its rich historical heritage, is the perfect setting for the newest addition to The Ivy Collection, which is continuing to grow regionally with a number of sites outside of London, where it was originally established.” The Ivy Collection has continued its regional expansion by recently opening brasserie sites in Cobham in Surrey and Marlow in Buckinghamshire. It has also signed a 25-year lease to open its first site in Scotland, in Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square, and is opening a venue in Harrogate in the autumn.

Hotel Chocolat to debut in Ireland: Hotel Chocolat is to open its first cafe store in Ireland at a 1,100 square foot site in Dundrum town centre. Due to open in October, it will trade next to Zara and Hugo Boss. Simon Betty, director of retail for Ireland at Hammerson, said: “The centre is Ireland’s leading retail and leisure destination, making it the ideal venue for the brand to launch in the growing Irish market. Since taking ownership of the site in Dundrum last year, we have worked to leverage our relationships with domestic and international brands in order to ensure an exciting and fresh retail mix, and this latest debut is testament to the success of that strategy.” Peter Harris, co-founder of Hotel Chocolat, added: “We are hugely excited to be expanding into Ireland. It took us a while to find the perfect location for our first cafe here but we feel confident we have found it in Dundrum. We want our new cafe and store to offer a real sense of escapism the moment you step inside.”

Cider subscription service closes crowdfunding campaign after raising £150,000: Cider subscription service Crafty Nectar, which supplies cider from independent producers to bars and restaurants, has closed its fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube after raising £150,000. The company, founded by Ed Calvert, was offering a 14.29% equity stake as it looked to raise £100,000 to expand its trade division. It has now closed the campaign with 321 investors pledging £150,000. The largest investment was £50,000. The pitch stated: “We aim to provide the UK’s largest list of craft ciders to our trade customers at a cheaper price than buying from national distributors, with no minimum order. Crafty Nectar’s revenue is generated from the sale of monthly subscriptions, encouraging new customers to sign up with a welcome offer. On renewal, we aim to make roughly 30% margin on each box sold. Crafty Nectar Trade charges a commission on all sales. By delivering straight from producers we don’t need a warehouse and the stock doesn’t go out of date, which allows for a large product inventory. Therefore, we aim to provide cheaper prices than other wholesalers. We forecast £85,777 total revenue for year-ending November 2017, and £376,984 for year-ending November 2018. With investment, we aim to develop our trade portal, increase marketing spend, and hire additional staff to accelerate growth on the trade side.”

Inglett steps down at Center Parcs: Paul Inglett, finance director of Center Parcs Group, has stepped down. Center Parcs said Inglett had decided to take a career break to spend more time with his family after seven years with the group. Inglett worked for six months after tendering his resignation to ensure an orderly handover to his successor. Martin Dalby, chief executive of Center Parcs Group, said: “After seven years at Center Parcs, Paul has decided to take a career break to spend more time with his family. As finance director, Paul has overseen a period of strong financial results and played a major role in delivering some very complex projects such as the refinancing of our entire business, securing the necessary funding for Woburn Forest and, most recently, the sale of the business by Blackstone to Brookfield. Paul has made a massive contribution to the Center Parcs business and we wish him well for the future.” Tui UK finance director Colin McKinlay is to join Center Parcs as Inglett’s replacement.

Essex-based restaurateur to open third site for Turkish concept, in Brentwood this month: Essex-based restaurateur Tony Manconi is to open the third site for his Turkish concept Pivaz, in Brentwood this month. Manconi is opening the venue on Friday, 25 August in High Street on the site of the former Blockbusters shop, reports Essex Live. Pivaz is described as a “fragrant and romantic dining experience complemented by an extensive menu and delectable wine list”. Heavily influenced by Manconi’s homeland tradition, the food comprises hot and cold mezze options for lighter lunches, and fish and meat for mains along with an array of vegetarian dishes. Manconi launched the concept in Epping in July last year and also has a site in Hackney.

JD Wetherspoon closes Great Yarmouth pub for £3.5m refurbishment that includes hotel: JD Wetherspoon has closed the Troll Cart in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, for a £3.5m refurbishment that will see a hotel added. The pub, near Market Gates bus station, will be shut for four months while the work takes place. The investment will see a neighbouring building demolished and an extensive new beer garden built, as well as a 22-bedroom hotel added in the empty three-storey space above the pub. It is due to reopen on Tuesday, 5 December, reports the Great Yarmouth Mercury.

Bath-based small plates restaurant and wine bar concept opens second site in city: Bath-based small plates restaurant and wine bar concept Corkage has opened its second site in the city. Owners Marty Grant and Richard Knighting, who launched Corkage in Walcot Street nearly two years ago, have opened the new venue in Chapel Row. It accommodates 78 diners, including seating for 30 outside. The bar area is flanked by hundreds of wine bottles with a fireside seating area by the window and vintage wine posters line the walls. Grant said: “We soon realised it was time to develop the Corkage brand and when the site in Chapel Row became available we knew it was too good an opportunity to miss. The additional space means we can cater for more guests and create dishes with a bit more theatre.”

Redwings Lodge Group adds Oldbury site: An expanding hotel group has acquired another venue in the Black Country with the purchase of the Ramada in Oldbury. Redwings Lodge Group already operates five sites under its own name, including one in Wolverhampton city centre. It has now added the 76-bedroom Ramada, buying it from Gurjit Mahal for an undisclosed sum. Mahal bought the hotel out of administration in 2012. Redwings is planning to add bedrooms and more restaurant space at the hotel, which is ten years old next year. It is also looking for other hotel opportunities in the West Midlands to add to its portfolio. Charles Jones, from agents Christie & Co, said: “The Ramada opened in 2008 and also includes a restaurant and four function rooms that are extensively used for conferences, events and weddings so we knew it would generate a lot of interest once on the market.”

Belfast-based chef and street food trader to open permanent site for gourmet burger concept: Belfast-based chef and street food trader Paul Catterson is to open a permanent site for his gourmet burger concept. Catterson will launch Tribal Burger in Botanic Avenue next month. As well as burgers, which will be made on site daily and cooked to order, the restaurant will offer a grown-up twist on the milkshake – one with vodka and one with whiskey – and craft beers. The restaurant will feature communal seating and a 26-foot long wall mural. Catterson has worked as a chef at some of the city’s top restaurants including Shu, and run his own ventures in outdoor catering and street food, bringing mobile gourmet burgers to festivals with his Burger Republic outfit. Catterson told Belfast Live: “It’s simple, but it’s about consistency, it’s about people coming in for a burger and a good beer. It’s fun dining not fine dining, but there’s definitely a gap here for really good quality burgers.”

BaxterStorey wins Winchester Cathedral contract: Contract catering company BaxterStorey has been awarded a contract by Winchester Cathedral to relaunch its historic Refectory. BaxterStorey has introduced a new menu providing visitors with “locally sourced quality food and drink” featuring The Cathedral Breakfast and a new cake table. BaxterStorey regional managing director Sarah Miller said: “Winchester is certainly a foodie-paradise and we are delighted to bring residents and visitors a taste of something completely new. Alongside the seasonal menu at the Cathedral Refectory, our pop-up street food stalls will be located throughout the cathedral grounds.” The Refectory relaunch also includes a new corporate and events offering, with bespoke menus tailored for individual requirements. Canon Annabelle Boyes, receiver general at Winchester Cathedral, added: “The new menu, look and feel really reflects the local heritage of our location, offering guests a complete and memorable experience.”