UK cost pressures drive down Pizza Express earnings in ‘resilient’ half year financials

Pizza Express described its half yearly UK performance as ‘resilient’ following the publication of its latest financial results.

Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were down 16.3% on last year, to £35.1m.

Pizza Express put this down to industry wide cost pressures in the UK and lower operation margins internationally.

Despite this, group turnover grew by 2.5% to £262.8m with lfl sales down at 1.1%.

Underlying like-for-like sales grew by 0.9%, which excluded impact from the adverse weather with that figure down at 0.7% if the conditions were included.

Internationally, things looked stronger for the chain with fifteen new site openings and a sales growth of 10.4%.

Jinlong Wang, group chairman and CEO of Pizza Express, said: “The strength of our brand and the quality of our customer experience means PizzaExpress has continued to deliver a resilient performance in the UK & Ireland, despite the widely publicised pressures that continue to impact the UK eating out market.”

He added: “Adverse weather had a significant impact on sales in the UK & Ireland in the first half of the year; during the snow in the first quarter, we put the safety of our customers and teams first and took the decision to temporarily shut a number of sites, meaning up to 90 restaurants were closed at one stage. Conversely, unseasonably hot weather in the late spring impacted visit frequency to our restaurants.”

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