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Sat 12th Apr 2014 - Breaking News - TGI Friday’s reports UK ebitda of £19.9m
TGI Friday’s reports UK ebitda of £19.9m: TGI Friday’s, led by Karen Forrester, has reported a rise in turnover and pre-tax profit in 2013. The company grew turnover to £166.8m in the 53 weeks to 30 December 2013, from £147.7m the year before. Ebitda climbed to £19.9m from £17.2m in 2012. Like-for-like sales rose 3.6%. The company finished the period with a cash position of £11.8m. Pre-tax profit was £11.79m, up from £10.89m the year before. Five new sites were opened in the period “which are performing in excess of expectations and the company is actively seeking new sites”, it said. The latest profit increase at TGI Friday’s in the UK has paved the way for an increase in new openings in 2014. The company will create 700 new jobs this year to add to its existing 2,540 staff, with seven new openings. TGI Friday’s will open in Liverpool in late spring at the Liverpool One shopping and leisure development. The location is set to become one of the busiest Friday’s in the country, benefiting from the 26 million visitors a year that Liverpool One attracts. The restaurant, housed within the Terrace Leisure area of Liverpool One, will occupy nearly 5,500 sq ft, and will open its doors in late May. Other openings confirmed for this year include Brighton, Glasgow and Milton Keynes, as well as Friday’s first foray into rail transport hubs, with a new concept the company says is set to transform station dining. Meanwhile, TGI Friday’s has confirmed it will no longer be serving lettuce with its burgers, insisting the salad component will not be missed by customers. The company’s development chef, Terry McDowell, said most of the lettuce is water and wilts when it comes into contact with a hot burger, adding nothing to the overall flavour of the dish. “I think it was originally a marketing ploy,” he told Metro. “Someone once sat down and decided, 'we need some green in that'." But the brand is confident its customers will not be complaining. McDowell said: “I think during a trial, one out of 100,000 asked where the lettuce had gone. It doesn’t need to be in there to produce a great-tasting product.” The success of TGI Friday’s in the UK has led to some re-export of UK know-how to the US parent business. The British design firm Harrison, led by Philip Harrison, is overseeing the refurbishment of a flagship TGI Friday's in Brooklyn, New York this month. The site, in Sheepshead Bay, is re-opening after flood damage cause by Hurricane Sandy. The project follows on from work last year remodelling 38 TGI Friday’s in the United States. A spokesman told Propel: “Our involvement in these projects was to provide 'concept design' packages to Friday’s to implement with a local architect. Our role was important in providing design documentation that incorporated the newly developed core design values, ensuring the new Friday’s design elements were implemented in the Boston, Washington DC, Baltimore and Miami markets.” Harrison’s involvement in the US business comes after the company successfully reinvented the design ethos of the brand in the UK. TGI Fridays parent company, Carlson, recently reported flat sales in the US last year.
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