A company that aimed to create the first nationwide chain of Indian restaurants has sold its three outlets.
The Indian Restaurants Group (IRG) said that its plans to grow organically and through acquisition had been impeded by the challenging economic climate. As a result it has now sold Mela and Chowki in London's West End and Mela in Redhill, Surrey, to Swadha Ltd for £250,000. The group had earlier closed the Three Monkeys restaurant in Herne Hill, South London.
IRG, which is listed on AIM, had previously hoped to capitalise on the UK's vast Indian restaurant sector, which is believed to have an estimated market size of £3b and over 9,800 restaurants. in the UK. Its website said there was "an opportunity to consolidate in this niche with the UK's first nationwide chain."
The group generated a revenue of £3.63m in the 18 month period to 31 March 2011, compared with an income of £2.47m in the 12 months period to 30 September 2009, with losses before tax of £1.62m and £1.05m for the two respective periods.
It had net assets of £0.26m on 31 March 2009, against £1.73m on 30 September 2009.
IRG chairman Haresh Kanabar said that as a result of the review of the company it was decided that "the interest of the shareholders would be best served by a realisation of the restaurant business, thereby allowing the group the chance to explore other investment opportunities that may offer shareholders a better prospect in the current economic environment"
By Janet Harmer
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