Comptoir Group bumps revenue £4m but cuts openings and warns of tough times

Comptoir Libanais

Comptoir Group has reported a 21% increase in its revenue compared to last year but has had to cut back its opening schedule and has warned this could affect financial performance next year.

The group, which operates a series of Lebanese and Eastern Mediterranean restaurants, saw a £3.8m rise (to £21.5m) after opening six new restaurants in H1, bringing its total to 22.

It opened more sites than expected in 2016 and so the group expects to open only three more this year. It has also decided to reduce the number of sites it will open next year to four, which will impact on its financial performance, it warned.

Cautious consumer behaviour in the first few months of this year meant trading was lower than expected in January and February but things picked up in March. Comptoir expects further positive trading in April and into the summer months.

“We have had an extremely busy and productive second half of the year, in which we have opened six new restaurants, before acquiring three additional restaurants under the Yalla Yalla brand, taking our portfolio up to twenty-two units at the end of the year,” said chairman Richard Kleiner.

“The existing estate delivered a solid performance, with further growth from the restaurants that were opened late in 2016. Despite, cost pressures in the supply chain in the wake of Brexit and the introduction of the National Living Wage for employees over the age of 25 in April 2016, our teams worked hard to control costs and I am pleased to report that overall margins have been maintained.”

Kleiner concluded: “As anticipated, much of the focus over the second half of the year has been on opening and bedding in our new restaurants. We have recruited and trained 237 new staff over this period and this has provided the opportunity for existing members of the team to take on greater responsibility in the general manager and assistant manager roles.”

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