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Gondola Holdings enjoys strong growth in first year back on stock market

21 September 2006
Gondola Holdings enjoys strong growth in first year back on stock market

Gondola Holdings, owner of PizzaExpress, has issued its first - and potentially last - set of full-year results since listing in November.

The company, which has 520 restaurants, including brands such as Zizzi and Ask, has been approached by private equity company Cinven in a 415p-per-share cash offer, although no formal takeover bid has yet been made.

Restaurant sales at the group were 7.4% higher than a year ago in the 53 weeks to 2 July at £394m, and pre-tax profit was £18.2m after exceptional items of £12.6m.

Gondola opened 23 new restaurants during the year and plans to open 25 to 30 new sites in the next year.

In a bid to tap into the UK's "coffee culture", the group's three main brands are developing a new coffee and hot drink range, which will be rolled out across the estate during the next 12 to 18 months.

Like-for-like sales in the 11 weeks to 17 September were up 7.1%, with total restaurant sales 12.2% ahead.

Gondola Holdings set to return to private hands under Cinven >>

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

Gondola Holdings to float >>

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to Chris Druce](mailto:chris.druce@rbi.co.uk?subject=Gondola Holdings enjoys strong growth in first year back on stock market) here.

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