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Jackson to step aside at TRG

21 September 2005

Andrew Page, group managing director of The Restaurant Group's (TRG), is to become chief executive from 2006.

He replaces Alan Jackson, executive chairman of The Restaurant Group's (TRG), who is take a non-executive chairman's role.

Jackson, who has been executive chairman for the past five years, said: "I have seen TRG transformed from an unfocused and poorly performing business with fragile finances, into a successful and highly profitable operator."

The company's results in the six months to 30 June showed strong performances at Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito as well as new concessions at Luton and Heathrow airport.

This helped push group turnover in 2005 up 10.8% to £130.8m (2004: £118m).

Profit before tax, of which TRG's leisure and concession divisions now contribute 80% of the total, increased 21.8% to £11.9m (2004: £9.8m).

However, trading was poor on the high street at Garfunkel's and Café Uno, with profits down nearly 19% due to competition.

TRG disposed of Est Est Est and acquired a 40% share in Living Ventures during the period as well as completing the £27m cash purchase of 17-strong Blubeckers restaurant chain.

Page said: "We have an outstanding team which ensures that we consistently deliver the right product, in the right place at the right price. I view TRG's future with confidence."

Like-for-like sales in the 37 weeks to 18 September are 3% up year-on-year, but the company warned high street trading was still tough.

By Chris Druce

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