ENERGY/HVAC

Gordon Brothers Group forms GB Energy Partners

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Boston — Restructuring and investment firm Gordon Brothers Group has acquired oil and gas appraisal company Appraisal Systems, and will use the acquisition to propel the launch of GB Energy Partners.

GB Energy Partners combines the energy expertise of Gordon Brothers Group, Emerald Technology Valuations and ASI into one comprehensive appraisal and disposition platform.

“Following on the heels of the Emerald Technology Valuations acquisition last year, the acquisition of ASI now allows Gordon Brothers Group to provide one appraisal, disposition and lending platform focused on energy,” said Kenneth Frieze, president of Gordon Brothers Group. “The formation of GB Energy Partners consolidates Gordon Brothers Group’s expertise across the six major areas of energy: oil, gas, coal, biofuels, solar and wind.”

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OPERATIONS

Newk’s Eatery names director of development; 12 restaurants on tap

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Jackson, Miss. — Fresh casual restaurant brand Newk’s Eatery announced the hire of two new support center team members who will assist in the national expansion of the brand.

After nine years in business, Newk’s Eatery has entered a renewed growth mode, with 12 new restaurant locations planned to open before year end 2013. Newk’s currently operates and franchises 59 units in 11 states.

Gary Brem, a 34-year food service construction veteran, has been named director of development, and Klara Smith, a 15-year legal industry professional, has been chosen as the company’s general counsel.

Brem will be handling concept-to-completion development of Newk’s expanding locations, including evaluating and recommending real estate sites for franchisee’s and company restaurants. Smith will support operational growth and development of new stores in the Newk’s system.

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News

Restoration Hardware continues upward momentum

BY CSA STAFF

Restoration Hardware plans to open full line design galleries in Greenwich, Atlanta and Los Angeles in 2014, and is currently in negotiations to open more than 30 locations in other key markets. The next generation full line design galleries will be larger and showcase the company’s assortment and new businesses.

The company believes it can open more than 10 locations a year, beginning in 2015, following second quarter results for the period ended Aug. 3, which saw comparable store sales increase 26% on top of a 31% increase in comparable store sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2012.

The company’s net revenues for the quarter increased 30% to $382.1 million from $292.9 million for the prior-year quarter, on top of a 24% increase in net revenues for the second quarter of fiscal 2012.

"Due to the current strength of our business, the continued evolution of our Source Book model and the enhanced ability to connect with our customers through digital and electronic marketing, we are moving to a once per year mailing of our Source Books,” said Gary Friedman, chairman, creator, curator, and co-CEO. “We believe this decision will result in a step change effect in our earnings and cash flow model, allowing us to reach double-digit operating margins and free cash flow positive significantly ahead of our prior expectations. We are eliminating the mailing of our Fall 2013 Source Books and plan to mail an annual edition each Spring. Concurrently, we are raising our earnings estimates for the remainder of 2013 to reflect our current business trends and the associated cost savings."

Direct revenues increased 33% in the quarter on top of the 29% increase in direct revenues for the second quarter of fiscal 2012.

The company operates a total of 70 retail stores, consisting of 62 galleries, 5 full line design galleries and 3 baby and child galleries as well as 17 outlet stores throughout the United States and Canada.

“Our business momentum remains very strong and provides good visibility into the back half of the year. Our expected top line growth, coupled with a more efficient cost structure, positions us to drive a significant and sustainable expansion in our operating margins, and more than 60% growth in our adjusted EPS for this year. This latest step change to our business gives us even more confidence in the power of our model and in our ability to surpass the long-term financial goals we have set for our company, including adjusted earnings growth in the mid to high twenties annually,” added Carlos Alberini, Co-CEO.

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