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Wed 24th Apr 2019 - Casual Dining Group appoints James Spragg as chief executive
Casual Dining Group appoints James Spragg as chief executive: Casual Dining Group (CDG), the operator of circa 280 mid-market restaurant brands including Bella Italia, Las Iguanas and Cafe Rouge, has promoted James Spragg to chief executive. Spragg, who is currently chief operating officer, will take up his new role on Monday (29 April). He succeeds Steve Richards, who announced last month he would leave the business at the end of May to join Parkdean Holidays as their chief executive. Richards will stay on at CDG until June to help with the handover. CDG chairman Rooney Anand said: “I am delighted to announce this appointment and welcome James to the board. We conducted an extensive search and selection process that left us in no doubt James is the right leader for this company. He has an intimate understanding of the business, having most recently served as chief operating officer, and will bring fresh ideas and energy to the role of chief executive. Our industry continues to face challenges. However, we see a host of exciting opportunities we believe CDG can capitalise on under James’ seasoned leadership.” Spragg added: “CDG is at an exciting time in its journey. We have great restaurant brands, a talented team including a highly experienced new chairman, and high-quality and supportive shareholders. I am delighted to accept this new role and push forward with a series of new initiatives and growth opportunities.” Earlier this month, CDG reported an encouraging start to the year with like-for-like sales up 4.2% for the 13 weeks since the new year, aided by diversification of its business. The company has recorded a 2.6% rise in like-for-like sales for the past 11 months aided by “proactive steps”, which included refinancing with its existing shareholder and lender group, reaching positive agreements with property partners, and investing and diversifying across its brands.

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