Heavy investment in innovation and technology, including new kitchen equipment, is among the factors that helped Nando’s add £104m to its turnover this year, FEJ can reveal.
Revenues at the chain soared 14% to £847.9m for the year to 26 February 2017, driven by organic growth in key markets. Gross profit rose to £194.8m in 2017, up from £189m the year before, according to accounts lodged with Companies House this week.
The figures were filed by Nando’s Group Holdings Limited, which comprises its fast casual restaurant business as well as the sale and distribution of sauces and condiments through the retail channel.
As well as organic growth, Nando’s said the huge top-line growth was helped by the opening of new sites and franchise acquisitions.
Operating profit fell from £65.9m to £46.7m for the year but the company said this was largely down to higher administrative costs associated with growing the business. Overall profit increased to £21.8m.
Nando’s opened 47 new restaurants worldwide during the year and cited “heavy investment” in innovation and technology for its back-of-house and consumer-facing areas as an operational highlight. As of February this year Nando’s had 908 restaurants in its estate.
“The strength of our brand, core values, and unique customer experience have been key to the long-term development of Nando’s business, and in recent years we have sought to professionalise our operations while retaining the entrepreneurial spirit that made us successful,” directors stated. “There have been several initiatives during the period under review which have helped us achieved our strategic aims.”
The UK and Ireland are among a list of ‘key markets’ for Nando’s that also includes the US, Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore. Expansion is also continuing in its franchise-operated markets, including the UAE, Qatar and Botswana.
Bosses at the chain said that its flame-grilled Peri Peri chicken remains at the core of what it delivers, and its kitchen teams are fully aligned behind one “food manifesto” to ensure that its offer is consistently executed across all markets.
The company noted that innovation through new menu ideas, service models and technology remains key to its future growth.
“The digital journey is central to our strategy, and during the period under review the group invested heavily in its technology infrastructure for both back-of-house and consumer-facing systems. The group has developed and implemented systems and platforms that enable more efficient collaboration across the Nando’s portfolio and enhance engagement with customers.”
The accounts show that Nando’s paid £17.7m in tax to national governments last year. The average number of employees during the period grew from 14,430 to 16,625.