City digest: Punch, Fuller's, Westons

By MC Allegra FS

- Last updated on GMT

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City digest: Punch, Fuller's, Westons
This week's city digest includes Punch's new regional ops director, Fuller's pizza plans and Westons cider.

Passey joins Punch Taverns

Ed Passey, who earlier this year stepped down as group operations director of Red Hot World Buffet, the Risk Capital Partners-backed group, has joined Punch Taverns.

Passey, who had been with the seven-strong group since the end of 2013, has become a regional operations director for the Duncan Garrood-led company.

Stable to open its doors in Midlands

The Stable, the cider and pizza concept in which Fuller’s has a 51% stake, is set to make its debut in the Midlands next year after lining up a site in Birmingham.

The nine-strong group will open at Unit 1 Orion at 115 John Bright Street, subject to licensing. It is currently on site in Cardiff, Cheltenham and Southampton, with the latter due to open in early November and the other two in early December. The company will make its London debut next year, with an opening on the Rhythm Factory site in Whitechapel.

Coaching Inn expansion continues

Coaching Inn Group, formerly the Bulldog Hotel Group, has completed on the £5m acquisition of two North Yorkshire inns from Homfray Hotels. It has bought the Golden Fleece in Thirsk and the Feathers in Helmsley from the hotel group in an off-market deal as part of its £20m expansion programme. The double acquisition brings the estate to 10 sites.

Edward Walsh, finance director, said: “This deal means we’re ahead of our growth targets, but we are in a position to accelerate even more if we find the right deal.”

Best year to date for Westons

Westons Cider has reported its best year to date with growth driven by its premium draught brands as well as the launch of its mulled cider into the off-trade.

For the 12 months to 31 March, turnover was up by 6% to £58.6m and pre-tax profits up by more than 30% to £2m, despite investment of £1.7m in its manufacturing site.

It has increased distribution across all trade channels to reach a market share of 5%.

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