Food and Drink Group gets off to strong start

30 May 2007 by
Food and Drink Group gets off to strong start

Henry J Beans owner Food and Drink Group continued its turnaround from restaurant to bar-led business with strong trading across the group during the first months of the year.

For the 29 weeks ending 14 April the London-focused bar group saw sales rise by 5.2% to £10.5m from £10m this time last year.

Pre-tax profits doubled from £300,000 to £600,000.

The operator cited sales growth in food and wine as the primary drivers for the improved performance.

It said the re-tender of a food supply contact and a re-developed menu before Christmas had led to food sales increases of 12%.

Wine sales also increased through a combination of rolling out a "high quality wine list" and increasing staff training levels.

The operator will also look at using its City bars for an increased level of corporate functions during the remainder of the year as an additional source of turnover following a refurbishment programme.

Stephen Thomas, chairman of Food and Drink Group, said: "These results have been driven by continued strong underlying sales growth across all three trading divisions, together with an excellent performance from our private function and party business.

Like-for-like sales in the second half of the year are currently 8.5% ahead.

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By Christopher Walton

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