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Losses narrow at Bank Restaurants

17 January 2005 by

Restaurant chain Bank narrowed losses in the past year, despite having to close its flagship restaurant in Aldwych for a fortnight.

In its full-year results the company, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market, said it was still actively looking at ways to go private or raise extra capital.

Pre-tax losses for the year to 31 October came in at £181,000, down from £346,000 at the same point the year before, on turnover unchanged at £8.6m.

The closure and refurbishment of Bank Aldwych for a couple of weeks in April had now led to improved trading, with the restaurant reporting a 10% increase in sales over Christmas.

Bank Birmingham had a strong year, and reported 9% sales growth over Christmas.

Bank Westminster also did well, with sales up by 5% on the previous year, which had itself been 5% up on 2002. It also reported a 12% improvement over the previous Christmas.

Despite the more favourable picture, chairman Leigh Collins warned: "The improved trading will not of itself address the problems associated with the company's very small size for a public listed company, both in terms of market capitalisation and overhead recovery from only three sites."

The board therefore was continuing to look at all its options, including merging with other restaurant groups or raising funds, or both, he added.

by Nic Paton

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