Azzurri Group, the company behind Zizzi, ASK Italian, Coco di Mama and Radio Alice, saw sales increase 12.5% to £262.8m for the year ended 2 July 2017, according to its latest financial results.
Adjusted EBITDA also grew 8.6% to £38m, with a margin fall of 0.5% to 14.5%. Zizzi and ASK Italian in particular achieved their fifth consecutive like-for-like and EBITDA growth.
During the period, the company opened 17 new sites, including five Zizzis, four ASK Italians, six Coco di Mamas and two Radio Alices, and refurbished 31. The company also saw an increase in sales from delivery.
Radio Alice is a new brand for Azzurri Group, in collaboration with Berbere Pizzeria owners Matteo and Salvatore Aloe and Gail’s Bakery co-founder Emma King.
“2017 was another successful year for Azzurri, as the group consolidates its position as a leading player in the UK eating out market,” says Azzurri Group CEO Steve Holmes.
“Sales increased by 12.5% with good like-for-like growth, as our brands continued to gain market share.
“Group adjusted EBITDA grew by 8.6%, while the careful management of industry wide cost pressures meant our margin declined only slightly to 14.5%.
“Our core brands, Zizzi and ASK Italian, have both delivered their fifth consecutive years of like-for-like and EBITDA growth.
“We have continued to expand our estate with a total of 17 successful new openings in the year, bringing our total number of sites to 280.
“Investment in our existing estate is fundamental to our strategy and ensures our brands remain relevant in today’s market; 31 sites have undergone refurbishments, which are delivering very strong returns.
“Menu innovation is also a key part of our strategy and has been instrumental in us remaining competitive in the market.
“We are constantly evolving our menus and introducing new dishes so that our offer stays fresh and interesting to consumers and their changing tastes.
“For example, we have broadened our range of vegan dishes across our brands and introduced a new pizza range in ASK Italian.
“Takeaway and home delivery is becoming increasingly important for Azzurri’s brands; it is our belief that delivery can fulfill new at-home occasions rather than leading to the cannibalisation of our restaurants.
“Last year we increased our sales both through Deliveroo and owned channels, and we have since invested significantly in developing state-of-the-art takeaway packaging for Zizzi.”