Orchid Group plans to “reposition” 25 to 30 wet-led pubs over next three years

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Related tags: Wet-led pubs, Depreciation

Orchid: Changes are being made to its estate
Orchid: Changes are being made to its estate
Orchid Group plans to “reposition” 25 to 30 wet-led pubs, primarily to carveries and its Thai pub concept Dragon, over the next three years, chief executive Rufus Hall has told PMA sister title M&C Report.

Hall said every Orchid pub would receive some form of investment, but insisted that the managed operator was still committed to running wet-led pubs.

Last week the c250-strong company unveiled plans for a three-year £20m capex programme that would entail a mix of repositioning investments, changing wet led pubs to food led, and smaller “shine” spends.

The investment has already begun, with five currently open, four more on site and another 10 due be-fore Christmas; total investment this year would be £1.9m. The sites will be repositioned “principally” as Dragons and carveries.

But Hall added that Orchid would definitely keep its wet-led pubs. “Certain pubs are always going to be the best fit locally as wet led.”

Hall said Orchid has the money for “bolt on” acquisitions if opportunities arise, and he expects a “handful” of disposals.

Last week Orchid reported a 5.4% fall in EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, amortisation and rent) in 2011, although turnover grew 3.7% to £179.6m and underlying gross margin improved by 1.9% or £2.3m.

Hall said Orchid has “continued to perform ahead of expectations” for the first three quarters of 2012.

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