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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Thu 1st Mar 2018 - Wagamama reports UK LFLs up 8.2% in third quarter
Wagamama reports UK LFLs up 8.2% in third quarter: Wagamama has reported 8.2% UK like-for-like sales growth in its third quarter for the 12 weeks ending 28 January 2018, increasing from 7.1% UK like-for-like growth in the second quarter. Group turnover increased 12.5% to £72.1m in the period. The company said its like-for-like sales were an 8.7% UK outperformance over the competitive set. It has traded “ahead of the competition consistently for more than three years (197 weeks)”. One new restaurant opened in the third quarter (Reigate) and Colchester opened early in the fourth quarter. New franchise restaurants opened in Oman and Italy in the third quarter and Dubai and Austria early in the fourth quarter. Six refurbishments have been completed in the third quarter, bringing Kaizen design and additional covers where possible to the existing estate. Two further refurbishments are under way in early quarter-four. The first three quarters have now produced 7.3% UK like-for-like sales growth. Group turnover increased 13.5% to £229.5m in those three quarters. Adjusted Ebitda is up 0.9% in the year-to-date to £35.1m (Year-to-date third-quarter 2016/17: £34.8m). The group refinanced its bond debt in July 2017 resulting in a new bond issue of £225m with coupon of 4.125%. Six new UK restaurants have opened year-to-date – St Peters Manchester, Bedford, Leeds White Rose, Cheltenham, Bracknell and Reigate. Two new US restaurants opened at Boston Seaport and East Village, New York City. A total of 21 refurbishments have been completed in the year to date, bringing Kaizen design and additional covers where possible to the existing estate. Eight new franchise restaurants opened – Madrid (three restaurants), Bergamo, Jeddah, Doha, Qurum and Malpensa. Dubai Mall and Parndorf opened early in the fourth quarter. Chief executive Jane Holbrook said: “We’ve continued to perform strongly with 8.2% UK like-for-like sales growth in the third quarter and are pleased to have continued to trade ahead of the competition consistently for more than three years. We have fantastic people across our business who do amazing jobs, and we’d like to say an enormous thank you to them. Our successful results allow us to continue our investment in developing our people, our menu, our sites and in better understanding our customers to allow us to innovate to meet their changing tastes and dining preferences. We believe this will further strengthen our business and brand and helps us to build in resilience to the current market challenges.” Turnover in the USincreased 32.2% (33.2% in USD terms) to £7.8m ($10.3 million) in the year-to-date 2017/18 from £5.9m ($7.7m) in year-to-date 2016/17, reflecting growth in like-for-like sales and the opening of two new restaurants in New York City and Boston. Turnover from its international franchised restaurants increased 15.8% to £2.2m in in the year-to-date 2017/18 from £1.9m in year-to-date 2016/17.


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