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Conviviality reveals new triple threat buying team as sales soar

Published:  18 July, 2016

Wholesale juggernaut Conviviality has revealed the structure of its new buying team following a "transformational" year buying up Matthew Clark ad Bibendum Plc.

Wholesale juggernaut Conviviality has revealed the structure of its new buying team following a "transformational" year buying up Matthew Clark ad Bibendum Plc.

Speaking to Harpers, CEO of Conviviality, Diana Hunter, revealed that that the buying team has now been consolidated across the entire business, with three roles created to provide points of contact for the three key areas of the business.

The top jobs have gone to Andrew Shaw, former buying director at Bibendum who has become the new group wine buying director, Steve Jebson, now commercial director of Conviviality Direct, and Kenton Burchell, the new commercial director of Conviviality Retail.

Conviviality Plc also released its end of year results this morning (July 18), demonstrating uplift across the board thanks to the "transformational acquisition" of Matthew Clark in October.

For the 53 weeks to May 1, 2016, revenue was up 137% to £864.5m (FY15: £364.1m), cash flow grew 100% to £11.4m (FY15: £5.7m) and dividends rose by 14%.

Hunter said the buying team has been re-structured to reflect the changing needs of the business and to keep this momentum moving forwards.

"Andrew [Shaw - new group wine buying director] will buy wine across the whole business, so all wine buyers and technologists will report to him across Matthew Clark, Conviviality and Bibendum.

"We have 450 wine suppliers and this reflects the importance of wine to our business. Andrew will provide one single point of contact across the group which will make it much simpler."

Steve Jebson has been appointed commercial director of Conviviality Direct, taking responsibility for everything that isn't wine for the direct side of the business.

Kenton Burchell will head up Conviviality Retail as commercial director, buying convenience food, tobacco, cider and spirits for the franchise wholesale business.

The appointments have been made in the last three weeks, although they have not been made public until now.

For Hunter, the re-structure will make a significant impact on the cohesion of the rapidly expanded group going forward.

"All three jobs are very meaningful and will enable our supply base to interact with key buyers," she said.

The positive annual results show the strength of the Matthew Clark acquisition, although Bibendum has already started to make a considerable contribution Hunter said.

"The Bibendum team has already bought in 110 new accounts and we've only owned them for eight weeks. The teams in every aspect of the business are really engaged to win new and support existing clients. Our focus now is on continuing to grow the business," Hunter added.

Group Financial Highlights

 · Revenue up 137% to £864.5m (FY15: £364.1m)

· Gross margin up 1.3% points to 11.5% (FY15: 10.2%)

· Adjusted EBITDA1 up 135% to £30.2m (FY15: £12.9m)

· Adjusted profit before tax up 124% to £21.7m (FY15: £9.7m)

· Adjusted fully diluted EPS up 27% to 14.2p (FY15: 11.2p)

· Free cashflow up 100% to £11.4m (FY15: £5.7m)

· Debt reduction ahead of plan with net debt of £86.1m (FY15: net cash £1.2m) and bank leverage of 1.96 times reflecting the acquisition of Matthew Clark in October 2015.

· Full year dividend up 14% to 9.5p (FY15: full year dividend 8.3p)

Operational Highlights

· Completed transformational acquisition of Matthew Clark on 7 October 2015

· New management team and organisational structure in place

· Acquired Peppermint on 31 December 2015, which is performing in line with expectations

· Post year-end, completed complementary acquisition of Bibendum PLB Group

· Integration plan ahead of expectations for both Matthew Clark and Bibendum PLB Group

· Conviviality Retail, Matthew Clark and Bibendum PLB have all traded well during the acquisition processes, and are in line with expectations

Conviviality Retail Highlights

· 0.8% increase in revenue for 53 weeks to £366.9m (FY15: 52 weeks £364.1m)

· 0.7% increase in adjusted EBITDA to £14.6m (FY15: £14.5m)

· Franchisee like for like retail sales improved to (1.3%) (FY15: down 1.7%)

· 15% increase in stores to 716 as at 1 May 2016 (April 2015: 624)

· 38 new Franchisees joined the group.

· 42% increase in stores owned by multisite Franchisees to 364 (April 2015: 257)

Matthew Clark Highlights

· 4.9% increase in revenue from 7 October to 1 May to £497.0m (corresponding prior period £474.0m)

· 18% increase in adjusted EBITDA to £18.1m (corresponding prior period £15.3m)

· 2.9% increase in outlets supplied and new customers