Fulham Shore, owner of 75 Franco Manca and the Real Greek restaurants, has said that increasing its training programmes for new entrants into the restaurant sector has seen the number of job vacancies in the group fall "materially".
For the six months ended 26 September 2021, the group reported revenues were up by over 100% against the prior year, increasing 103% to £39.5m, despite having traded with no Covid-19 restrictions for only 10 of the 26 weeks. Restaurants located in office and theatre districts in London were also trading ahead of 2019 levels, although international tourists were still yet to return in a "meaningful way".
The business disclosed earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the period of £10.6m, up from £3.6m in 2020, and revealed 21 more potential sites were in solicitors' hands for both its brands, set to increase the group's rate of expansion. Fulham Shore said it planned to "gradually accelerate" its opening programme and reported a pre-tax profit of £3.1m following a loss of £4.3m last year.
At 3 December 2021, the group had net cash of £5.1m and undrawn debt facilities of £15.9m out of total facilities of £17.75m.
David Page, chairman of Fulham Shore, said: "We have seen continued trading momentum in recent weeks, with revenues in October and November ahead of 2019 comparatives. This includes our office and theatre district located restaurants which are continuing to trade positively, over the four weeks in November 2021, achieving revenues ahead of the same weeks in 2019.
"With strong revenue growth in the half year and continued buoyant current trading, Fulham Shore is performing ahead of management's expectations with many restaurants throughout the UK continuing to break weekly trading records. This augurs well for the group's full year performance, which we expect to be now ahead of market expectations, and our UK wide expansion plans. We have 21 more potential sites in solicitors' hands across both businesses and look forward with confidence to the continued growth of both of our fantastic restaurant businesses over the coming years."