D&D stages recovery after rising costs take a bite out of earnings

D&D London has blamed the rising cost of business rates, salaries and food for a decrease in EBITDA during its last financial year, but insists earnings in the first six months of this year are already running 20% ahead.

The company reported EBITDA of £11.6m for the year to 31 March 2018, down 11% on the £13.1m it achieved the year before. It said initial losses from ventures launched during the financial year were also to partially blame for the decline. Like-for-like turnover rose 1% to £125m.

Des Gunewardena, chairman and CEO of D&D London, said that the current financial year has been “a different story”, with like-for-like sales up 4% in the year to date and new openings pushing revenue up 17% overall.

“In spite of current challenges to the hospitality industry with Brexit looming, I am pleased with where the business is at the moment and can confirm that we remain confident in the long term success of D&D,” he said.

Since its year-end, a Bluebird café has opened at Television Centre White City as well as the Time Warner Centre in New York. 20 Stories opened in Manchester earlier this year and it is already one of D&D’s highest grossing restaurants, Mr Gunewardena said.

The company recently committed to opening a 10,000sf rooftop restaurant at 120 Fenchurch Street in London next Spring, and plans to open a second New York restaurant in the Hudson Yards development on the west side of Manhattan in March.

“Like for like sales (+4% to date) are running ahead of inflation, and those new openings are now contributing strongly to increased revenues (+17% to date overall) and growth in earnings (running circa 20% ahead of last year),” added Mr Gunewardena.

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