Tragus to grow Strada and Cafe Rouge presence in 2009

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Café rouge, Tragus ltd., Bella italia

Tragus to grow Strada and Cafe Rouge presence in 2009
The Tragus Group says it will continue its expansion plans over the next year after reporting strong sales for 2007/08.

The Tragus Group is planning to open 20 new Cafe Rouge and Strada restaurants in the next year following strong sales for 2007/08.

The restaurant operator, which also owns Bella Italia and the Belgo and Huxleys brands, saw sales rise 66 per cent to £247.8m in the 12 months to May 25 2008, driven mostly by the acquisition of Strada which it bought along with Belgo from Richard Caring at the end of 2007.

Pre-tax profits for the group rose to £44m from £28m the previous year which the group partly attributed to "an ongoing focus on service".

Tragus​ Chief Executive Graham Turner said: "This has been a year of ongoing growth for our Group despite a more difficult economic backdrop and pressure on input costs. We are pleased to be working with both BAA and Center Parcs to enhance our portfolio.

"We are looking forward to further organic growth through all three key brands whilst focusing on growing Strada and Cafe Rouge across the UK. Our diverse portfolio across the UK provides a wide choice of casual dining for the consumer, leaving us well positioned to meet the tightening economic UK outlook."

The Bella Italia brand also performed well for the group with sales up 20 per cent and new restaurants opening in six locations, including Croydon, Norwich and Manchester Arndale.

In total, Tragus opened 36 new restaurants between May 2007 and May 2008, including eight across four Center Parcs sites. It said it would continue to develop its brands over the coming year and would cope with the rising costs of food and drink by "re-tendering of contracts and modification of menus."

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