Tough times for Hawksmoor’s sister brand Foxlow last year pushed the Underdog Group into the red, with a £9m pre-tax loss for the financial year ended 31 December 2016.
Turnover for the year was up from £36.4m last year to £39m this year – an increase of 7% – with an underlying EBITDA of £4.5m, a reduction of 12% on 2015.
The group had an operating profit of £3m (2015: £3.3m) but a goodwill amortisation of £7.3m, which founder Will Beckett put down to Hawksmoor’s sister brand Foxlow having a “pretty tough time” last year resulted in a pre-tax loss.
This January, the Hawksmoor Group announced the closure of Foxlow in Stoke Newington. It was the first restaurant owners Beckett and Huw Gott had ever closed.
Beckett said: “Foxlow is still finding its feet and while there were many positives we decided to close Stoke Newington, which proved not be the ideal site for what we were trying to do. There may be some factors in the wider economy involved but, fundamentally it is taking us longer than we thought to get everything right for what is essentially a start-up.
“This year we’ve spent huge amounts of time trying to do just that in all sorts of ways, from menu to branding, getting the pricing right and really going back to the original idea of a neighbourhood restaurant based on great British produce. The results of that work are being felt now, with good LFL growth and what we think is a great restaurant at Soho.”
The report predicts the “cost pressures relating to the fall in sterling to continue in to 2017” however the directors are “confident about the future prospects of the group.”
During the period, the Underdog Group employed 678 members of staff.
Steakhouse Hawksmoor is located in Piccadilly; Borough Market; Knightsbridge; Seven Dials; Spitalfields; the City of London; and Manchester.
Foxlow, a neighbourhood restaurant concept, has sites in Chiswick, Balham, Clerkenwell and Soho.
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