Bill’s Restaurants saw an £8m boost in turnover last year, but cost increases knocked the casual dining chain’s profits.
In the group’s financial results filed at Companies House for the year to 30 July 2017, the group reported a 7.3% increase in group turnover from £110.5m to £118.6m.
However, increases in underlying costs for food and labour costs due to increases in the National Minimum Wage and the devaluation of Sterling following the Brexit referendum meant pre-tax profit was £4.8m, down from £7m the previous year.
Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation before pre-opening and exceptional costs increased during the year by 0.5% from £13.5m to £13.6m.
Despite the focus of the fiscal year being on consolidating the brand’s position in the market and building solid foundations for future growth, the business opened four new restaurants in Chelmsford, Southampton, Victoria and Canterbury during the period, each of which the group said “outperformed its targeted sales by a significant margin”.
Former Punch Taverns chief executive Duncan Garrood was appointed chief executive of Bill’s in January, replacing Mark Fox, who left due to personal reasons. This year the group plans to enter a new phase of development and expansion, with “substantial” investment planned and new ‘local’ menus being trialled across several sites.
Fox was appointed the first chief executive of Bill’s in 2016. Bill’s was founded as a fresh produce store and café in Lewes, East Sussex by greengrocer Bill Collison in 2000. It now has more than 80 restaurants across the UK.