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Principal Hotels sold for estimated £300m – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

12 September 2006

Principal Hotels sold for estimated £300m
Permira, the private equity firm that has just sold TravelodgeThe Times, 9 September

US tourists not deterred by foiled air attack Nine in 10 Americans would be happy to visit London in the next six months, despite last month's foiled terrorist plot to blow up planes bound for America. According to research conducted by VisitLondon, the majority of tourists surveyed will not change their behaviour as a result of the terrorist threat, with 81% believing security is being taken seriously. - Sunday Telegraph, 10 September

Breakfast boost for Wetherspoon
JD Wetherspoon has taken advantage of last year's licensing changes to open its pubs earlier and offer breakfasts, which it sees as a big untapped market, selling 200,000 a week. Wetherspoon reckons it has 6% of the branded coffee market and sells as much coffee as Caffè Nero across its 657 pubs, about a quarter of Starbucks sales. - The Independent, 9 September.

Wetherspoon props up sales slump in Scottish pubs
JD Wetherspoon said yesterday it had spent an average of £40,000 on each of its Scottish outlets to combat an 11% slump in profits in the three months to the end of July, as the smoking ban bit. The group, which has 39 pubs in Scotland, said yesterday that after an initial 0.8% fall in drinks sales in April after the smoking ban, sales slid 3.4% in the following quarter. - The Scotsman, 9 September

Schoolchildren switch on to unprocessed food
Four in five pupils in Ayrshire schools want more fruit on the menu, and nearly half insist they now detest processed food according to research among parents and pupils. Catering manager Robin Gourlay who has driven through the project, said: "Around 90% of the ingredients are now unprocessed, more than 30% organic and they're cooked fresh and served fresh. - Sunday Herald, 10 September

New shareholder in BB's Coffee and Muffins chain
Irish billionaire Denis O'Brien has emerged as a shareholder in the fast-growing BB's Coffee & Muffins chain of shopping-centre cafés. The chain, with 164 outlets in Britain and Ireland, plans to open 23 more cafés before the end of this year. - Sunday Times, 10 September

By Bob Gledhill

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

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