Wagamama sanctions 10 more kitchen projects to maintain UK sales growth

Wagamama

Wagamama said yesterday it will open another 10 restaurants in the UK over the next 12 months after reporting a record financial turnover of £266m.

The pan-Asian inspired noodle chain, which now numbers 172 restaurants worldwide, grew sales an impressive 16% for the year to April 2017, primarily due to the continued expansion of its restaurants in the UK. Like-for-like sales growth totalled 8%, while net profits doubled to £5.3m.

Wagamana opened 10 new restaurants last year and completed 16 refurbishments, bringing Kaizen design to the existing estate.

It announced a record year for its Boston locations and a strong start in its debut restaurant in New York. Deliveroo operations are now available in 92 restaurants.

“In the United Kingdom, we opened new restaurants in Central London, city centres and shopping centres,” the chain stated. “Some of these openings have been replacements for existing restaurants where preferred locations have become available. We also opened our first restaurant in New York City in Financial Year 2017. In the next 12 months, we expect to open approximately 10 new restaurants in the United Kingdom as well as a second restaurant in New York City and a new restaurant in Boston.”

Wagamama spent £32m on buying tangible fixed assets for new restaurant openings last year, an 85% increase on the previous year. The investment included costs relating to the development of its central kitchen, with the company saying that the expansion of the facility has helped reduce food and drink costs due to efficiency gains.

A sum of £8m, meanwhile, was spent on the “significant” refurbishment of its Heathrow Terminal 5 restaurant together with refurbishment across a large proportion of its UK restaurants.

Total capital expenditure for the next 12 months is expected to be around £28m, Wagamama said.

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