Frankies and Benny's owner The Restaurant Group (TRG) has reported a 3% fall in like-for-like sales during the 46 weeks of 2009.
In an interim trading update, the group blamed the slide on rising levels of unemployment, tight credit markets and high levels of household debt.
Nevertheless, TRG says its value-for-money offering and avoidance of deep discounting enabled it to trade resiliently in a challenging year and to achieve a good margin and profit performance.
Total turnover was 4% higher than for the same period of 2008.
TRG operates 365 restaurants and pub restaurants in mostly leisure and airport locations, including the Chiquito, Garfunkel's, Blubeckers and Brunning & Price brands.
The seventeen new restaurants it launched this year are performing well and the group anticipates opening another 15 to 20 venues in 2010.
"Looking forward to 2010, we expect conditions to remain tough for our sector with pressures on consumer spending, including tax rises, fuel price increases and the threat of higher unemployment levels," the company stated in its interim trading statement.
However, it believed its distinct market positioning with strong brands and experienced, motivated teams, would enable it to continue developing profitably.
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