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Indian Restaurants Group to review business as shares suspended

31 March 2011 by
Indian Restaurants Group to review business as shares suspended

Indian Restaurants Group (IRG) is conducting a review of its business after discussions with shareholders to make further acquisitions failed.

The operator of three Indian restaurants in London including Mela in the West End, suspended its shares earlier this week as it released unaudited accounts for the year to 30 September 2010.

IRG made a pre-tax loss of £345,000 for the period, and said that its next audited accounts would be for the 18-month period ending 30 March 2011.

Because the company, which is listed on AIM, could not fulfil stock market rules relating to the publication of interim and annual audited accounts, the shares will remain suspended until its audited accounts are published.

According to its unaudited accounts, revenues were up slightly to £2.54m to September 2010, from £2.47m.

And while the company still made a loss, it was lower than the £679,000 pre-tax loss it made in the previous year.

Despite that, the company which owns Chowki in London's Denman Street, and Mela sites in Shaftesbury Avenue and Redhill, said trading was tough.

"With aggressive discounting in the two units in the West End we have been able to maintain an adequate business performance," said chairman Haresh Kanabar in a statement.

"However, despite positive feedback from customers for Mela Redhill and our significant investment, this unit still trades below expectations.

"Over the past six months we have been actively working closely with our shareholders with respect to evaluating alternative options to increase the scale of operations, in particular with the emphasis on scaling the business through acquisitions. Despite our best efforts we have been unable to achieve this objective and hence in consultation with our shareholders it has been decided to conduct a review of our operations. Appropriate decisions can then be taken following the conclusion of the review."

It is not clear how long the review is to take. IRG was unavailable for comment.

Singh to make chains from Chowki and Mela >>

Indian Restaurant Group opens third Mela restaurant >>

Second London outlet for Mela owner >>

By Neil Gerrard

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