The Restaurant Group posts a loss for its 2019 interim results.
The company owns Frankie & Benny’s, TRG Concessions, Brunning & Price, Chiquito, Coast to Coast, Firejacks, Garfunkel’s, Joe’s Kitchen, and Wagamama’s, after a £559m takeover of the pan-Asian chain in late 2018.
Revenue for the group is up a huge 58.2% from £326.1m for the first half of 2018, to £515.9m for the first half of 2019.
However, The Restaurant Group also posted a pre-tax loss of £87.7m, compared to a profit of £12.2m last year. This is after the company took a £100m writedown on its Chiquito and Frankie & Benny’s brands.
Net debt increased to £316.8m, which is 13 times higher than in 2018, but cash flow doubled to £52.3m.
The Restaurant Group agreed to pay an interim dividend of 2.1p per share, but investors made a loss per share of 16.1p.
“We have traded well throughout the first half of the year, delivering 4% like-for-like sales growth, driven by the market outperformance of Wagamama and our Concessions and Pubs businesses,” says Debbie Hewitt, non-executive chairman of the Restaurant Group. “Our Leisure business delivered a marginal decline in like-for-like sales despite benefitting from the weaker comparatives following last year’s extreme weather and football World Cup. We continue to focus on improving our brand offerings and delivering the best possible experience to our customers whilst optimising our Leisure business to enhance the overall Group performance.
“We are mindful of the headwinds in the casual dining sector and the meaningful uncertainties created by the potential of a ‘no-deal Brexit’ and are planning with this in mind. However, our business is now better diversified and purposefully positioned to benefit from multiple opportunities for growth.
“I am pleased to welcome Andy Hornby as our new CEO, who is bringing a strong consumer, brand and people focus to the business.”
Andy Hornby, chief executive officer says, “I am delighted to have joined The Restaurant Group in August. Our three growth businesses of Wagamama, Concessions and Pubs are all out-performing the market and have potential for further growth. At the same time, we have an acute focus on optimising our Leisure business, through targeted operational initiatives and disciplined estate management.
Despite the well documented challenges facing the casual dining sector, the Group’s diversified set of brands provides firm foundations.”