Strong growth in the air sector has helped drive a 4.8% hike in full-year UK revenue for Starbucks and Upper Crust travel sites operator SSP.The increase comprised 2.1% like-for-like growth and net contract gains of 2.7%, driven by an increase in UK airport passenger numbers and greater spend per passenger. Total UK revenue in the year ending 30 September was £787.7m.The business, which recently opened its first Knead concept store at London’s Euston station in partnership with Paul Hollywood, reported that trading in the rail sector continued to be soft, however.Underlying operating profit for the UK rose 23.2% on a constant currency basis to £82.1m, and the underlying operating margin increased by 160 points to 10.4%, helped by the strong revenue growth in the air sector, improved margins and labour efficiencies.Activity has included a more standardised approach to labour forecasting and scheduling through a programme called Better Service Planning.“We have rolled out the new system across the UK and initial results are encouraging,” said the business. “We are now undertaking further pilot studies across a number of other countries. We are also trialling self-scan and self-serve checkouts at a number of units, both of which can contribute to greater efficiency and the customer experience.”The business has also recently introduced a new premium range in partnership with celebrity chef James Martin as part of its UK on-board rail offer. This includes hotpots, British ham and Barber cheese baguettes.Openings have included a new-look Ritazza at Euston station, a Camden Food Company in Dubai airport and an Upper Crust at Brisbane airport. SSP reported that the first Knead store had been well-received by customers, and that it had secured a deal with Gordon Ramsay to open a new grab-and-go concept in the air sector.At group level, the business reported full-year underlying operating profit up 27% to £162.9m on revenue up 11.7% to £2,379.1m.“SSP has delivered another good performance in 2017,” said group CEO Kate Swann. “We have grown our presence across the world, particularly in North America and Asia and are pleased with the performance of our new business in India. We have invested significant capital in the business this year, our highest to date, and at the same time we are returning cash to shareholders.“The new financial year has started in line with our expectations and, whilst a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, we continue to be well-placed to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets.”
From a black-eyed beauty to a fringe-covered tree, this year’s Georgia Gold Medal plant winners are earning their gold with color, deer tolerance and adaptability to poor soils. Since 1993, each year an elite group of green industry and academic professionals from across Georgia have select outstanding ornamental plants in five categories. The Georgia Gold Medal awards are aimed at getting deserving but underused plants into Georgia landscapes.And the 2011 winners, by category, are Black-eyed Susan (annual), Nippon lily (perennial), camellia (evergreen shrub), nuttall oak (deciduous) and fringetree (native plant).Black-eyed Susan For the annual gold medal, three black-eyed Susan cultivars were chosen: Indian Summer, Denver Daisy and Irish Eyes. Indian Summer has golden yellow petals surrounding a brown center cone. Denver Daisy has two-toned petals creating a golden halo around a large chocolate-russet center. Irish Eyes have bright-yellow petals around a green cone. All blooms attract butterflies.These plants bloom from early summer until first frost. Standing 24 to 36 inches tall, they are perfect for the middle of a flowerbed or planted together in a large group. The flowers make great cut flowers. Nippon LilyLiven up the winter woodland with Nippon lily’s bold evergreen foliage. Deer and drought resistant, its green leaves create a 2-foot-wide clump. They are similar to amaryllis leaves. Spring blooms are barely noticeable, but each bloom turns into a fat, bright-red berry in late fall, creating a berry cluster that contrasts with rich green leaves and the brown mulch of winter. Plant Nippon lily in slightly moist to dry shade about 12 to 16 inches apart. CamelliaThere are two great camellia varieties to choose from – Japanese camellia and sasanqua camellia. Sasanquas flower in late fall and are less likely to suffer from early freezes than japonicas, which bloom in winter. The sasanqua drops its flower petals individually, which gives it an extended display both on the plant and on the ground. Sasanquas are more tolerant of sunny conditions. Both grow best with filtered afternoon shade.Camellias will reach 5 to 20 feet high with an equal width. They are commonly used in screens, hedges or as formal foundation plantings. Flower color varies from white to pink to red (including mottled flowers) and includes single and double flowers. Plant camellias in the spring in a neutral to slightly acidic soil amended with organic matter.Nuttall OakOne of the many red oaks, nuttall oak is an important species for wildlife management due to its heavy acorn production. It adds 1 to 2 feet of new growth per year. It produces few surface roots and can be planted more closely to sidewalks, pavements and buildings than some other oak varieties. It grows to about 60 feet with an 80-foot crown. Nuttall oak can tolerate a wide variety of soil conditions including clay, loamy and sandy soils. It prefers acidic and well-drained soils, but can tolerate flooding and is moderately drought tolerant. Full sun is best for rapid growth, particularly in the first few years following planting. FringetreeFringetree is native to the U.S. from eastern Texas up to Maryland. One of the most beautiful flowering small trees, fringetree can bloom as long as six weeks in the spring. At the end of the bloom period, emerging lime-green leaves accent the snowy blooms for an impressive finale. It is adaptable to a variety of light and soil conditions, although full sun ensures optimum flowering.Fringetree attracts a variety of insects while in bloom and birds and small mammals when fruiting in late summer. It has a sweet fragrance and bears brown oval drupes that turn purple in late summer. It prefers moist, well-drained, fertile soil but tolerates a wide variety, including red clay. It adapts well to urban environments.
Cleverley knows changes are inevitable given the present situation but, speaking ahead of Wednesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final with Sunderland at Old Trafford, the England international has adopted a philosophical stance. “If results are poor and performances are below par you are going to take some stick for it,” Cleverley told Sky Sports News. “It is all part and parcel of being a Manchester United player. “It takes a bit of getting used to but I am growing a thick skin. “Since I have been at the club I have always had three or four top midfielders to battle it out for a place with. “I am sure we will be looking to strengthen the squad like we continuously need to do. That is no different. “I am just taking it as it comes.” Even such a club loyalist as Gary Neville has reached the conclusion Moyes must bring in some fresh blood this month. And reports have emerged in Brazil that talks are under way with Bayern Munich defender Dante, whose contract with the Champions League winners is not due to expire until 2016. Speaking to Fox Sports Radio in his homeland, Dante, who is expected to be part of his country’s World Cup squad this summer, was coy about a transfer. “We have to wait until January 31,” he said. However, it was also claimed Dante confirmed discussions with United representatives were ongoing. Given the player has also figured at left-back and midfield, two other problem positions, the attraction is obvious, even if Dante was a relative unknown when he arrived at Bayern in 2012 from Borussia Monchengladbach for a bargain £4million. Moyes is desperate to bring some improvement to a campaign on the brink of total meltdown following Sunday’s defeat at Chelsea. That setback, scarred by such poor defending, has left United six points adrift of the final Champions League slot, with next to no chance of retaining a title they won by 11 points last season. Failure to overturn Sunderland’s first-leg advantage at Old Trafford would be another hammer blow, robbing United of their most realistic chance of silverware. And there is no guarantee either Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie will be available to help Moyes out, even though both are on the comeback trail following groin and thigh problems respectively. With skipper Nemanja Vidic definitely out after his red card at Stamford Bridge, it would be no surprise if the atmosphere around the United camp was gloomy. But Cleverley said there can be no such navel-gazing and he is confident the season can be salvaged. “We can’t let it get our heads down,” he said. “You have to feel for the new manager, he has had no luck at all. But we are not going to feel sorry for ourselves. “We have to stand up and be counted. “We are still confident it will come back and we will come out of the other side of this tough period and be stronger for it. There is too much quality in the squad and we work too hard for it not to. “We have had to rethink our targets for the year but this club is about winning trophies. “We are still well in the Champions League and are in the semi-final of the cup. “We have to shoot ourselves up the league, then hopefully we can end the season positively.” Midfielder Tom Cleverley has admitted he is growing a thick skin to cope with the avalanche of criticism that has come his way this season – and expects Manchester United to strengthen their squad this month. With United falling well below their usual high standards, Cleverley has been singled out as one of those being responsible, according to some an inadequate presence in an underachieving midfield. Little wonder the Red Devils have been strongly linked with a move for Chelsea’s out-of-favour Spain star Juan Mata, with manager David Moyes also expected to watch Borussia Monchengladbach’s Patrick Herrmann on Friday. Press Association
Bio ELLSWORTH — The Springers Gymnastics boys’ team has completed its season with two successful runs at a team state championship. The Level 4 and Level 5 teams from Springers Gymnastics Center both took home the first place trophies from the state championship held at the Bath YMCA on Sunday.The team from Springers brought nine gymnasts, with five Level 5’s and four Level 4’s. Three teams entered the team competition at Level 4. The Springers team edged out the team from Maine Academy in Westbrook by a mere three-tenths of a point. Finishing third was the team from Gymnation, in Kennebunk. Final scores were: Springers 254.9; Maine Academy 254.6; Gymnation 247.9.Four teams were entered in the Level 5 team competition. Springers handily took this competition by a spread of over five points over teams from the Bath YMCA, Maine Academy and Andy Valley from Lewiston. Final team scores were: Springers 168.7; Bath YMCA 163.5; Maine Academy 159.8; Andy Valley 157.0.Individually, the Springers boys walked away with several individual and all-around championships.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textThe Springers boys succeeded despite two team members being touch-and-go as to whether they would be able to compete.In individual meet highlights for Springers, Owen Baya is the Maine Rings Champion at Level 4, age 6-7 and Tyler Bechtold is the Level 4, age 8-9 all-around champion, along with taking first on pommel horse, parallel bars and horizontal bar.Andrew Gillette is the floor and rings champion in the same age group. At Level 5, age 7-9, Nate Mason is the pommel horse champion.Kyle Adams is the Level 5, age 12-plus all-around champion. He also took first on pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar.Level 5 athletes can qualify for the 2011 Region 6 Championships scheduled for April 10 in Braintree, Mass.Springers will have three of its Level 5’s represent the state of Maine at the meet: Nate Mason, Austin Snow and Ethan McVay.For more sports news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American. Latest posts by admin (see all) admin Hancock County Court News Nov. 3 thorugh Dec. 11 – January 22, 2015 Latest Posts State budget vs. job creation – January 22, 2015 House fire in Winter Harbor – October 27, 2014