D&D London reports 'important year of growth'

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

The LDC backed restaurant and hotel operator has some 'exciting projects' in the pipeline
The LDC backed restaurant and hotel operator has some 'exciting projects' in the pipeline
Following a renewed period of expansion and the opening of a number of new venues, restaurant, bar and hotel operator D&D London has reported a strong year of trading, with revenue and profits up across the group.

Year-on-year turnover was up by 5 per cent to £79m for the 12 months to 31 March 2013, while EBITDA grew by six per cent to £7.1m.

The business, which owns over 30 restaurants worldwide and is now backed by LDC (the private equity arm of Lloyds), saw cash profits after financing costs increase by 17 per cent to £4.9m, with particularly strong revenue performances in the UK at Kensington Place (up 9 per cent), Bluebird and Plateau (both up 8 per cent).

It was a 12-month period that saw a number of significant UK openings for the group. In London - 3 South Place and Angler restaurants in the South Place Hotel; and two restaurants (New Street Grill and Fish Market), a wine shop (New Street Wine Shop) and bar (Old Bengal Bar) in the Old Bengal Warehouse.

Critical acclaim

Earlier this year the group also launched its first venues outside of the capital, with Crafthouse and Angelica restaurants opening adjacent to the new Trinity Shopping Centre in Leeds.

D&D London’s chairman and chief executive Des Gunewardena explained that, as most of the new openings were towards the end of 2012, their full impact will only be reflected in the results of the current financial year.

“Our new ventures both in London and Leeds are also performing extremely well and have been well received both by customers and critics alike,” said Gunewardena.

“South Place Hotel has been nominated for a number of industry awards and was awarded a Michelin star for its fish restaurant Angler.​South Place Hotel, Old Bengal Warehouse and our restaurants in Leeds will be important contributors to a significant growth in revenue and profits in 2013/14.”

For the group's established restaurants, the Olympics was a big benefactor; contributing to a record-breaking August for the majority of the London outlets. This made up for a cold and wet summer, though, which depressed the revenues of the several restaurants that have outside terraces such as Le Pont de la Tour, Butlers Wharf ChopHouse and Coq d'Argent.

Next steps

Gunewardena went on to point out that the partnership with LDC was a ‘major step’ for the business, as LDC acquired Conran and Caird’s equity stakes in the business - resulting in D&D becoming completely independent of Conran. 

“Having LDC as a shareholder and Simon, Daniel and Bertie on board are major assets for our business going forward,” he said. “Prospects for both our restaurants and fledgling hotel business look good and with some exciting projects in the pipeline.

“I am very optimistic about the future."

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