The Azzurri group, which is behind Italian casual dining brands Zizzi, ASK Italian, Coco di Mama and Radio Alice, has reported a 7% increase in turnover as work to increase its resilience to sector challenges bears fruit.
In financial results for the year to 30 June 2019, the group reported like-for-like growth across all four brands as turnover reached £299.4m.
Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 3% to £38.1m, which the group attributed to better management of cost pressures.
Chief executive Steve Holmes, said: “Cost pressures in the UK remain an ongoing challenge for the sector, and although Azzurri is not immune, the group has made adjusted EBITDA improvement and continued to trade well through these difficult conditions. We remain conscious of the current cost environment and continue to take a thoughtful approach to increased operational efficiencies."
Azzurri continues to expand with 10 new sites opened this year. This growth is focused on the roll-out of its grab-and-go brand Coco di Mama, aided by the acquisition of up to 13 Pod sites in June this year.
Holmes added: “We have invested significantly in our estate, both in the UK and internationally, with a further £20m of capital expenditure this year. Our number of sites now totals 311, with further estate expansion of 10 new openings, including Zizzi’s third site in Ireland and its first opened in Shanghai. We are pleased with early trading, and customer feedback has been positive at these new restaurants. We have also completed 29 restaurant refurbishments to ensure that we continue to appeal to customers and drive footfall to our restaurants.”
“Against the continuing challenges in the UK, we have an exciting pipeline of conversions and refurbishments ahead and are focused on expanding our presence, particularly in the food-to-go market,” he continued.