New owners Bridgepoint feast on sales surge at Ask and Zizzi

Kasmira Jefford
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Ask Italian and Zizzi enjoyed their highest ever weekly sales over Christmas
ZIZZI and Ask Italian enjoyed a 10 per cent jump in sales over the last six months, making for a tasty acquisition by Bridgepoint.

The Pret A Manger-owner bought the portfolio of restaurant chains in January from rival private equity firm Cinven for £250m. The sale marked Cinven’s exit from Gondola Group after selling Pizza Express and Byron over the past two years.

In the half-year to 11 January Zizzi and Ask recorded £119m of sales, up 9.6 per cent on the same time last year. Underlying earnings grew by 21.1 per cent to £17.6m.

ASK and Zizzi run 137 and 110 restaurants respectively across the UK. The group opened two outlets in the first half and plan to launch a further eight in the second half.

Chief executive Steve Holmes said: “With a new supportive investor, our focus now is on the continued evolution of our brands, investment in our estate of restaurants and the development of our footprint in the UK casual dining market.”

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