Pizza Express posts sales of £488m but laments “challenging” UK market

Pizza Express restaurant

Revenues at Pizza Express increased 14% last year as a “challenging market environment” in the UK was offset by good growth in Asia, where the Chinese-owned chain expanded its presence.

Overall sales reached some £488m in the year to June 26, according to figures released yesterday. During the period the firm opened 18 new UK restaurants and a similar amount in Asia.

The company posted EBITDA of £100m but did not reveal net profits.

Despite the size of the numbers, sales in the UK fell 1.3%, with the Daily Telegraph reporting that the firm had been hit by lacklustre demand from diners as well as the costs of the new minimum wage.

“This has been a more challenging year for the UK casual dining sector,” chief executive Richard Hodgson was quoted as saying. He added that the chain was “in good stead” to weather a slowdown in demand and had successfully grown its retail range.

Mr Hodgson revealed that Deliveroo delivery was now being used in 200 restaurants, and trials have also begun in Hong Kong, where it owns 17 restaurants.

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