Casual dining operator Tragus today reported a 56% increase in full-year pre-tax earnings, a boost largely driven by last year's takeover of Italian high street chain Strada.
The Blackstone-owned group, which also runs the Café Rouge and Bella Italia chains, reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of £44m for the 12 months to 25 May, up £16m from £28m last year. Sales at the group's 269 restaurants rose by 67% to £248m.
The good performance is in stark contrast to rival high street operator Prezzo, which last week saw a drop in half-year profits of 39%.
Tragus has benefited from the diversity of its restaurants, which allows it to swap one brand for another at the same location if it is not performing well.
Tragus chief executive Graham Turner said he was pleased with the performance given the difficult market conditions.
"This has been a year of ongoing growth for our group despite a more difficult economic backdrop and pressure on input costs," he said.
"We are looking forward to further organic growth through all three key brands whilst focusing on growing Strada and Cafe Rouge across the UK."
Earlier this summer, Tragus signed a deal with Center Parcs that will see high-street brands Bella Italia and Café Rouge in the leisure village operator's UK sites. The deal formed part of a £12m investment in the holiday business's 53 UK restaurants and bars.
By Kerstin Kühn
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