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The Restaurant Group CFO out as sales drop

29 April 2016 by
The Restaurant Group CFO out as sales drop

Stephen Critoph, chief financial officer of the Restaurant Group, has stepped down from his role as the company announced "a further deterioration in trading conditions".

In a trading update published this morning, the group, which operates the Chiquito, Frankie & Benny's and Garfunkel's brands, said it had been affected by the structural and business challenges announced last month.

For the 17 weeks to 24 April total sales were up 4.7%, but like-for-like sales were down 2.7%.

"In the short term, we do not anticipate any improvement to underlying like-for-like trends and, on this basis, we now expect full-year like-for-like sales to be down between 2.5% and 5.0% which would translate into full-year profit before tax in the range of £74m to £80m," said the statement.

As a result, the company is now reviewing its operating strategy to include its property portfolio, programme of new restaurants, brand positioning and overheads.

The Restaurant Group has been adversely impacted by the growth of online shopping, resulting in reduced footfall in the areas in which its outlets operate, compounded by a highly competitive mid-market restaurant sector which has included the rise of food-led pubs.

The group, which operates more than 500 restaurants, has opened four outlets so far this year, with a further three expected to launch by the middle of the year.

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