D&D London has reported a strong start to the 2018/19 financial year after seeing earnings fall in the previous 12 months as a result of well documented pressures on the restaurant industry.
The 2017-18 financial year saw earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization fall by 11% to £11.6m, despite a 6% increase in turnover to £132.2m and a 1% increase in like-for-like sales.
CEO and chairman of the group, which has 35 restaurants in the UK and five overseas, Des Gunewardena (pictured, left) said that the current year is "a different story". Six months in revenues are up 17% and like-for-like sales up 4% - with new openings including Manchester's 20 Stories delivering a significant boost.
Gunewardena, explained: "In spite of current challenges to the hospitality industry with Brexit looming, I am pleased with where the business is at the moment and can confirm that we remain confident in the long term success of D&D. That is why we continue to invest both in the UK and overseas.
"We have had great success with 20 Stories in Manchester which is already one of D&D's highest grossing restaurants and our recently opened Bluebird in New York has been very well received and is trading strongly. It is also reassuring to see City restaurants such as Coq d'Argent and Madison shrugging off Brexit worries and trading significantly ahead of last year.
"Turning to the future we have recently committed to opening a 10,000sq ft rooftop restaurant at 120 Fenchurch Street in London next Spring, and we will be opening a second New York restaurant in the Hudson Yards development on the west side of Manhattan in March.
"While earnings for the year to 31 March 2018 fell, mainly as a result of costs (business rates, salaries, food and wine due to sterling's depreciation) outpacing underlying revenue growth, but also due to initial losses of ventures launched during the financial year, the current financial year has been a different story. Like for like sales (+4% to date) are running ahead of inflation, and those new openings are now contributing strongly to increased revenues (+17% to date overall) and growth in earnings (running c.+20% ahead of last year)."