Searcys reports 9% sales surge after WSH acquisition

Searcys reports 9% sales surge after WSH acquisition

Searcys has reported a 9% surge in sales to £24.3m in the wake of its acquisition by catering giant WSH.

Ownership of the restaurant, bar and event business changed last July when WSH, which also owns BaxterStorey and Benugo, bought Searcys for an undisclosed sum off an asking price of £25m to £30m.

The figures announced today relate to the six months from June to December 2014, during which time the company secured a five-year deal at Kenwood House and a new contract with law firm DLA Piper during the reporting period, which contributed to an estimated £45m in new business wins.

The company said its sales growth was fuelled by strong trade at many of its flagship locations, such as Blenheim Palace and Selfridges Birmingham, while the acquisition has enabled more than £2.5m capital investment in its new and existing estate.

This includes the recently launched apothecary-inspired restaurant Tonic & Remedy, housed in the M by Montcalm hotel in London's Hoxton, which is scheduled to officially launch in September. Plans are also afoot to invest in refurbishing and upgrading the marketing activity at the Gherkin and St Pancras Grand, which Searcys has operated for 11 and six years respectively.

The investment also included the appointment of several new senior roles, including operations director, head of marketing and head of HR, as well as new chairman Edwards Griffiths, who was previously deputy master of the Royal Household.

Chris Maddison, managing director for Searcys, told The Caterer that the capital investment, which was made possible by the new ownership, will help the company to develop and grow over the next decade.

He added: "The acquisition by WSH gave Searcys a sense of security. There was a lot of uncertainty for the business and our clients during the sales process, but since 1 August 2014, we've been able to concentrate on what we do well, which is give great hospitality to our clients and guests.

"Our ambition is to make most of it, by tapping into the training/coaching programmes in the wider organisation.

"[WSH chairman] Alastair Storey's understanding of brands and people is what Searcys needed. Each WSH brand has its own vision and identity but equally they are able to come together to reap the benefits of being part of a bigger organisation."

The company reported the figures following a change in its accounting period to the end of December in line with the WSH portfolio, as a result of the acquisition.

Searcys secures contract hat-trick >>

Searcys and Benugo bag Barbican deals worth £40m >>

New Searcys restaurant Tonic & Remedy to open in London >>

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