Put a painful period behind you and start with a clean sheet!
Ultimate Leisure, the pub, bar and restaurant group led by Mark Jones, has reported a solid start to the year with trading in line with expectations.
The company said that after 21 weeks of trading group sales were up 93% on a year ago, helped by strong food sales and its recent acquisitions of the 13-strong Living Room chain for £28m and the four-strong Bel and the Dragon estate for £8.75m.
It said it was encouraged that its Christmas bookings were running in excess of last year across both its new acquisitions and its core estate.
The group reported that it was making good progress in building a pipeline of sites to expand Living Room, with one site agreed and two others with agreed heads of terms.
It also said it had opened a new venue under its Prohibition Bar and Grill brand in St Katharine's Dock in the City of London, and although it was still early, was encouraged by trading.
The company said that it had completed the disposal of two nightclubs and had acceptable offers on three others, which it expects to complete the sale of in the near future.
It said that its shareholders would vote today on the proposal to change the company's name to Premium Bars and Restaurants, which it believes would better reflect its intention to balance its traditionally wet-led income streams with a greater food mix.|
|Sounds like things are still progressing very well even if the markets are down.|
|No, Ju, watching and waiting. They've ticked some of my boxes - they've clearly stabilised the business and the share price has bottomed out - but the world has moved on and I'd rather see how this 'credit crunch' works out and any impact on spending patterns. They've become much less reliant on nightclubs (good!) but a move into the restaurant market is a play on both consumer spending patterns and fashion (this year's trendy eaterie can be next year's no-no) but even stuffy old Greene King are going in this direction (via their Loch Fyne purchase) so they are not alone in their thinking. Not so anti now, but not convinced it's the place to make a buck yet.
But thanks for asking! Hope you're keeping well.
|Actually Ian, it probably is now. Some interesting stuff going on, are you holding any?.j|
|Good to see the Chairman and FD buying shares|
|They seem to be trading ahead of estimates
Ultimate Leisure Group PLC is a genuine recovery story taking place on-market, according to Paul Hickman of KBC Peel Hunt. The additions of Prohibition, Bel & The Dragon and Living Room move the company forward substantially on its development strategy, he said.
The integration of these brands has still to be fully executed, but this, Hickman says, marks the company's rapid rotation from dependence on the late-night market in the north-east of England to significant food and the premium market, as well as national geography.
On the acquisition of The Living Room, Hickman upgraded year to June 2008 EPS by 75 pct to 4.2 pence, on pretax up from 0.9 mln stg to 2.4 mln. This, he says, includes the effect of the placing, share based payments, and option dilution. Looking forward, the analyst expects to see continuing momentum with acquisition activity, and looks for further productive synergies from the acquisitions already made.
Meanwhile, for the year to June 2007, he predicts pretax profits of 0.1 mln stg, down from 1.4 mln, for EPS of 0.4 pence against 3.5. No payout is forecast.|
|Yep, going well, LBO. Looks like another 'buying opportunity'!
|I suspect the bad weather may be a worry on trading but I note Gartmore have gone to 11% from 10.849%|
|Looks like Gartmore and Bear stearns have been doing the "nosey buying"!|
|Perhaps the Reubens are fed up with Managment and now want full control and are going to make a bid.|
Ultimate Leisure, the Newcastle-based night club operator, rose 6.5 per cent to 238p amid talk of a takeover approach
bid speculation boosts Ultimate Leisure
Small caps: Ultimate Leisure (bid speculation)|
|Well the market keeps marking this up.|
|Something is going on here, a large part of the core estate was invested heavily last year with no real gain. The prohibition business is really not performing at the moment. The only way to go is to invest into businesses like the Dragon's, but the company does not have the skillbase to run such bars. All feels like a screw up that will result in poor half years and returns. I don't think the raised profit forecast (33%) will fall through. Buy if you want but prepare for a shock!|
|21.05.07 :+6, (213.5) company's 8.75m acquisition of Bel & Dragon food-led pubs has prompted broker KBC Peel Hunt to lift its earnings estimates for the bar operator. KBC Peel Hunt raised its pre-tax profit forecast by 33% to 1.2m and its earnings per share estimate to 3.2 pence on the back of Bel & Dragon's contribution to future earnings. The acquisition shows the company is looking to diversify out of premium bars into other areas of growth. The broker maintained its 'buy' rating on the stock. Ultimate Leisure said its four new pubs are expected to deliver earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 1m for the financial year to June 24. The company added that it was actively looking at other acquisitions. The broker said the purchase of Bel & Dragon from Gourmet Holdings represents a "relatively small first move on the investment of the companys 75m war chest." "It demonstrates that the scope of expansion is much wider than merely premium bars such as Prohibition, including a range of concepts that have a strong food offer," said KBC Peel Hunt. Ultimate Leisure currently operates around 30 bars mainly in the North East of England.|
|They say there is only one thing worse then losing money and thats loosing out on an opportunity to make a quick profit!|
|7% rise just today!! Nice and today isn't over yet.
My target now is 237p before I rethink.|
|Indeed. Particularly if they buy at the right time!
|Well the price is now £2.20. The market has a nasty habit of transfering wealth from the impatient to the patient.|
|Not really. The point is to make money, surely, and the essence is in timing - a point about which you were rather dismissive back in March 06 ("(will side with the Barclay bothers over Jeffian on this one!)") when the price was over 250p vs. 207p today. I didn't think it was a 'buy' back in 06 when the Reubens were stakebuilding and I was right. That's not 'pedantry'. I doubt anyone following them in then has done anything other than lost value so far and the only people to have made a modest profit are new investors who caught the very bottom in November (and not very many of them, looking at the trades).
|Looks like some of us are being pedantic! LOL|
Not really. Just picking up your previous point that "all of us who bought are being rewarded" which should actually read "all of us who bought since Nov 06 are being rewarded", whereas those who followed you in in Jan/Feb 06 are likely to be still underwater even if they 'averaged down'. Anyway, it looks as if its on upwards from here, so good luck to you.
I would guess by your post that you definately missed the opportunity to buy at £1.70! The smart money bought a lot more at £1.70 then they did at higher prices thus giving them a very nice profit.
Are your shins sore from kicking yourself yet?|
|Eh? What "sour grapes"? I came out at 285p in Aug 05. The discussion we had previously was whether to 'follow the Reuben Brothers in' in Feb 06 at around 266p or wait until their strategy was revealed. After the placing at 169p, that strategy duly gave them around 38% of the company at an average cost around 217p - still slightly underwater but with a significant stake which they couldn't have acquired at that price in the open market and with trading at the operating level now stabilised to provide a good platform for growth. A good deal for them, maybe, but how "those who have kept faith and supported the company" in the way you suggested "have been rewarded" eludes me - they're either 22% down if they followed the Reubens in Feb 06 or 4% down if they 'averaged down' at the very bottom in Nov 06, whereas I can still stroll in on Monday and scoop up a few for less! As you said last September: "I suspect we will see their "strategy" soon and then we can have laugh about "timing"". Quite.