Wagamama Owner Sees Encouraging Sales As Lockdowns Loom
Wagamama owner Restaurant Group has unveiled improved like-for-like sales numbers for the period since the start of July while withdrawing its financial guidance and warning about the impact of renewed coronavirus restrictions in the UK.
The company, which operates over 350 restaurants and pubs across the UK, posted an adjusted pre-tax loss of £47.5 million for the six months that ended on June 28. This compares to a profit of £28.1 million a year earlier.
The group also laid out a total of 180 poorer performing sites it has exited as a result of placing the Chiquito and Food and Fuel operations into administration and the dramatic downsizing of Frankie and Benny's chain.
It said that its performance in the eleven weeks to September 4, which included the UK government's "eat out to help out" scheme, was encouraging, with Wagamama's like-for-like sales being up by 11%.
"[The update] reads better than some would have feared," said analysts from Winterflood said in a morning note. "They will benefit from competition reducing as [there has been a] circa 30% capacity reduction...as a result of COVID-19."
Restaurant Brands said that while the outlook for the sector remains extremely challenging, the company was well-positioned with sector capacity reducing and a freshly restructured business.