Hartford heads to the City

22 June 2004
Hartford heads to the City

London based Hartford Group is on the acquisition trail after moving into profit for the first time.

Last week the group confirmed the acquisition of Hodgsons wine bar in London's Chancery Lane and said it planned to finalise contracts on two other "classic" City bar sites this month.

Hartford's chief executive, James Kowszun, confirmed that significant changes would be taking place at one of the new sites and that gradual improvements were planned for the others. "Only one site will require open heart surgery," he added.

The group, which owns the chain Jamie's Bars, announced that turnover for the six months to 28 April was on a par with last year at £6.1m, not counting disposals. Pre-tax profits stood at £148,000, compared with a loss of £282,000 the previous year.

The group's chairman, Stephen Thomas, put the turnaround in the company's fortunes down to rationalisation and restructuring focused on better buying, cost control and improved training.

"The group is now a London-focused, drinks-led licensed retailer," he added.

Sales for the second half of this year are already up 4.1% year-on-year.

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