Business Leader March - April 2019 - Page 8

LATEST NEWS Waitrose announce shop closures following financial troubles ADVERTORIAL CASTLE CELEBRATES BUSINESS LEADERS WITH GROWTH AMBITIONS T he South West has a reputation for being home to some of the UK’s most exciting businesses and for leading the country in some of the most advanced innovation and technology industries. This growth, and the resulting success, has a knock-on effect on other businesses in the area, and growth is something everyone aspires to. Castle Business Finance, based in Portishead, has been a champion of businesses since they were formed in 2016, however, the team led by Chief Executive Jeremy Coombes has been instrumental in making successful growth a reality for businesses nationwide for many years. Jeremy explained: “A common feature I’ve found with all businesses I work with is that no matter how far they’ve come the majority will always be looking for the next growth step, the next product or reaching the next profit milestone. “Growth is a natural goal for business leaders, however it is one that often needs investment that can take away focus from other areas of the business – mainly in terms of time and money. Businesses will often need to secure some level of investment in order to support growth, particularly when they reach the end of the start-up phase. “We’re being told more and more by prospective borrowers that high street banks are changing their lending criteria and it continues to be harder to secure funding through traditional 6 means. We do things differently at Castle and don’t rely on the same box-ticking that the banks often do. This means that we look at each opportunity on its own individual merit and will be able to see the potential and provide help when other doors have closed. “By helping these smaller businesses in the delicate formative period of their trajectory, we’re helping our local and national economy and contributing to the success of UK business in a global market. The results of providing appropriate, tailored and well - managed funding to a business in its early life can have far-reaching positive outcomes. “That’s also why we wanted to be part of Business Leader’s National Awards this year and celebrate the best scale- up businesses in the country. Despite all the Brexit scare-mongering, we see the next 12 months as an exciting if challenging time for business growth in the UK, and we’re championing the business leaders with the ambition and courage to go for growth.” For more information on Castle Business Finance, visit www.castlebusinessfinance.com or call 01275 390660. Retail giant Waitrose has announced that it will be closing five stores across the UK, after owners, the John Lewis Partnership (JLP), decided that the sites were no longer commercially viable. The company has announced that deals have been signed to take over shops across the Midlands, South Wales and the South West, all of which are to be completed by June this year. Over 400 partners are employed across these five stores, and Waitrose has announced that they will be looking to avoid redundancies where possible. As JLP anticipated, their profit before tax was substantially lower than last year at £160m, down £132.8m (45.4%). This was principally due to the significant operating profit decline within John Lewis. Ramsdens Holdings announce acquisition of 18 new stores Ramsdens, the diversified financial services provider and jewellery retailer, has announced the acquisition of a portfolio of 18 stores. They will trade as The Money Shop and have been acquired from Instant Cash Loans Limited for £1.5m. Peter Kenyon, CEO of Ramsdens, comments: “We are delighted to announce this value-enhancing acquisition and welcome our new colleagues and customers to Ramsdens. “Ramsdens has a proven track record of acquiring stores and quickly integrating them into the Group and we will now prioritise our resources on these acquired stores. We are confident that this acquisition will deliver value for the Group’s shareholders as well as the local communities where they operate.” Issue 7: March - April 2019