Casual Dining Group ‘outperforms market’ despite slight revenue dip as investment continues

Cafe Rouge, Birmingham Bullring

Casual Dining Group has reported a growth in like-for-like sales across its estate, despite a small dip in revenue as reported in its annual results from the last 12 months.

The operator of more than 300 restaurants under brands including Las Iguanas, Bella Italia and Café Rouge, ‘outperformed the market’, recording a 2.6% like-for-like sales increase in the months since June 2018.

Revenue dipped 0.5% to £327.4m, with adjusted EBITDA down £4m, from £29.9m to £25.9m.

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Steve Richards, CEO of Casual Dining Group, who is to leave his position in June, said that over the past 18 months the group has taken ‘proactive steps to underpin the company’s future growth potential’ during a time of ‘unprecedented challenges’ for the whole industry.

The report highlighted significant external cost increases that were partly mitigated by procurement savings, productivity improvements and cost efficiencies, while investment into menu development, food and drink quality and innovation will continue to be a priority.

During the last 12 months Casual Dining Group successfully refinanced with its existing shareholder and lender group and went on to secure a cash investment of £30m to fund future growth opportunities, led by private equity firm KKR.

This injection will see the group embark on a major refurbishment of the core estate which will cover 30 sites, with the group also announcing seven new UK openings and a further seven franchises opening in Ireland and the Middle East this year.

Steve Richards, CEO of Casual Dining Group, commented: “We successfully refinanced with our existing shareholder and lender group, reached positive agreements with our property partners, and invested and diversified across our brands.

“The historic performance in the prior year, reflects the difficulties the wider sector faced but we are confident that our proactive measures, the support of our shareholders, and our diversification by brand, channel and geography mean CDG is strongly positioned.”

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Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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