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Conviviality PLC acquires London events company

Conviviality PLC has undergone a “transformational” first half, announcing a 38% rise in profits following the company’s purchase of Matthew Clarke and the purchase of a London-based events company.

Conviviality CEO Diana Hunter

Posting its interim results for the 27 weeks to 1 November 2015 this morning, unaudited revenues of the off-licence and convenience chain were 38% ahead of the same period last year at £252 million, up from £183m.

This was the first set of results which took into account revenues generated by Matthew Clarke since it was acquired by Conviviality in October, which has expanded the company’s remit as an independent wholesaler and distributor of alcohol beverages.

Matthew Clark, which supplies 17,000 hotels, bars, restaurants and venues, generated revenues of £61m since Conviviality took over on 7 October 2015 to 1 November 2015, compared to £59m in the same period last year, with revenues in the 27 weeks to 1 November up 4% on the same period last year.

Conviviality Retail, which operates the franchised and company owned stores, which number 575 and includes Bargain Booze, Select Convenience and Thorougoods, generated revenues of £191m in the 27 weeks to 1 November 2015, up from £183m in the same period last year. Sales were up 0.4%, while like-for-like store revenues improved slightly to -1.3%, compared to -1.7% in the same period last year. The Wine Rack was highlighted as a top performer, with like-for-like sales up 5.3%.

“We have had a transformational first half of the year which culminated in the successful acquisition of Matthew Clark”, said Diana Hunter, Conviviality CEO. “It is still early days in our ownership of this business however the integration is progressing well and we are pleased to have gained such a passionate and talented team.”

The release of its interim results coincided with an announcement that it had purchased a majority stake in London-based bar and events company Peppermint. Founded 13 years ago by Adam Hempenstall and Alex Brooke, Peppermint services more than 40 events annually, primarily providing bars and catering services to outdoor events, including British Summer Time in Hyde Park, Henley Regatta, The Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

Alex Brooke and Adam Hempenstall, founders of Peppermint

Conviviality revealed that Matthew Clark had been in discussions with Peppermint before it was acquired by the company. Conviviality has said its purchase will enable it to offer “a new generation of choice alongside brand investment, adding value to clients through multi-channel sponsorship”.

“We are very excited to be offering this great opportunity to any brand that wants to engage consumers in the outdoor event market”, said Hunter. “We believe this new partnership will help justify the ROI for brands at the strategy stage of brand planning, through the development of event campaigns based on unique insight. We look forward to working with the Peppermint team as we continue to build this unique offer.”

The deal comes just over a year after Matthew Clark purchased a 51% stake in experiential marketing agency, Elastic.

Alex Brooke and Adam Hempenstall, founding directors of Peppermint said: “The huge portfolio choice Conviviality Plc can provide will only strengthen our offer to our current and prospective customers. The vision Conviviality has for the future alongside its independent way of thinking is a perfect fit for us; we’re extremely excited about what the future will hold.”

Peppermint will continue to run as an independent business. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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