Pizza Express described its half yearly UK performance as ‘resilient’ following the publication of its latest financial results.
Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were down 16.3% on last year, to £35.1m.
Pizza Express put this down to industry wide cost pressures in the UK and lower operation margins internationally.
Despite this, group turnover grew by 2.5% to £262.8m with lfl sales down at 1.1%.
Underlying like-for-like sales grew by 0.9%, which excluded impact from the adverse weather with that figure down at 0.7% if the conditions were included.
Internationally, things looked stronger for the chain with fifteen new site openings and a sales growth of 10.4%.
Jinlong Wang, group chairman and CEO of Pizza Express, said: “The strength of our brand and the quality of our customer experience means PizzaExpress has continued to deliver a resilient performance in the UK & Ireland, despite the widely publicised pressures that continue to impact the UK eating out market.”
He added: “Adverse weather had a significant impact on sales in the UK & Ireland in the first half of the year; during the snow in the first quarter, we put the safety of our customers and teams first and took the decision to temporarily shut a number of sites, meaning up to 90 restaurants were closed at one stage. Conversely, unseasonably hot weather in the late spring impacted visit frequency to our restaurants.”