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Thu 27th Feb 2014 - Cafe Rouge owner sees losses climb
Cafe Rouge owner sees operating profits fall 13% as losses climb: Tragus Group, owner of the Cafe Rouge, Bella and Strada chains, saw operating profits for the 53 weeks to 2 June 2013 fall 12.9% to £34.59m from £39.71m in the 52 weeks to 27 May 2012. The group, which is owned by the private equity firm Blackstone Group, recorded a loss of £33.72m for the year, up from £19.32m in 2012. The loss was more than double that recorded in 2011, £14.55m, after net exceptional costs of £7.03m. Net debt rose to £324.58m from £314.97m the previous year. Turnover was up 3% to £294.82m from £286.27m in the 12 months to 27 May 2012. However, like-for-like sales fell 1.6%, because of a reduced level of promotions, the temporary closure of a number of sites for redevelopment and the "challenging" economic environment. Like-for-like sales fell 0.9% in 2012. Tragus is one of the largest mid-market restaurant operators in the UK, with 300 outlets at the end of the last financial year, up one on 2012. In its directors' report, Tragus said the group had continued its new opening programme, with seven new sites. The average cash return on investment on new sites opened over the past three years that had been trading for more than six months was in line with expectations, the report said. At the same time a rebranding programme was commenced during the year at Cafe Rouge and "selected" Bella sites. It said the group "will continue to operate restaurants for the foreseeable future", and "while challenging economic conditions are expected to continue, the directors consider that the group will be resilient to these pressures due to the strength of [its] brands, strong geographical locations and commitment to its products, services and people." The company will not be paying a dividend.
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