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Premier lodge chain expands

By Andrew Sangster and Helen Conway

Greenalls has received planning permission to add Premier Lodges to another two of its pubs as it steps up expansion plans for the chain.

A 32-bedroom lodge will be constructed at the Old Bell in Reading by mid-November, at a cost of £1.3m, and the Foxlydiate in Redditch will have a 34-bedroom lodge by January.

A Greenalls spokesman said the company was in the process of applying for planning permission to add lodge accommodation to a further 10 pubs. “We expect to open the 50th Premier Lodge by early 1997,” he said.

The £1.4m conversion of the 56-bedroom Goffs Park at Crawley, near Gatwick, will be completed by the beginning of November.

The opening of the £1.1m project at Redditch will take the number of Premier Lodges in the 170-unit pub and restaurant chain to 44.

Already earmarked to open in early summer is a 60-bedroom Premier Lodge at Furzton Lake in Milton Keynes.

Greenalls said last week that its lodges had improved achieved room rates by 8.1% and added one percentage point to bedroom occupancy during the 11 months to the end of August this year.

Sales of food and drink per outlet in the branded pub-restaurant and lodge division were ahead by 13.5% and 13.2% respectively.

De Vere Hotels also enjoyed a strong 11 months, with bedroom occupancy at its 20 hotels improving by two percentage points, adjusted for the acquisitions and disposals made during the period.

Within the managed house division, Greenalls Inns, drink sales per outlet were up 7.6% and food sales grew by 10.9%. Inn Partnership, which comprises 1,194 tenanted pubs, saw revenue per outlet grow by 8%.

The takeover of Boddington, in November 1995, is expected to yield £18m of cost savings by the end of the first year.

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