Business news in brief: Travelodge| Premier Foods

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Travelodge has started the search for a new chief executive after Grant Hearn announced he was moving on after ten years of service with the hotel chain.

The former boss of Hilton UK & Ireland was chief executive from 2003 until July 2010 when he became chairman. He resumed his previous role in April 2012 to oversee a financial restructuring that saw Travelodge’s three main lenders take control of the business, which runs 521 hotels.

Hearn said: “Travelodge has been an integral part of my life over the past ten years and this has been an incredibly tough decision for me to make.”

Glasgow bar bought in seven–figure deal

A POPULAR watering hole in Glasgow’s trendy Ashton Lane has changed hands in a “seven-figure” deal.

Brel has been bought by Oli Norman, founder of public relations firm Dada, and local businessman Stephen White.

The business partners, who also own Sloans bar and restaurant in Glasgow city centre, plan to invest £300,000 in a “phased refurbishment programme” at Brel.

Norman said: “I live round the corner and have had many a great night in Brel so it is a real joy to take over ownership of a much-loved city institution.”

Top brands help aid Premier recovery

Loss-making Premier Foods, the home of Bisto and Mr Kipling, boosted its turnaround yesterday by revealing it was on track for a better-than-expected year.

Cost savings and a sixth consecutive quarter of growth for its frontline brands, which also include Ambrosia and Batchelors, meant losses for the six months to 30 June were cut by around half to £23.5 million.

Its shares jumped by 6.2 per cent after Premier added that profits at a trading level should be around the top of City expectations for the whole of 2013.

Restaurants reaping rewards from Open

TURNOVER at two restaurants in East Lothian jumped by a third thanks to the Open golf championship at Muirfield.

Unchained Restaurants said it had notched up its “best ever week of trading” after The Golf Inn at Gullane and The Goblin Ha’ in Gifford posted revenues of £100,000 last week, compared with a normal week of between £60,000 and £75,000.

Rob Reeley, who runs Unchained with his wife, Jules, said: “Our sales were the best we’ve recorded in a week, so we are very delighted at the additional trade The Open brought to East Lothian.”

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