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Friday Wrap: 11 November 2005

11 November 2005

Tom Forrest is not best pleased.
The Scottish B&B owner who last year famously refused a room to a gay couple and branded them "unnatural, sexual deviants" is fuming after the Government moved to outlaw such discrimination.

Apparently, he's now planning to flout the law.

Much more pleased with himself this week is Jamie Oliver, whose company has just turned in a £7m profit.

Other companies in the money included contract caterer Restaurants at Work, which received a £3m cash injection, and Carluccio's, which is to float on the London Stock Exchange.

Quite a bit of M&A activity too, as Fuller's kicked off the week by unveiling a £92m bid for fellow pub operator and brewer George Gale.

Meanwhile, Loch Fyne shareholders were busy approving their own £30m takeover by a private equity house.

Also getting closer to a takeover is Initial Style Conferences, where the race is now down to a shortlist of two venture capital firms after the withdrawal of De Vere last week.

A couple of encouraging financials out as well this week.

Caffè Nero reported a rise in like-for-likes of about 4%, while Punch Taverns posted 2.5%.

And former coffee bar operator Gourmet Holdings was confident enough to unveil plans to raise £5.2m to fund expansion.

Good news on the tourism front too, as the latest UK visitor figures showed a 10% increase during the first nine months of 2005.

Not everything in the garden is rosy, though.

New research from Mintel showed that hotel dining rooms are still on the decline, while Health & Safety Executive stats revealed an increase in injuries in the hotel and catering sector.

And finally, it looks like we're all going to get salmonella, as a BBC documentary unmasked a critical shortage of environmental health officers.

Now, where did I put that bucket?

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"They also need to bring in decent toilets," consultant Jonathan Doughty shows the new owners of Little Chef the way forward
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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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