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Wed 25th Jan 2017 - Update: The Restaurant Group reports Q4 like-for-likes down 5.9%
The Restaurant Group reports fourth quarter like-for-likes down 5.9%: The Restaurant Group has reported fourth quarter like-for-likes down 5.9%, driven by “underperformance by its leisure brands”. Total turnover increased by 3.7% versus the prior year, to £710.7m, with 53 week like-for-like sales down 3.9% to 1 January 2027. In the period, the company closed 37 sites and opened 24 sites. The company stated: “As presented at our interim results, we have started price and menu trials across Frankie & Benny’s, which confirm that substantial price and proposition changes are required. Our strategic review of our other Leisure brands has revealed a need for similarly significant change. We are at the beginning of a transformation programme which is focused on: Proposition improvement to ensure we are competitive on value with a distinctive offering that meets customers’ needs; improving our operating processes to deliver a consistently attentive and engaging service and better align service levels to our trading patterns; building a better business which is leaner, faster and more focused. We expect the trading performance of the business in the first half of 2017 to remain difficult, but anticipate momentum improving towards the end of this transitional year as our initiatives start to take effect. During 2017, the group will also face well documented external cost pressures from the increases in the National Living Wage, the National Minimum Wage, the Apprenticeship Levy, the revaluation of business rates, higher energy taxes and increased purchasing costs due to the combined effects of a devalued pound, and commodity inflation. At our Preliminary results on 9 March we will provide an update on the proposition development in Frankie & Benny’s, the strategic reviews of our other Leisure brands and the cost efficiency opportunities identified across the group.” Chief executive Andy McCue said: “Since joining the group in September, I have been impressed by my colleagues’ passion for our brands, and commitment to our customers through what has been a very difficult trading period. I’d like to thank them all for their positive contribution, and for their continuing support, as we make the necessary changes to offer better value and satisfaction to our customers.”

Time Out Group reports 3.1m visitors to Lisbon food market in 2016, revenues accelerating: Time Out Group, the media and e-commerce business with food & cultural markets, has reported that trading has been positive in the second half of the financial year to 31 December 2026, with group revenue accelerating on the levels shown in the first half. Its Lisbon food market attracted 3.1 million visitors in 2016. As a result, revenue for the full year is anticipated to be ahead of the board’s expectations. Group losses for the period are in line with the board’s expectations with closing net cash expected to be better than previously anticipated. Time Out Group revenue, including a full year of Time Out Market on a proforma basis, is expected to show growth for the year of 23% (17% at constant currency). The second half of the year has seen faster group proforma revenue growth at 29% versus 16% in the first half. Time Out Digital delivered digital revenue growth for the year of 39% (44% in the second half of the year versus 33% in the first half). Within digital revenue for the year, advertising grew by 36%, Premium Profiles by 51% and e-commerce by 45% year-on-year. Time Out Market has also shown strong year-on-year revenue growth of 110% (85% in constant currency) for the full year. With 3.1 million visitors, Time Out Market Lisbon hit a record level in 2016 (1.3 million in the first half of the year). The group expects to report its maiden annual results for 2016 on Tuesday 28 March 2017. Julio Bruno, chief executive of Time Out Group, stated: “We have delivered a strong performance in 2016 in terms of the operational and strategic development of all lines of our business. I am pleased that we have been able to deliver revenue ahead of expectations in our first year as a listed company. I’m encouraged by the growth we’ve seen in particular across key areas like digital advertising and e-commerce as well as Time Out Market. Time Out Market in Lisbon has been visited by 3.1 million people in 2016, that’s a growth of 63% compared to 1.9 million visitors in 2015. It’s now arguably the most popular attraction in the city. We’re very proud of this achievement and it’s a proof of the format which we plan to bring to other cities, such as London and Miami amongst others. We continue on our journey to be the leading global media and entertainment business that inspires people to connect with cities through content, curation and experiences.”

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