D&D London is looking overseas for future growth, in a bid to make it less reliant on an uncertain UK market.
In a financial statement, the group reported that a disappointing early summer in 2019 gave way to a positive few months, but added that it remains cautious as uncertainty continues to surround Brexit.
Despite potential for political disruption towards the end of 2019, the international restaurant operator said it would continue to look at new projects in the UK, but that the US was a current focus for expansion.
The forecast was made as D&D London – behind restaurants including Angler, Moorgate, Launceston Place, Kensington, and 100 Wardour Street, Soho – reported its financial results for the year to 31 March 2019. Turnover grew by 13% to £145.6m, with like-for-like sales growth of 4%.
Manchester’s 20 Stories reported a successful full first year of trading, with the group’s third highest turnover. The year had seen the launch of new restaurants Bluebird White City, in west London, as well as Bluebird and Queensgate in New York.
The group reports that overseas markets continue to grow, with New York and Paris accounting for 15% of group revenues.
Des Gunewardena, chairman and chief executive of D&D London said: “Despite the highly competitive trading environment and cost pressures we had another successful year growing both revenues and earnings. 20 Stories in Manchester had a stellar first year. We were also pleased with our New York openings, particularly Queensyard at Hudson Yards which is already established as one of our busiest restaurants.
“New York and the US generally are likely to be an important part of the world for D&D to grow and we are looking at a number of new sites both in New York and in other U.S. cities. We do however remain committed to the UK and will in November open 14 Hills, a rooftop restaurant at 120 Fenchurch Street in the City, and we plan to open a restaurant and events venue in the Quakers Friars building at Cabot Circus in Bristol next Easter.
“Trading in the current year after a disappointing early Summer (due to poor weather) has improved in more recent months. We do however remain cautious about the next few months given the uncertainties of Brexit. The resolution of the way forward for the UK will have a significant impact on our trading for the crucial pre-Christmas quarter and for the full year. We do however remain positive in the long-term about the UK and will therefore commit to further projects here. However, we are building our overseas business, particularly in the US, in order to make D&D less reliant on the UK for future growth.”