Cheer at Surrey Free Inns as profits leap 72%
Wednesday 22 January 1997
Tony Hill, managing director, said: "We have had an excellent start to the year, demand at all our new sites is meeting expectations and our development programme is on track."
Pre-tax profits of pounds 1.04m compared with pounds 600,000 in the comparable period in 1995, struck from a 19 per cent increase in sales to pounds 6.9m. Earnings per share increased by 45 per cent to 8.7p and the interim dividend rose 25 per cent to 1.25p.
Mr Hill said Surrey Free Inns, which started life 10 years ago as a property- based BES scheme investment, was piloting a branded cafe concept to be called Bar Med to run alongside the Litten Tree pubs. He said running out a second brand would allow the company to double its exposure in fashionable areas such as Chelsea and Fulham, where the market could not sustain two of its large-scale pubs.
A move up from AIM to the main market is planned for this year to distance the company from a market which has underperformed the main market in recent months.
Mr Hill said tax relief enjoyed by some Surrey shareholders would not be affected by the move.
The Litten Tree pubs, described as a cross between JD Wetherspoon and Yates Wine Lodges, have succeeded in generating high returns on capital employed by segregating its aircraft hangar-sized outlets into different areas to cater for drinking, eating, watching television and business meetings at different times of the day.
Throughout the day the atmosphere and lighting are changed so that a room used for drinking coffee in the morning might become a dancing venue for a younger crowd in the evening. By constantly shifting activities in the pub, Surrey aims to maximise the number of customers passing through a fairly fixed-cost base.
According to Mr Hill, trading continues strong at both outlets and the new sites opened over the past year.
He said Surrey was well on the way to achieving its target of at least eight new developments during 1997.
- 1 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Ex-Scientologist Carmen Llwyelyn blasts 'cult' and her treatment after divorce with Jason Lee
Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...
£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...
Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...