Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company names chief executive
Former Carlsberg vice-president of craft and speciality Paul Davies has been named chief executive of the £780m Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company joint venture, which has now completed.
Under the terms of the transaction, the new entity will have access to Marston’s pub estate for its beer portfolio via a long-term supply and distribution agreement.
While outgoing Carlsberg UK managing director, Tomasz Blawat, has returned to his native Poland to pursue other interests, he will oversee the integration until the end of the year.
What’s more, Marston’s chief executive Ralph Findlay has been appointed as non-executive chairman of Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company.
“This is a significant moment for us as we create a new, better beer company, with a sustainable future in UK brewing,” Davies explained. “We have a rare opportunity to create a unique beer business that combines more than 300 years of brewing heritage and an unrivalled portfolio of brands, each with authenticity and provenance.
“I am delighted to lead Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company with the support of a new, experienced management team.
“We would like to thank Tomasz for leading the transaction process over the past 12 months, and we wish him well in his future endeavours back in Poland. Today is the start of our journey towards Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company becoming the UK’s best beer platform.”
The management team under Davies includes former Marston’s managing director, Richard Westwood, who becomes chief operating officer; Adam Stubbs as chief financial officer; and departmental vice-presidents Sarah Perry, Ramesh Kataria, Chris Pratt, Simon Barnes, Carl Middleton, John Clements, Greg Morris and Bruce Ray.
Self-employed support to double again
The Government has announced an increased Self-Employed Income Support Scheme from 40% of trading profits to 80% for November.
The increase is designed to reflect the extension of the furlough scheme for employed workers to the self-employed, aiming to support self-employed workers who cannot trade or have suffered reduced demand due to the outbreak, over winter.
In the House of Commons on 2 November, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We have already paid out £13.7bn to help the self-employed and for November, we will double our spend from 40 to 80% of trading profits.”
The grant is calculated over three months meaning it increases from 40% to 55% of trading profits for November to January and the maximum grant rises to £5,160. The claims window is also being brought forward from 14 December to 30 November.
Pub companies announce lockdown rent plans
A number of pub companies including Greene King and Stonegate Pub Company have outlined rent reductions for tenants during England’s second lockdown period.
As reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA), Marston's and Admiral Taverns also informed tied tenants and leaseholders rent would be reduced from 5 November until 2 December.
Furthermore, Heineken’s pub arm, Star Pubs & Bars, is to give publicans on core leased and tenanted agreements a 100% rent concession regardless of whether or not they choose to operate a takeaway service. The move takes Star Pubs & Bars investment in rent reductions to more than £30m since March.
What’s more, the operator of in the region of 2,500 sites revealed that should the lockdown stretch beyond 2 December, it will move to a 90% rent reduction for its leased and tenanted pubs until restrictions are lifted in England.
Elsewhere, Suffolk-based brewer and operator Adnams has cancelled rent during the latest lockdown with chief executive Andy Wood stating: “We have, once again, cancelled rents for our pub tenants as we do all that we can to help them.
“Together, we did this before and the more we all follow the rules, the sooner we will be out the other side of this. Let’s all support one another, stay positive and stay safe.”
Additionally, Leicestershire-based brewer and retailer Everards has scrapped £3m in rent for its licensees, while Kent-based operator of 319 pubs, Shepherd Neame has also announced it will waive all rent for its licensees during the second national lockdown.
Windsor & Eton Brewery appoints former JDW retail director
Former JD Wetherspoon (JDW) retail director, Miles Slade, has joined Windsor & Eton Brewery to lead the growth of its pub estate.
The brewery, which holds a Royal Warrant as brewer to Her Majesty The Queen, currently operates four pubs.
On top of expanding its burgeoning estate, Slade will also be tasked with opening an enlarged Covid-secure brewery taproom and kitchen in early 2021 in a bid to further enhance Windsor & Eton Brewery’s visitor experience.
Commenting on his new role, Slade, who has spent two decades in operational roles at (JDW) and sat on its management board as retail director from 2012, said: “I am delighted to be joining such a prestigious business that I have always admired.
“Windsor & Eton is a terrific business with a wonderful heritage – I look forward to helping grow the business and becoming part of the team.”
The brewery’s founder, Will Calvert, added: “I’ve known and respected Miles for many years and always hoped there might be an opportunity to work with him as a partner in the brewery.
“Entering a second lockdown, it’s obviously a challenging year commercially but we’ll weather the storm to emerge with a renewed sense of purpose and a simple post-Covid strategy – of great beer and great pubs for a greater good.”
Shepherd Neame cuts 10% of staff
Kent-based brewer and pub operator Shepherd Neame has cut one-in-ten of its employees in preparation for a month in lockdown.
In a message to the 319-site operator’s customers, CEO of the Kent-based pubco and brewer Jonathan Neame revealed the business would also be asking more than 90% of its workforce step down from their current roles on a temporary basis.
The business will use the Government's extended furlough scheme to cover 80% of the wages of affected staff who earn up to £30,000 per annum.
On top of this, Shepherd Neame has pledged to fund the wages of all those affected earning more than £30,000 per annum so that they continue to receive 80% of their normal pay.
The company’s directors have also volunteered to take a temporary 20% reduction in salary
The operator has also announced it will waive all rent for its licensees during the second national lockdown.
“It is extremely disheartening to go into lockdown again after the immense efforts of the past few months,” Neame explained. “But, as evidenced by the overwhelming wave of support given to our pubs when we reopened in July, our communities need, want and love their local.
“We look forward to welcoming you back as soon as the situation allows.
“Shepherd Neame has weathered many crises in its long history and remains as well placed as any to emerge from this crisis, but there is a long winter ahead with many challenges for us all.”
Before the Prime Minister announced a second national lockdown, Shepherd Neame had 63 sites operating under tier two restrictions in addition to 257 sites in tier one.
What’s more, in a trading update in early October, the 322-year-old operator revealed for the thirteen weeks to 26 September it achieved 73% of last year’s tenanted pub income – a figure that includes rental support for licensees during both lockdown and the phased reopening of its estate.
How to access a lockdown grant
Pubs will be able to receive a grant of up to £3,000 for the month-long closure beginning Thursday 5 November.
English pubs have been ordered to close for four weeks when the country enters its second national lockdown, with it hoped the ‘circuitbreaker’ will drive down the rate of coronavirus infection.
The Local Restrictions Support Grant, which had helped businesses ordered to close in local tier three lockdowns, is available for businesses required to close in national measures.
The grants will be based on business rates, similar to the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) available for the first lockdown last spring.
Diageo relaunches Learning for Life
Drinks giant Diageo has relaunched its award-winning bartender and hospitality training programme, Learning for Life, in a bid to support the sector and its hard-pressed staff.
The £1m-per-year programme – which has traditionally been focused on offering opportunities in hospitality to young unemployed people – has been revamped as a virtual training programme to provide businesses with the skills and training support they need to meet the demands of the ongoing pandemic.
“People and businesses in the hospitality industry across the UK are fighting for their future and we stand alongside them in that fight,” Nicola Reid, Diageo Learning for Life manager, said.
“That’s why we’ve refocussed our Learning for Life programme so it offers the best training opportunities possible to support bar staff and businesses with skills that will help them weather the current storm.
“Along with our Raising the Bar initiative we are putting every resource we have available into the battle to save the hospitality trade.”