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The Restaurant Group like-for-likes "challenging" as sales drop 4.3%

23 May 2018 by
The Restaurant Group like-for-likes "challenging" as sales drop 4.3%

For the 20 weeks ended 20 May 2018 total sales also declined 3.1%. The group credited the drop to "adverse weather."

In the first seven weeks of the second quarter, the Restaurant Group reported a decline in like-for-like sales of 1.8% as it "began to lap the significant price investments made last year" in order to re-establish its leisure business.

During the first 20 weeks the group has opened nine sites and closed five. New openings within the pubs business has been strengthened by the acquisition of four pubs from Ribble Valley Inns, which brings the total to 10 anticipated pub openings this year.

The group's multi-brand Concessions business which trades principally in UK airports has also expanded and expects to open 12 new concession sites this year.

In August 2016, the Restaurant Group announced the closure of 33 sites after reviewing its strategy following a period of poor sales. It outlined aims to re-establish the competitiveness of its leisure brands by reviewing, price, food quality, marketing, kick-starting new initiatives, growing its pub and concessions business, and building a "leaner, faster and more focused organisation".

Five months later it put another 23 of its sites up for sale after blaming "underperformance across our leisure brands" for a sharp dip in like-for-like sales. March 2017 saw a further six sites put on the market.

Debbie Hewitt, chairman of the group said: "We are comfortable with the performance in the first 20 weeks of the current financial year and expect to see further benefit from our strategic initiatives as the year progresses.

"We expect to deliver results for the full year in-line with current market expectations."

The Restaurant Group plc operates 502 restaurants and pub restaurants throughout the UK. Its principal trading brands are Frankie & Benny's, Chiquito, Coast to Coast and Brunning & Price pubs.

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