Restaurant Group, the owner of Wagamama and Brunning & Price restaurants, said on Wednesday it expects annual profit to be higher after posting an increase in first-half earnings helped by more people dining at its outlets.
The group indicated that consumers are willing to spend at restaurants and pubs despite a cost of living crisis, but an uncertain economic environment is continuing to pose challenges for the hospitality sector.
The group, which did not mention a range for its profit expectations for the year, said cost outlook for the medium term continued to improve.
Analysts, on average, expected core profit to be about £77.5 million (€72.2 million) for the year, according to company compiled consensus.
The group, which operates more than 400 restaurants and pubs mostly across the UK, has been under pressure from investors over the last few months to increase profitability and more recently, to replace its chairman.
Restaurant Group reported a 15% rise in adjusted core profit to £36.3 million (€33.8 million) for the half-year ended July 2.
Hot Weather Conditions
Restaurant Group, which also owns Frankie & Benny's, said on Wednesday 19 July it was on track to deliver on its annual expectations, helped by strong dine-out sales in the second quarter despite a hit from hot weather conditions.
Total like-for-like sales at its Wagamama noodle chain rose 5% in the quarter ended 2 July, the company said, adding that four new Wagamama sites launched this year were trading ahead of its expectations.
Britain experienced its hottest June on record that temporarily impacted trading for Wagamama.
Article by Reuters, additional reporting by Hospitality Ireland.