Like-for-like sales declined at The Restaurant Group by 2.0% for the year ended 30 December 2018, with total revenue up 1.0% to £686m.
The business says the sales decline reflects the annualisation of the investments it made in price and proposition across its Leisure brands in 2017, most notably the acquisition of Wagamama at the end of 2018. The impact of the adverse weather and the World Cup in 2018 is also cited, but were partially offset by a strong like-for-like sales performance from both its Pubs and Concessions businesses.
With declining like-for-like sales and sector-specific inflationary cost pressures, the group’s adjusted operating profit fell by 6.9% to £55.4m. Statutory profit before tax fell to £13.9m (£28.2m in 2017).
“We have made significant progress in 2018, acquiring a differentiated, high growth business in Wagamama, 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,” says outgoing CEO Andy McCue, who is staying on at the business until a successor is found. “We now have a business that is orientated strongly towards growth and we continue to focus on delivering shareholder value.”
The Restaurant Group expects to spend £55m to £60m on development expenditure in 2019
- At least seven new pubs
- Between five and 10 new Concessions sites in 2019, including the initial expenditure relating to Manchester terminal redevelopment
- At least six new Wagamama sites
- Eight Leisure site conversions to Wagamama
- Roll-out of delivery kitchens across the enlarged group and pilot of Wagamama Grab and Go concept
The full financial results can be found here.