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M&B integrates 173 pubs; director goes to Enterprise Inns

By MC Allegra FS

- Last updated on GMT

M&B integrates 173 pubs; director goes to Enterprise Inns

Related tags: Retailing

Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has announced it has completed the integration of the 173-strong Orchid estate it acquired for £266m last June and said that following this Steve de Polo, who was most recently Orchid programme director, has decided to leave the company to join Enterprise Inns.

De Polo, who has been with M&B for 11 years, will become retail concept director at Enterprise reporting directly to group commercial director Paul Harbottle.

M&B said that as result of its acquisition and integration of Orchid it has been able to create value by “converting sites to the company’s existing brands and formats, reducing central overheads and realising purchasing synergies”.

Phil Urban, chief executive at M&B, said: “I would like to thank Steve for his significant contribution to M&B, and most recently his successful delivery of the Orchid integration. This new role is a fantastic opportunity for Steve to further develop his career within the industry and I wish him the very best for the future.”

In his new role, de Polo will be responsible for developing Enterprise’s retail concepts as highlighted in their recently announced five year strategic plan, working closely with the business’s managed concepts to develop existing and future retail concepts. He will also be responsible for the continued development of the recently launched segmentation tool to enhance the company’s retailing capabilities within the leased and tenanted estate.

Paul Hine is also joining as a senior buyer to strengthen the purchasing team, reporting to procurement director Miles Selby. Hines joins from JD Wetherspoon, where he has worked for 15 years in a number of commercial roles, most recently as head of the purchasing and supply chain functions.

Both appointments will come into effect from January.

Harbottle said: “We are looking forward to welcoming both Steve and Paul to Enterprise as they both bring considerable sector expertise and will further strengthen our commercial team.”

Earlier this year, former M&B chief executive Alistair Darby said that initial Orchid post-conversion returns were strong and in line with expectations. He also highlighted that non-converted sites would be integrated into the group’s heartland estate.

Darby gave examples of how the group was realising value in under –invested pubs; expanding successful concepts in premium markets and strengthening offers through branding.

The company said that it had converted former Orchid site the Sawyer Arms in Manchester to a Nicholson’s expanding its offer to be more premium and it was now producing sales per week of around £18 to £19k.

A conversion of a retail outlet in Hayes, Cardiff to the company’s Miller & Carter brand, has led to a unit generating £70k a week in sales.

Related topics: Mitchells & Butlers

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