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.
Like-for-like sales in the eight weeks to 5 March increased 4.8%
By Chris Druce
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