Franco Manca is to set to close its restaurant in Brighton Marina following lower than anticipated trading.
Brighton was one of the towns that the pizza chain targeted after embarking on a strategy to expand beyond its initial London stronghold a couple of years ago.
It continues to operate a branch in the town itself, but admitted the Marina site – which only opened in April 2017 – had “not performed to our expectations”.
Bosses have agreed terms with the landlord to surrender the lease on the Marina restaurant and said it will close later this year.
Franco Manca has taken a “cautious” view on its property values and has written down the carrying value of three underperforming sites this year. As a result it has taken a £900,000 impairment charge in its latest financial accounts, of which £500,000 relates to Brighton Marina.
The Brighton Marina closure is just a small blot on Franco Manca’s copybook, however, when you consider that it has opened nine sites in the UK during the past year.
Two sites, in Bath and Cambridge, have also been launched since its financial year ended in March, while in London it has gone from 10 sites to 33 in the space of just two years between March 2015 and March 2017.
Additionally, the firm recently awarded its first overseas pizzeria franchise, in Salina, Italy, and said it has since received “many enquiries” to open further Franco Manca sites outside the UK.
Franco Manca is owned by Fulham Shore, which also runs The Real Greek. Revenues at the group increased 37% to £54.7m for the 12 months to 25 March 2018, while EBITDA rose from £4.7m to £5.5m during the period.