The Restaurant Group plans more expansion after strong 2010

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Restaurant group, Rate of return, Investment

The Restaurant Group operates 389 restaurants and pub restaurants
The Restaurant Group operates 389 restaurants and pub restaurants
The Restaurant Group, the operator behind Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito and Garfunkel’s, has shown a strong start to 2001 with a double digit increase in profits compared to last year.

In the 53 weeks to 2 January 2011, the group saw revenue rise 7 per cent to £466m, while pre-tax profits increased by 12 per cent to reach £56m.

Although it faced some challenges – mainly the impact on business of the ash cloud in April and bad weather at the end of the year – the company said it continued to make “profitable progress”, opening 24 new restaurants in 2010.

Hospitality value and service

These, it said, are trading well, prompting the company to predict a similar rate of openings this year. The Restaurant Group (TRG) currently operates 389 restaurants and pub restaurants.

Andrew Page, chief executive, said: “We are continuing to focus our efforts on giving our customers great value, service and hospitality; sticking to our areas of expertise, delivering high returns on investment and further strengthening our market positions.

“The Restaurant Group is in good shape, we have an outstanding team of people and we look forward to making further profitable progress this year.”

TRG sales and investment

The company said that its leisure division, which incorporates Frankie & Benny's, Chiquito, Garfunkel's and its pub restaurants, performed well, delivering a 6 per cent increase in revenues and profits.

During 2010, TRG poured £20.7m into development investments, and a further £11.3m into refurbishment and maintenance.

Overall, the company increased its cashflow to £88m in 2010 and decreased its net debt to £47m.

In 2011 so far, like-for-like sales have grown by 3 per cent on January and February last year, indicating a strong start to the year.

‘Consumer confidence will return’

Looking forward to the coming year, TRG expects to face continued cost pressures, including a higher level of inflation than 2010 which will hike its food and beverage costs by around 2-3 per cent.

“We are planning on the basis that the outlook for consumer-facing businesses continues to remain as challenging during 2011 as it was last year and we have framed our plans accordingly,” said Page.

The company said it expects to survive these challenges by sticking to its areas of expertise, focusing on value and service, adding more “high quality” new venues to its portfolio, and keeping a close eye on costs and operational efficiency.

Page said this strategy would help the firm strengthen its market position and deliver long-term sustainable growth. He said consumer confidence will ultimately return and the company is positioning itself to benefit from this upturn when it arrives.

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