‘Good progress’ at Wagamama proprietor after eating places reopen
Wagamama proprietor The Restaurant Group (TRG) hailed “good progress” over the previous half-year because it mentioned very sturdy buying and selling since reopening venues has seen it improve its earnings targets.
The corporate, which operates 400 pubs and eating places throughout the UK, mentioned the restoration has been spearheaded by sturdy performances by its Wagamama pan-Asian chain and the group’s pub arm.
Chief government Andy Hornby mentioned buying and selling has outperformed the broader hospitality sector however warned that the group remains to be navigating trade challenges together with “labour availability and provide chain” points.
He instructed the PA information company that the group has tackled shortages of some objects in its provide chains however has labored with suppliers to sufficiently mitigate this difficulty.
“We’re working very intently with our suppliers to verify there’s a actual understanding of our wants, as a result of we’ve got to be actually cautious to persistently observe demand to make sure this doesn’t influence clients,” he mentioned.
“The entire trade is seeing a scarcity in key workers, together with cooks. Earlier than the pandemic there had been some sector points in London, however now this has unfold much more broadly.
“However we recognise this is not going to remedy itself in a single day in order that we have been are taking a look at how we work on this over the subsequent 12 or 18 months, encouraging extra apprenticeships and schemes like that.”
TRG, which additionally runs Frankie & Benny’s, instructed shareholders on Wednesday that it has seen 21% like-for-like progress throughout Wagamama since reopening till August 29, with its pubs enterprise reporting 14% progress.
The group mentioned the power of its buying and selling after reopening websites following the newest lockdown has strengthened its plans to broaden its portfolio.
It mentioned Wagamama, which presently has 144 shops, has the potential to develop to between 180 and 200 eating places.
It added that it’s on observe to open 5 new branches within the present monetary yr, with an additional purpose for between 5 and 7 new areas annually.
The corporate additionally hopes to open at the least 5 new Wagamama supply kitchens annually.
In the meantime, TRG mentioned it plans to roughly double its pub property – which presently stands at 78 websites – in the long run.
Mr Hornby mentioned: “We’ve made good progress up to now six months, securing the refinancing and recapitalisation of the group within the first quarter earlier than focusing our consideration on the reopening of the enterprise and welcoming again dine-in clients as Authorities restrictions eased.
“I’m notably pleased with the way in which that our groups have pulled collectively to assist each other, making certain an important expertise for our clients and delivering a robust like-for-like gross sales outperformance versus the market.
“While there are some well-documented sector challenges to navigate within the brief time period, notably round labour availability and provide chain, we imagine the group is nicely positioned for the long run.”
The group additionally revealed that it posted a £58.8 million statutory loss for the half-year to July 4, in contrast with a £234.7 million loss over the identical interval final yr.
In the meantime, gross sales dipped by 4.6% to £216.8 million for the six-month interval.