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Challenger brand in the cold drinks market, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee is ready for the big time, with its new 1 litre carton being listed in over 300 Sainsbury’s stores.

Jimmy’s is a family-owned company, specialising in original-flavoured iced coffee and a rather unique take on marketing.
 
Its one litre carton is just the latest in a series of new developments that includes a follow-up promotional rap video, entitled ‘Who Got The Beans?’ which perfectly reflects founder Jimmy Cregan’s personal approach to marketing and content production to help spread the iced coffee word.
 
It was publicity from Jimmy’s first rap video, ‘Keep Your Chin Up’ that sealed the deal with Sainsbury’s, and the supermarket has stocked the iced coffee blend in the Mocha 330ml carton ever since.
 
Five years ago, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee was undergoing taste tests in the back of Jimmy’s sister’s café in Bournemouth. Today, the business is set to exceed sales of 4.5m units this year with one carton sold every seven seconds. The continued relationship with Sainsbury’s is yet another exciting progression for Jimmy’s Iced Coffee.

Sporting goods manufacturer Grays of Cambridge, which was founded in 1855 is enjoying a new lease of life with its revenues edging closer to £30m for the last financial year.
 
The company is behind the Gray-Nicolls cricket brand used by England captain Alastair Cook, and also manufactures sports equipment for netball, hockey and rugby under the Gilbert and Grays brands.
 
The business reported turnover of £28.7m for the year ended 31 December 2015, newly filed accounts at Companies House have revealed, an increase of more than 28% from £22.4m a year earlier.
 
Profit before tax rose to £2.9m from £2.2m.
 
In a strategic report accompanying its accounts, Grays said it has been "successful in 2015 and is confident about prospects for 2016". It added that it continues to invest in its core business and is "adapting to changing market conditions".
 
Grays employed an average of 133 staff during the year, up from 122 in 2014.
Listed law firm Gateley has announced another acquisition, this time a property consultancy based in Birmingham.
 
The deal to acquire Hamer Associates is expected to be worth around £2m, comprising a £1m cash and shares deal, with the second tranche depending on how the business performs over the next two years.
 
The acquisition is the second purchase by Gateley since it went public – the first coming in April this year when it bought tax advice business Capitus for £2.7m.
 
Gateley chief executive Michael Ward said the acquisition continues the firm’s strategy to bring ‘complementary and specialist services’ in to the group.
 
Hamer Associates posted revenue of £1.2m and operating profit of £292,000 for the year ended 31 March 2016. Established 16 years ago, it advises on easements and wayleaves for utilities infrastructure, and compulsory purchase and compensation.
 
Gateley says the purchase allows it to offer clients a range of commercial property services.
 
The firm appears to have thrived since its decision to float: in July it announced pre-tax profits rose 12.2% to £11m for the year ended 30 April, on revenue up 10.2% to £67.1m. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 13.3% to £12.8m.
Rockar, the digital car retailer launched in 2012 by ex-Dixon Motors and Jamjar boss Simon Dixon, is using telematics to track test drives.
 
The firm has struck a deal with DCM Connected to track the 120 vehicles operated from Rockar stores at Westfields, Olympic Park and Bluewater shopping centre, Greenhithe.
 
The software provides staff with live mapping of each test drive and delivers analysis and feedback on customers’ driving behaviour.
 
It also monitors the mechanical health of the test cars, tracks them for security purposes and provides information in the event of an accident.
 
Paul Stokes, managing director of Rockar, said: “Rockar was founded to rejuvenate the car buying process, giving the customer clarity and choice.
 
“DCM Connected empowers both the customer and our Rockar Angels by arming them both with detailed mechanical and behavioural feedback.
 
“As a comprehensive telematics package it has depth, giving us unprecedented visibility over our fleet and allowing us to manage both the vehicles and the inherent risks associated with it.”
 
DCM Connected is part of Automotive and Insurance Solutions Group.
 
Rockar is expanding. In August it said it planned to open a digital Jaguar Land Rover showroom in the east London’s Westfield Stratford shopping centre to add to its existing Hyundai dealerships.
 
In July it received £5m investment from private equity firms Maven Capital Partners and NVM Private Equity to further expand the business.
 
Founder Dixon plans for eight Rockar stores in prime shopping centres, across up to six franchises.
The Fragrance Shop has reported a 5.5% increase in its full year like-for-like sales after trade was driven by a range of big-ticket scents.
 
With 179 UK shops, the retailer’s total sales rose by 9.4% to a record £105 million in the year to end March as it continued to expand its store portfolio. Online sales also grew year-on-year, rising by 38%.
 
The Fragrance Shop’s underlying profit increased by 9% to £14.4 million in the period.
 
The retailer said sales of Dior’s Sauvage surpassed all expectations, while there was also high demand for other big-ticket scents, including fragrances from Boss, Gucci and Marc Jacobs.
 
During the year The Fragrance Shop opened 14 new stores. It plans to launch another 20 new stores in the current financial year and said it remains on track to open its 200th UK store during 2017.
 
The retailer, which employs just under 1,100 people, said trading had remained strong following the EU referendum vote.
 
Michelle Edmondson, retail director of The Fragrance Shop, said: “During another strong year of trading at The Fragrance Shop, we continued to grow both headline and like-for-like sales, increasing our market share in a highly competitive market.
 
“Trading has remained robust in the wake of the Brexit vote in late June and we are experiencing something of a ‘fragrance effect’ – in these uncertain times we believe people view fragrance as an accessible luxury. People may be foregoing extravagant purchases, but they can easily and affordably invest in a new fragrance to help them feel great.”
 
The Fragrance Shop said My Fragrance App, the ‘fragrance finder’ for smartphones launched last year, has been well received by customers.
 
It also reported strong take-up of its same-day delivery service, developed in partnership with Shutl, which lets customers order and receive their fragrance in as little as an hour.
 
Sanjay Vadera, chief executive of The Fragrance Shop, said: “Our offer has never been more compelling and our customers are telling us that they love our product selection, our service and advice and our multi-channel proposition, which includes our within-the-hour delivery service and personalised app.
 
“Our focus over the next year will be on bringing this combination to even more people as we approach 200 stores in the UK. We’re also confident of enjoying another successful Christmas, our key trading period of the year.”
 
The retailer said Diesel BAD and Hugo Boss’s The Scent Her are expected to be top-sellers this Christmas, alongside perfumes from Chanel, Viktor & Rolf and Dior.
Manufacturing firm RDM Group has given the first public demonstration of its full size driverless vehicle.
 
The company employs 65 people at its base in the heart of the city and debuted its Pod Zero vehicle at the CENEX LCV (low carbon vehicle) 2016 trade show in full autonomous mode.
 
Visitors to the show at the Millbrook Proving Ground were able to see the vehicle move around a specially laid out track that is designed to showcase its versatility.
 
The demonstration drives represent a major breakthrough in the driverless technology sector and will put RDM in front of its rivals, both domestically and internationally, some of which are up to 10 times its size.
 
David Keene, who founded the company in 1993, commented: “It’s a massive moment for our business and in the UK’s desire to lead the way when it comes to driverless vehicle technology.
 
“The company has invested millions of pounds in the technology and our team has created a vehicle which can operate in total ‘autonomous’ mode. This means that there is no driver or human controlling the vehicle, a UK first when it comes to ‘first and last mile’ transport solutions.”
 
The firm recruited some of the leading experts in the industry to help develop the vehicle and a special version has been designed specifically for the show, which is transparent from the wheels up, therefore offering a perfect view of the inside.

The company is now looking to commercialise the technology.

RDM has developed autonomous pods that will be available in two, four and eight seater variations and are targeted at city transport authorities, shopping centres, airports and academic campuses.
 
RDM can manufacture up to 200 of the pods a year at its Coventry manufacturing site and this capability could grow if demand for the vehicle materialises.
Giggling Quid restaurants has lost its marketing manager Adam Webb as he strikes out on his own with a new restaurant venture.
 
Webb told the catering press this week that he is planning a national roll out of his Thaiworks takeaway restaurant, currently based in Bournemouth.
 
The new restaurant, which opens this week will operate 7 days a week, delivering to homes within a four-mile radius.
 
The company has a second opening planned within the year and a further two acquisitions in the following 12 months, before initiating a crowdfunding offering to support a nationwide rollout.
 
Webb said: “There’s a strong demand for quality Thai takeaway food which peaks at the end of the working day and for party celebrations at weekends.
 
“The plan is to bringing true quality food and service into the home delivery market place.”
 
The menu, which can be viewed below, features classic Thai dishes of red, green and Massaman curries, plus innovative modern items such as cheeseburger spring rolls.
Bristol University spinout Micrima which develops technology for breast cancer detection has secured £2.6m through its latest funding round.
 
The company was established in 2006 to develop and commercialise microwave radar breast imaging technology.
 
The new funding will support the accelerated development of the company's patented MARIA technology, which aims to enable safer, more comfortable and more accessible breast screening for women across the world.
 
Investment came from a mix of pre-existing institutional and individual investors, including the Venture Founders platform, and re-investing shareholders including Technology Venture Partners.
 
Roy Johnson, Micrima's executive chairman, said: "Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women in many countries. The problem is that many tumours are not discovered early enough, largely due to the difficulty in discriminating between cancers and dense tissue using current imaging technology.
 
"Using harmless radio-waves, the MARIA imaging system is capable of detecting tumours and allows routine and repeated scanning without any of the safety or comfort concerns associated with x-ray mammography."
 
Gloucestershire law firm BPE Solicitors advised on the funding round, led by partner Tim Ward.
 
Ward said: "We were delighted to advise Micrima at such a significant time in the company's development. At BPE, we enjoy working with such innovative businesses to help shape their growth and progression."
Skoda UK has appointed former Head of Marketing for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Kirsten Stagg as its new Head of Marketing, with effect from 17 October 2016.
 
Reporting to Duncan Movassaghi, Director of Skoda UK, Stagg will be responsible for product marketing and all brand and model communications, with a remit covering media planning and buying, advertising, digital, retailer support, CRM, events and sponsorship.
 
Stagg joined the Volkswagen Group as a graduate in 1998 and has worked for Skoda, Audi and Volkswagen Passenger Cars.
 
Commenting on the appointment, Duncan Movassaghi, Director of Skoda UK, said: “I am delighted to be welcoming Kirsten to the management team. She joins the brand at an exciting time as we prepare for the arrival of our incredible Kodiaq SUV. I have no doubt her exceptional experience will help drive our brand forwards.”
 
For her part Stagg says, “I’m thrilled to be joining Skoda. The brand’s growth over the past five years has been the envy of the industry. With fantastic new models on the way I’m looking forward to working with everyone at ŠKODA to drive the brand further forward.”

21.09.16 - Update. Boporan Holdings has confirmed the purchase of Bernard Matthews in a pre-pack deal that is likely to secure the future of over 2,000 jobs.


2 Sisters Food Group has refused to comment on reports it is about to gobble up Bernard Matthews later this week.
 
Private equity firm Rutland Partners was said to be ready to offload the turkey giant to 2 Sisters in a pre-pack administration deal, according to The Telegraph.
 
The deal will protect the future of all 2,000 Bernard Matthews employees, the newspaper claimed.
 
Interest in the future of Bernard Matthews was sparked in June, when Rutland appointed financial advisory firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers to look for possible buyers.
 
The company’s small pension scheme will move into the Government’s Pension Protection Fund, which will most likely result in a cut in pension funds, financial experts claimed.
 
Unite the union, which has 450 members at Bernard Matthews, expressed concern over the development.
 
Unite regional officer Mark Walker said that it was currently “having discussions with the management of Bernard Matthews on a number of issues about the future of the firm”. He said he wouldn’t be able to comment further until those discussions had concluded.
 
Bernard Matthews has encountered a number of loss-making years in the wake of declining poultry sales.
 
The turkey giant, which operates around 400 farms across Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire, was hurt by a bird flu outbreak in 2007. It also suffered from Jamie Oliver’s attack on its Turkey Twizzlers a decade ago.
 
In January, the turkey giant posted a turnover of £277M for the year ending June 2015, down from £307M the year before.
 
The company emailed its staff at the end of June to inform them it was up for sale.
 
2 Sisters owner Boparan Holdings has been on the acquisition trail in recent months. June’s acquisition of restaurant chain Giraffe from Tesco, followed the purchase of Grove Farm Turkeys in April, and restaurant brand Cinnamon Collection in January.
 
A spokeswoman for Rutland Partners said: “it is not the company's policy to comment on speculation in the media”.

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