Profits at restaurant group Clapham House have dropped nearly 20% but the Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Real Greek operator said it remains positive about the medium-term prospects for the UK eating out market.
Clapham House reported pre-tax profits of £4.1m for the year to 29 March, down 18% from £5m last year. Revenue increased 16.7% from £53.3m to £62.2m this year, which also saw the group open eight new restaurants in the UK.
However, the company wiped £24.2m off the value of its 23 Tootsies sites, which it said had found recent market conditions "the most challenging".
"The writedown gives us flexibility with what we do with Tootsies in the future," said chief executive Paul Campbell.
A sale of Tootsies has long been mooted as a way for Clapham House to reduce its debt and focus resources on developing its successful GBK brand.
"Despite consumer confidence in the UK being fragile and the trading outlook remaining uncertain, our sales in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2010 across the group are 6% higher than in the same period last year," said Clapham House executive chairman David Page.
"We remain positive about the mid-term market prospects for the UK eating-out market and, in particular, the future expansion of GBK across the UK."
By Kerstin Kühn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.
Looking for a new job? Find your next restaurant job here with Caterersearch.com jobs