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Gloucestershire Business News

Wagamama boost not enough to increase sales at Restaurant Group

The restaurant chain that owns Frankie and Benny's, Wagamama and Chiquitos have reported a fall in like-for-like sales for the 2018 financial year.

The Restaurant Group said overall sales were up one per cent to £686million, but on a like-for-like basis they fell by two per cent.

Profit before tax fell to £53.2 million, down from £57.8 million in 2017, while the statutory profit before tax also fell, down to £13.9million from £28.2 million.

The Restaurant Group operate more than 650 outlets across the UK and said that the 2018 financial year was a "pivotal" one for the group, due to the acquisition of Wagamama for £559million.

Andy McCue, Chief Executive Officer, said: "We have made significant progress in 2018, acquiring a differentiated, high growth business in Wagamam, opening a record number of new sites in both our Pubs and Concessions businesses, and driving improved like‐for‐like sales momentum in the Leisure business throughout 2018.

"We now have a business that is orientated strongly towards growth and we continue to focus on delivering shareholder value."

The group operate restaurants at both the Brewery in Cheltenham - where there is a Frankie and Benny's and Chiquitos and at the Gloucester Quays, where there is a Wagamama.

They also operate a Frankie and Benny's on the Cattle Market in Gloucester and a Wagamama in Cheltenham House on Clarence Street.

Group chairman Debbie Hewitt, also echoed the view of the CEO in regards to the importance of the Wagamama capture.

She said: "This has been a pivotal year for the Group, with progress on our strategic initiatives, improved like‐for‐like sales momentum in our Leisure business, growth in our Pubs and Concessions business, and a transformational acquisition that accelerates our momentum in growth segments.

"We continue to benefit from strong cash generation and a healthy balance sheet. The Board is confident that we have a robust plan and the focus and rigour to deliver value for shareholders in what is a challenging consumer environment."

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