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Wed 12th Dec 2018 - Update: Franco Manca operator plans to increase openings
Fulham Shore plans to increase restaurant openings: Franco Manca operator Fulham Shore has reported revenues of £33m (2017: £27.5m) for the six months ended 23 September – and a plan to increase openings going forward. Headline Ebitda was £4.6m (2017: £4.5m) and profit after tax was £0.9m (2017: £0.6m). Net debt was £8.9m (24 September 2017: £9.7m) and down from £12.0m at the last year end. The company opened two new Franco Manca pizzeria and Franco Manca made over 2,000,000 pizzas in the period. The Real Greek served over 350,000 tables in the period. One further Franco Manca opened near Aldwych, London since the period end. An increased restaurant opening programme planned for FY2020. David Page, chairman of Fulham Shore, said: “Our two restaurant businesses performed well in the first half of the year, driven by a number of factors including: new menu initiatives, including vegan and gluten free options, within both businesses and investment in our digital channels. At the same time, we have remained resolutely focussed on both Franco Manca’s and The Real Greek’s stand out characteristics: exceptional food provenance and outstanding value for money menu pricing. During the current financial year to date we have seen sales and profit growth, improved operating cash flow, and reduced debt exposure for the group. These factors, together with our successful new opening so far this year, have led us to consider increasing our opening programme beyond the current financial year. The board remains confident that The Fulham Shore, underpinned by its unique brands and clear growth strategy, remains well positioned for continued growth and a great future.” Page added: “Since the Period end, we have opened a further Franco Manca, close to Aldwych, London. During the current financial year to date we have seen sales and profit growth, improved operating cash flow, and reduced debt exposure for the group. These factors, together with our successful new opening so far this year, have led us to consider increasing our opening programme beyond the current financial year, subject to how political events in the UK develop. In the financial year ending March 2020 (“FY2020”), we plan to open more restaurants than the current financial year. We have to date exchanged contracts for a new Franco Manca in Edinburgh to open in FY2020 and have a number of further locations in advanced legal negotiations with landlords. We continue to look for well-located new sites at reasonable rents throughout the UK, for both Franco Manca and The Real Greek. The increasing availability of restaurant space, lease incentives and capital contributions, in the current climate, should enable us to achieve higher site returns on capital than we have previously recorded. We are conscious that the longer we wait on a new site or location, the greater the choice of sites, and potentially the better the incentives from landlords. We believe that our two brands are now firmly established; we can afford to grow at a measured pace. Whilst the turmoil in UK retail and restaurant sectors has continued throughout 2018, we believe that restaurant operations which offer value for money and, above all, food quality and provenance, will continue to prosper. We will respond to Brexit in March 2019 as it occurs, when we understand how it will be implemented and the effect it may have on the UK’s mood and prospects. However, we are progressing with contingency plans to prepare for all types of exits. We will continue to invest in our team members, providing better training and support and, as a growing restaurant business, we continue to encourage career progression. Employee share ownership has been integral to the success of our enterprise and we will continue with this theme in the coming years. The Directors believe that The Fulham Shore, underpinned by its unique brands and clear growth strategy, is well placed to mitigate the challenges currently facing the UK restaurant sector. As a profitable, growing restaurant company with a great future, we look forward to the second half of our financial year with confidence.”

DP Poland reports softening sales: Domino’s Pizza Poland has provided a trading update for the year to date. It stated: “System Sales have grown substantially year-to-date, but as seen in the July and August sales numbers, announced within the interim results, we have seen softening like-for-like sales growth continue into the fourth quarter. A combination of warm and dry weather continuing into November and sustained advertising spend by competing delivery aggregators, in particular, impacted share of voice and sales performance. In addition to these external factors our investment in top-line sales support in Q4 2017 was not replicated in Q4 2018, as we focused more on balancing sales growth with enhanced store profitability. Despite the sales pressure, company Ebitda for 2018 is expected to be broadly in line with expectations, but we approach the year ahead with caution and believe that sales and Ebitda performance for 2019 will continue to be impacted by competition for share of voice.”

Propel launches Leadership Summit, open for bookings: Propel is launching the Leadership Summit, which will see a select group of the sector’s most experienced bosses share their expertise on leadership. The full-day event, in partnership with Elliotts, will take place on Tuesday, 12 February at One Moorgate Place and is open for bookings. Speakers will include Will Stratton-Morris, chief executive of Caffe Nero, who will talk about building high-performance teams. Alasdair Murdoch, chief executive of Burger King, speaks about the role of leadership in business turnarounds. Elliotts chief executive Ann Elliott will talk to Des Gunewardena, chief executive of D&D London, about the lessons of leadership he has picked up in his career in the sector. Duncan Garrood, chief executive of Ten Entertainment, will give his views on leadership and the customer experience, while Jo Fleet, managing director of Flat Iron, will talk about empowering people and trust and getting the team to “buy in” through clear communication and vision. Mark Jones, chief executive of Carluccio’s, will explain how the company is building the quality and skillsets of its general managers to lead the business out of decline. Simon Townsend, chief executive of Ei Group, will give his views on the challenges of leadership during a period of immense change and Zoe Bowley, managing director of PizzaExpress, will give her top ten tips on leadership. Meanwhile, Loungers founder Alex Reilley will talk about the adaptations involved in growing a business from one site to more than 100, celebrating success and the art of succession, while Ann Elliott will give her views on the power of mentoring to grow talent in organisations. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “With the industry facing such challenging times, effective leadership has never been more important. This is an unmissable opportunity to learn from high-profile leaders in our sector.” Prices are £295 plus VAT for Premium members, £345 plus VAT for operators and £445 plus VAT for suppliers. To book, email anne.steele@propelinfo.com

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