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Tragus Group renamed Casual Dining Group

03 March 2015 by
Tragus Group renamed Casual Dining Group

Tragus Group has been renamed Casual Dining Group, as the company announced plans to open 70 more restaurants and create 3,100 jobs.

The new name draws a line under a period of change for the business, which last year put three companies - Bella Italia Restaurants, Café Rouge and Café Rouge Restaurants - into Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs), and sold 43 Strada sites to Hugh Osmond for £37m.

Announcing the new name alongside the last set of full-year accounts for what was Tragus Group to 1 June 2014, the company also said that it was now planning to open 70 new restaurants, in addition to refurbishing 160 existing sites.

The business reported EBITDA of £33.3m for the period (although it made a "negative P&L adjustment" after exceptional costs relating to an impairment of goodwill and tangible fixed assets and an annual goodwill amortisation following the company's restructuring), and has reduced its debt from £258m to £91m, having refinanced. Sales during the period were up 3.8% to £193.1m.

Commenting on the latest developments, Steve Richards, CEO, said: "Following what has been a transformational period for the business we are delighted to mark the beginning of an exciting new era with a fresh identity to reflect our vision and plans. The Casual Dining Group has been successfully created as a substantial growth platform that comprises many of the best restaurant sites in the UK. We are now in a strong position to continue to develop and invest in our restaurant brands and aggressively grow the business."

Martin Robinson, chairman, added: "The speed and breadth of change at Casual Dining Group has been dramatic, and is testament to a strong executive team led by Steve Richards. The business is in excellent shape and we can look forward to the future with confidence."

The changes at what is now the Casual Dining Group came about after a new consortium of investors, managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management and York Capital, took control of the group in April 2014 and undertook a strategic review.

The review identified 200 sites within the Bella Italia and Café Rouge brands that the business would invest in, and subsequently disposed of a number of leases operating under both brands via the CVAs it entered into.

Casual Dining Group said it was now "highly cash generative" as a result of the moves, and was hopeful that it now had a base from which to drive "substantial growth".

Café Rouge has recently opened its first international site in Dubai, and the group also operates 20 concessions at Heathrow and Center Parcs. The Casual Dining Group also operates brasseries under the brands Huxleys, Belgo, Oriel, La Salle and Amalfi.

Center Parcs chairman Martin Robinson has been announced as the speaker at the next Arena Savoy Lecture, to be held on Monday 23 March 2015.

Tickets cost £195 plus VAT for Arena members and £245 plus VAT for non-members. For further information and tickets visit www.arena.org.uk or contact Lorraine Wood on lorraine@arena.org.uk / 07803 853 618.

Tragus boss set to depart >>

Three Tragus companies enter CVAs >>

Bella Italia to open 100 sites in five years >>

Hugh Osmond buys 43 Strada restaurants for £37m >>

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