Orchid Group reveals plans for significant investment in 2014

By Carina Perkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Investment

Orchid is planning to transform more locations into Carveries in 2014
Orchid is planning to transform more locations into Carveries in 2014
The Orchid Group has revealed plans to carry out ‘significant works’ across 13 of its businesses in this financial quarter, with more to follow in the rest of the year.

The 230-strong pub and pub-restaurant group invested £20m across its business over the past 12 months, carrying out major refurbishments at more than 50 locations.

Orchid said it would now invest ‘millions more’ in the next phase of refurbishments, following positive trading results in December and January.

This will include converting more locations to Orchid’s Pizza Kitchen Bar pub format, as well as creating more All Inns and Carveries branded dining pubs and pub-restaurants.

Investor interest

The Orchid Board is currently considering whether it should sell the pub group to investors who have expressed an interest in buying it outright, or continue forward with developments itself.

The board said the latter option would help it establish Orchid as a platform for a larger managed pub and bar business.         

Rufus Hall, chief executive of Orchid Group, said: “We have made no secret of the current situation – it is only right that the Board and Deutsche Bank weigh our options after a significant period where they have provided tremendous support to the Orchid management and business, allowing us to lead an exciting period of transformation for the group.

“The very positive news is that all options remain on the table and that this process is something that we undertake from position of complete strength, with the business performing very well, and those venues that have been the subject of capital investment responding very, very encouragingly.”

Strong trading

Orchid’s turnover rose 9.8 per cent over the Christmas and New Year period, with food sales growing an impressive 11 per cent.

Orchids commercial and people director, Simon Dodd, said the company had a ‘record-breaking’ Christmas, with bookings up 6 per cent on last year.

The company’s its 25 Pizza Kitchen Bars turned around the strongest performance, with sales up 21 per cent year-on-year over the period.

Its Carvery pubs also turned around a strong performance, with the Moby Dick in Romford smashing previous records for a week of sales in the run up to Christmas, taking £50.1k in the week of the 8th-14th Dec.

Overall, its Carveries saw a 15 per cent increase in festive sales, compared to last Christmas and new Year.

Elsewhere in the business, Do Drop Inns and Independent Locals both saw sales growth of seven per cent, while Free House Dining sales were up three per cent and Dragons sales grew 5.5%.

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