Bottoms Up: Coq d'Argent owner D&D London toasts jump in Christmas sales

 
Kasmira Jefford
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D&D London owns Avenue in the West End, which was refurbished in 2014 (Source: D&D London)

D&D London, the restaurant and hotel empire behind the City’s Coq D’argent and South Place Hotel, has posted a jump in sales over Christmas as diners popped open the champagne.

The company, which is mulling a stock market float, said UK like-for-like sales jumped by 4.2 per cent in December. Underlying sales for the nine months to the end of the year were slightly ahead at 4.4 per cent.

Diners embraced the festive season by splashing out on some of the more luxurious items on its restaurant menus, with sales of champagne and sparkling wine, beef fillet and smoked salmon leaping by 20 per cent.

Des Gunewardena, D&D London’s chairman and chief executive, said: “It was good to see strong Christmas trading across the group. As we reported last year, growth in revenues came from both the City and West End restaurants.”

The company launched the German Gymnasium in Kings Cross last year and refurbished the City’s Le Pont de la Tour and Sartoria in Saville Row, which Gunewardena said would help boost sales this year.

Its next reopening will be at 100 Wardour Street in Soho at the end of the month on the site of what used to be Latin American club Floridita, which is being turned into a new restaurant and live music venue.

D&D London runs more than 30 restaurants and one hotel in London, Leeds, Paris, New York and Tokyo, with revenues of £105m last year. Its name refers to the first name initials of Gunewardena and managing director David Loewi, who led a management buyout of Conran Restaurants in 2006.

In 2013, Lloyds Banking Group's private equity arm LDC bought stakes previously held by Sir Terence Conran, who founded the business, and private equity firm Caird Capital in £50m deal.

The company was preparing to announce its intention to float at the end of last year but was forced to delay its plans after failing to secure enough fundraising commitments, according to Sky News. An IPO is expected to be on the menu again this year.

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