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Tue 21st Aug 2018 - YO! Sushi sees turnover more than double to £200m following acquisitions, continues to diversify model
YO! Sushi sees turnover more than double to £200m following acquisitions, continues to diversify business model: YO! Sushi has seen turnover more than double to circa £200m following its acquisitions of Bento Sushi and Taiko Foods, Propel understands. The company is looking at further contract and partnership opportunities with retailers as the company continues to diversify its business model by creating a global multi-channel, multi format Japanese food platform to meet growing demand for sushi via restaurants, kiosks and supermarkets. Propel also understands further acquisitions are not off the cards. YO! Sushi provided further insight into its strategy as it announced its financial results for the year ended 27 November 2017. The period culminated in the transformational acquisition, in November 2017, of Bento Sushi, one of the largest sushi brands in North America, creating one of the largest sushi companies outside of Japan. As such, there have been significant further developments in the period since the year end. In line with the group’s strategy to fully leverage its diversified offer, Richard Hodgson joined the group as chief executive in December 2017. He took over from Robin Rowland, who remains on the board. Hodgson brings with him considerable international restaurant, retail and grocery experience that the company said would benefit the newly expanded YO! proposition. In April of this year, the group’s diversified offer was further strengthened by the acquisition of sushi manufacturing group Taiko Foods, supplier to Waitrose. YO! intends to leverage the combined expertise of Bento and Taiko to explore more opportunities with supermarkets and convenience stores in the UK. Hodgson said: “YO! has always been an innovator and first mover, since first bringing the kaiten belt to the UK more than 20 years ago. The past year has seen the group significantly diversify its strategy and business model and more than double its turnover with the acquisitions of Bento and Taiko. This positions YO! as a global multi-channel, multi-format food group well placed to take advantage of the worldwide demand for naturally healthy Asian food in restaurants, at home and on-the-go. It is still early days in terms of fulfilling that potential, but we are already seeing exciting opportunities as the group moves to the next stage of its growth and development.” Going forward the group expects to report numbers including Bento and Taiko. For its latest financial year however the numbers only include YO! Sushi’s casual dining restaurant and franchise business. Total sales were up 1.7% to £89.9m, compared with £88.4m the previous year. This includes a like-for-like increase of 4% driven by new menu items and significant increases in YO! to-go and delivery. Significant investment into the UK estate was made with six new sites opened in the period, including two in London – Tottenham Court Road and London Bridge. Adjusted company Ebitda was up to £8.5m compared with £7m the previous year. Further development of the YO! to go offer resulted in 21% like-for-like revenue increase in to-go and delivery. Its net promoter scores remained in the top quartile in the casual dining sector. Meanwhile, two franchised restaurants opened in the period in Paris and Sydney. Since the period end, it has also introduced a new internal change programme, Say YO! to the Future, which has been initiated to best position the YO! group for the next five to ten years.

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