Gondola credits back-to-basics approach for increased sales

16 March 2006
Gondola credits back-to-basics approach for increased sales

Gondola Holdings has credited a disciplined opening strategy and back-to-basics approach to ingredients for its continued growth.

Maintaining its momentum after its November 2005 float on the London Stock Exchange, sales in the 28 weeks ended 8 January 2006 at the PizzaExpress owner increased 6.9% to £206.7m (2005: £193.3m).

Like-for-like sales were up 4% at £195.4m. The figures exclude the contributions of three restaurants sold before floatation.

However, costs of £7.6m relating to entry to the London Stock Market and disposal charges resulted in an exceptional charge of £12.1m for the period and a pre-tax loss of £4.1m.

But Gondola said it was ahead of schedule on its cost saving plans, which should see it achieve savings of £5m in the next two years across its supply chain.

Gondola Holdings opened seven new sites during the period and has a target of 20-25 for the full year.

It has been concentrating on improving the quality of ingredients used at its restaurant brands, which include Zizzi and Ask, as well as updating its menus.

Like-for-like sales in the eight weeks to 5 March increased 4.8%

PizzaExpress and Ask boost half-year sales by 8% >>

Ask and PizzaExpress float at 320p a share >>

By Chris Druce

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