Chairman David Page said the climate would allow the group to get sites at much reduced rents and lower capital costs per site and target a much higher return on capital when normal trading resumes.
The comments came as part of an interim trading update, which saw revenues decrease 44.9% to £19.9m (2019: £36.0m) as a result of national lockdown restrictions.
Fulham Shore reported a loss after tax of £3.9m (2019: profit of £0.4m) for the six months ended 27 September 2020.
Headline EBITDA was £3.7m (2019: £8.4m), with restaurants closed for more than half the reporting period.
The group has raised funds of £2.25m from an equity placing and subscription
It also agreed a new loan facility of £10.75m under the CLIBIL scheme, and extended the maturity date of the existing RCF loan facility by 12 months to March 2022
Net debt (excluding lease liabilities) was £3.3m, down from £9.5m as at 29 March 2020.
Following the reporting period, the group opened its 54th Franco Manca, at Borough Market.
The Real Greek opened in The Lexicon, Bracknell, taking the brand’s estate to 20.
“We are pleased to have delivered a creditable performance during the first half of the current financial year despite all Franco Manca and The Real Greek restaurants being closed to dine-in customers for more than half the period,” said Page.
“The Group generated positive headline EBITDA during the second quarter (July to September) reflecting the popularity of our businesses and their great value proposition.”
Page said operating teams at both brands has adapted quickly to the new changes, and was exploring new opportunities such as the Franco Manca and The Real Greek ‘Meal at Home’ kits and new e-gift cards.
“The ongoing damage to the property and restaurant sectors will allow us to prospect for new sites at much reduced rents and lower capital costs per site.
“As such, over the next few years and once normal trading conditions return, we will target a higher return on capital than we have historically achieved.”