The Azzurri Group – which operates brands including Ask Italian, Zizzi, Radio Alice and Coco di Mama – has reported a 7% increase in total sales to £299.4m, driven by organic growth and new stores.
According to the group’s financial results filed with Companies House for the 52 weeks ended 30 June 2019, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were also up from £37m to £38.1m.
During the period the group invested £20m into its estate, including 29 refurbishments, particularly across its Zizzi and Ask brands. It also acquired Pod in June 2019 with plans to rebrand up to 13 stores as Coco di Mamas, which it described as “transformational” for the brand’s accelerated growth.
Chairman Harvey Smyth said: “The Azzurri Group has built on last year’s momentum and continued to trade well in the face of a challenging backdrop for the UK restaurant sector. In the last year, all four of our brands grew their like-for-like sales and increased their EBITDA despite dampened consumer confidence…
“Cost pressures remain an ongoing challenge for the group, as they do for the wider sector. In the past year, we have continued to trade well through these challenges implementing a robust yet thoughtful approach to increased operational efficiencies. As a result, the group delivered year-on-year improvements in food and labour margins, which was very pleasing to see…
“The growth seen across all four brands means that we have good momentum heading into nest year and remain confident that the business is well placed to navigate the challenges facing the sector as well as maximising opportunities which will undoubtedly arise.”
The Azzurri Group operates 311 restaurants and shops in the UK as well as three restaurants in the Republic of Ireland and one in Shanghai.