No Pain, No Gain: The Kayes serve up another irresistible offering
Saturday 01 May 2004
The Kayes surely deserve to be regarded as master restaurateurs.
The Kayes surely deserve to be regarded as master restaurateurs. I am happy to report that the family's fifth eating-out venture since I arrived in the City is showing signs of becoming as successful as its predecessors. Prezzo, as the latest operation is called, has swung impressively into profits and looks set to produce appetising results this year.
My interest in the Kayes is not confined to their culinary ability. Since November, Prezzo has been a constituent of the No Pain, No Gain portfolio. I bought shares at 69p; they are now 95p.
The company ended last year, when it achieved profits of £470,000, with 26 outlets; eight have opened so far this year and a further six are expected to be in business before the year's end. Such a rapid expansion programme must produce casualties. The £470,000 profit was struck after accommodating a £740,000 loss on the sale of four restaurants that did not come up to scratch and a £130,000 impairment provision. I suppose a restaurant chain that is expanding so aggressively will inevitably descend on a few duff sites. Its willingness to quickly acknowledge its mistakes speaks volumes for the management's focused approach.
I came across the Kayes in the 1960s when they launched, with a razzmatazz that would be impossible today, shares of their Golden Egg chain on the stock market. In those days the stock market really was a market, with brokers and jobbers eyeballing each other on a trading floor. Besides the occasional eggshell on the floor, Golden Egg started its first day of City life with jobbers attired in chef hats and aprons and waving frying pans. Some of the dealing brokers were also suitably garbed. Golden Egg, a sort of upmarket greasy spoon chain, was eventually taken over, leaving the Kayes to develop another venture, City Hotels, which, despite its name, had restaurant interests.
Then the Garfunkel chain (now part of the Restaurant Group, better known as City Centre Restaurants) kept them occupied before they switched to Ask Central. Ask is currently being swallowed for £213m by the private equity firm that owns the rival Pizza Express chain. The Kayes and outside shareholders have reaped rich rewards from each excursion.
Now, with Jonathan Kaye in charge, Prezzo is the family's only stock market venture. Like Ask, it has an Italian flavour. The Kayes have pumped money into the business since it arrived with just four restaurants at 50p a share two years ago. It is well-positioned to support its growth ambitions, although more money-raising exercises may be on the menu.
Jonathan Kaye, a cousin of Adam and Samuel Kaye (the men behind Ask), is clearly as at ease with figures as he is with pasta. Last year Prezzo lifted margins from 3.1 per cent to 13.6 per cent, which was still below the Ask level, but moving in the right direction. With the stockbroker Evolution Beeson Gregory predicting profits of £2m this year, the shares are on a fancy rating. There is many a slip 'twixt cup and lip, and Prezzo still has a way to go to justify the exuberance of its supporters. But I am happy to be one of them.
Stagecoach, the bus and train group, is another portfolio member enjoying a bullish run. Trading is running ahead of expectations and it looks as though profits will emerge around the £110m mark, £6m above earlier hopes. It plans to hand back £250m to shareholders, probably through a special dividend. The group has staged a remarkable recovery. Eighteen months ago its future seemed behind it. But Brian Souter, the chief executive, has carried out a splendid restructuring exercise. The shares are about 86p, against my buying price of 80p and the dismal 10p hit when it seemed to have run off the road.
Stagecoach was a bet against the crowd. I was, of course, tempted to sell when the shares were in the dumps. Because each portfolio constituent represents a £5,000 investment I was barred from taking another option - averaging down. So I sat tight, illustrating that patience does occasionally have its reward. When I calculate the portfolio's performance I ignore dividends and dealing costs. However, a special dividend would have to be taken into consideration. I would probably add it to the portfolio's cash assets.
Finally Wyatt, the little online risk consultancy. It has raised £550,000 through a share placing. The cash is wanted for working capital. I am still hopeful it will soon hit the takeover trail with one, possibly two, acquisitions.
Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk
The best deals on personal loans: Peer-to-peer providers are more competitive for smaller sums
China stock market: My portfolio's in pain, but it was never for the financially faint-hearted
China stock collapse: Five things you need to know about 'Black Monday'
Questions of Cash: 'Our dividends seem to have disappeared when TSB was bought and then born again'
My Tinder date asked for a refund when I declined a second meet up
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 2 Pictures show young Palestinian girl biting Israeli soldier trying to detain boy during West Bank protests
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 4 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Day In a Page
In a sandbanks location, moments from the beach, this three-bedroom apartment has a large open-plan living area and a south-west facing balcony.
This four-bedroom home has an annexe accessed from the side of the house, with potential for improvement and conversion subject to the necessary permissions.
In the heart of the hamlet of Wardley, this five-bedroom period home offers countryside views and a stylish interior, with original features and open fireplaces.
Offering countryside views and landscaped gardens, this three-bedroom Grade II-listed lodge has a spacious conservatory and a large cellar that could serve as a workshop.
Set in approximately 1.5 acres, this four-bedroom home comes with a second, detached property that's currently used as an annexe.
In the hamlet of Newchurch, this former parish church is now a four-bedroom home complete with clock tower and eyrie.
Offering scenic views from a large balcony and sun terrace, this four-bedroom home has a wraparound garden and a heated swimming pool.
Offering views across the Humber and East Yorkshire Wolds from a glass panelled balcony, this four-bedroom barn-style home befits a life of leisure.
This four-bedroom home offers versatile accommodation with annexe potential; features include a hot tub, sauna and Norwegian BBQ hut.
Well-located for schools, colleges and the town centre, this contemporary thatched cottage offers flexible living space with six bedrooms.
Built in 1907, this four-bedroom Edwardian period home has been refurbished by the current owners, retaining many original period features.
Surrounded by landscaped gardens, this five-bedroom home offers living space across three floors.
This lovely country home in Burnham Market is currently run as a popular holiday cottage, with five en suite bedrooms and colourful gardens.
This three-bedroom 17th-century former village bakery is just a few miles from the East Sussex coast.
Set on a landscaped plot, this light and airy four-bedroom home comes with a log burner in the lounge, a fitted kitchen and an open-plan ground-floor layout.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Built on a former chapel site, this impressive four-bedroom home boasts balconies, stunning views and contemporary modern living.
This three-bedroom house is situated in a quiet mews and set over three floors. Features include glazed staircases and high ceilings.
A period townhouse set over four floors, this five-bedroom home was built in the 18th Century and retains many original features.
With five bedrooms, this spacious home offers beautiful gardens and modern interiors - set within the popular market town of Bingley.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
In the pretty market town of Bungay, this grade II-listed Mill House is arranged over four floors, offering four bedrooms and three reception areas.
This first-floor flat comes with two bedrooms, an impressive open-plan reception room and two lovely roof terraces.
This five-bedroom home comes with a range of outbuildings including a large barn which could be converted into a self-contained granny-flat or rental.
Moored at Taggs Island and reached via a pretty garden, this two-bedroom houseboat has a vaulted reception room and skylit garden studio - currently a beauty salon.
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
A contemporary house spread over three storeys, this three-bedroom detached home has large sliding doors that open out to the River Quaggy.
Moored in Chelsea's Cheyne Walk, this houseboat offers two double bedrooms and a teak deck that's ideal for al-fresco dining.
This former village bakery, dating back to the 17th century, is now a three-bedroom detached home just a few miles from the East Sussex coast.
On the picturesque Isle of Man, this four-bedroom character home has a ground-floor shop that's currently run as a newsagents and a flat that would make an ideal holiday let.
In a new collection of flats, this first-floor two-bedroom apartment offers ample entertaining space and a prime view of Furze Green from a private balcony.
This three-bedroom stone-built cottage currently trades as the village store with a restaurant in the annexe and family accommodation on the upper floors.
Previously two semi-detached properties, this five-bedroom home is spread over three floors with a large breakfast kitchen, orangery, office and gym on the second floor.
This five-bedroom home enjoys countryside views over the Blyth estuary to Southwold, offering flexible living space with a ground-floor annexe - ideal for use as a holiday let.
Close to the market town of Eye, this four-bedroom detached home offers a double-height living room which takes the place of the original, 19th-century, chapel nave.
Dating back to the 19th century, this four-bedroom home needs modernising. Spanning three storeys, the red-brick house has a fireplace, a small terrace and a cellar.
Just outside of Cambridge, this single-storey home offers three double bedrooms, a living room with vaulted timber ceiling and ladder steps that lead to a mezzanine study area.
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn.
A former coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, an attached office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Located beside an impressive Victorian viaduct, this four-bedroom home has an open-plan living area that is glazed on two sides, with skylights and high ceilings.
A former furniture workshop, this three-bedroom home has high ceilings and painted brick walls, in a village setting only fifteen miles from the coast.
This five-bedroom stone townhouse features a pine staircase and an Inglenuk fireplace, double doors from the lounge give access to an enclosed courtyard.
This five-bedroom, detached home blends traditional and modern design; the sleek kitchen features a gas hob and oven set within an exposed chimney breast.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B or countryside retreat, subject to change of use permissions.
This Grade II-listed three-bedroom home is situated on a private road, just a short walk from the sandy beaches of Frinton-on-Sea.
Less than five miles from Malmesbury, this four-bedroom cottage comes with equestrian facilities and gardens that extend to approximately three acres.
Spanning three storeys, this late-Victorian five-bedroom farmhouse is a spacious family home with a modern interior and B&B potential.
With an original church arch, this triplex one-bedroom church conversion has a light, spacious, feel and comes with a secure off-street parking space.