Gourmet Burger Kitchen like-for-likes up 8.6% in first half: Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s (GBK) like-for-like sales were up 8.6% in the six months ended 25 August 2019, its parent company Famous Brands has stated. In a brief voluntary trading update Famous Brands, which also operates Wimpy in the UK, said the performance of GBK was “in line with management projections”. Famous Brands stated: “As anticipated, GBK continued to benefit from the extensive range of operational improvements implemented, together with the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) restructuring programme completed over the past year. System-wide UK sales decreased 12.5% (2018: 6.8% decrease), reflecting the closure of stores as part of the CVA process. Like-for-like sales rose 8.6% (2018: 9.7% decrease).” The company didn’t provide an update on the Wimpy business. Looking at the overall business, Famous Brands stated: “Difficult trading conditions persisted across the group’s primary markets in South Africa and the UK, featuring subdued consumer sentiment and spend and intense competitor activity and margin pressure. Revenue reported for the review period is in line with management’s expectations.” GBK entered into a company voluntary arrangement in December that resulted in the closure of 24 restaurants, leaving it with a circa 60-strong estate.
Investment in foodservice offer helps boost turnover and Ebitda at Roadchef, secures £271.8m refinancing package: Investment in the foodservice offer has helped boost turnover and Ebitda at motorway services operator Roadchef, which revealed it has secured a £271.8m refinancing package. The company said strong growth from existing McDonald’s sites in the estate as well as new revenues from the introduction of seven Costa drive-thrus had helped increase revenue 5.2% to £191.8m for the year ending 31 December 2017, compared with £188.8m the year before. Ebitda was up 5.2% to £39.1m. Pre-tax losses narrowed to £4.3m, compared with £6.5m the previous year. Roadchef said it continued to work hard to improve the food offer at its 30 service stations. During the year it added a second Pret A Manger site, at the westbound Clackett Lane services on the M25. The number of transactions also increased to 31.3 million compared with 30.2 million the year before, which was driven by the “strength in popularity of the offerings in place”. Average spend per transaction was up to £5.08, compared with £5.01 the previous year. Roadchef said it was making further investments in 2019. For example, two sites with natural fast food chain Leon have opened with more to follow. On 31 January, the company refinanced its bank borrowings. Total available bank borrowings of £271.8m have been secured, which includes a term loan, a capital expenditure facility, and a revolving credit facility. The new facilities support the group’s growth initiatives and optimise cash generation through significantly lower financing costs and extended maturity to 2024. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “The group’s drive to add variety and choice of quality brands for customers has been at the forefront of efforts in recent years. Management continually assesses the suitability and success of the group’s offerings and looks forward to making further investments to enhance the estate during 2019.”