Fulham Shore shrugs off margin pressures as customers flock to restaurants

Franco Manca

Fulham Shore – owner of the Franco Manca and The Real Greek brands – said today that the return of customers in record numbers was helping it to maintain margins in the face of rising energy and labour costs.

The firm said its restaurants continue to trade strongly and ahead of the comparative period in 2019.

Since its AGM in September, revenues in its 17 restaurants in the West End of London and city centre office locations have ticked up 3% ahead of the same period two years ago.

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Sales of delivery meals also continue to be higher, it said.

David Page, chairman of Fulham Shore, said that the sales growth during the past two months was ahead of its expectations and had given it a platform to manage cost increases.

“Many of our restaurants throughout the UK continue to break trading records on a regular basis. This is due to our customers returning to us in great numbers since trading restrictions were lifted and our loyal teams who have stuck with us during a difficult 18 months.

“We are maintaining margins in both our businesses as the rise in our restaurant sales is enabling the group to deal with the well-flagged inflation of utility costs and the wage increases that have been instigated. We are accelerating our growth in the UK and abroad. We continue to trade ahead of our own expectations and have a strong pipeline of exciting new locations.”

Franco Manca has just opened a store in London’s Blackheath Village, with another site underway at Baker Street. Construction of new Real Greek sites in Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent and The Corn Exchange, Manchester is also taking place.

By the end of the year, Fulham Shore’s portfolio will encompass 57 Franco Manca restaurants and 22 The Real Greek restaurants, with a further 20 sites under negotiation.

Fulham Shore revealed it has also signed a franchise agreement to export Franco Manca to Greece, with six sites planned over the next three years. Franchise discussions for territories in Europe, Middle East, and Africa are ongoing.

The company announced that it has fully repaid the £8.5m remaining balance of its UK government backed £10.7m coronavirus loan.

It has also entered into an extension of its revolving credit facility with HSBC from March 2022 to November 2024, increasing it from £14.25m to £17m to support its expansion plans and grow its head office team.

The company’s net cash position, combined with the extended RCF and its existing £750,000 overdraft facility, gives it financial headroom today of over £20m.

Fulham Shore ready to capitalise on restaurant vacancies as it negotiates new locations

Tags : Franco MancaFulham ShoreThe Real Greek
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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