Fishmonger-cum-restaurant chain FishWorks has seen losses balloon in the first six-months of the year after a turbulent period saw both its chairman and finance director quit.
The Alternative Investment Market listed company saw turnover in the six-months ended 31 January jump to £6.18m (2006: £2.8m) but pre-tax losses leapt from £248,403 a year earlier to £740,807.
In comparison, FishWorks pre-tax loss for the full year 2006 was £518,673.
Mitchell Tonks, chief executive officer at FishWorks, blamed the loss on the costs incurred by rapid expansion and on the departure of chairman Roy Morris and financial director Ratnesh Bagdai.
Restaurant entrepreneur Gary Ashworth and former Pizza Express and Channel Four chairman Luke Johnson have subsequently taken a stake in the company worth 33.7%.
Following an additional share listing yesterday, Ashworth has today been appointed group chairman with Chris Marsh taking the reigns as financial director after a stint as finance director of eight-strong London restaurant chain Patisserie Valerie.
"FishWorks remains a strong, popular and unique brand in the restaurant sector and our focus is currently on improving execution and driving sales from our current sites," Tonks said.
Fishworks operates 12 sites, including nine in greater London and one in Bath, Bristol and Christchurch.
By Christopher Walton
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