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Bluebird and Le Pont de la Tour owner D&D London restaurant group dishes up best ever profits

Francesca Washtell
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D&D London operates the Bluebird in Chelsea (Source: D&D London)

Premium restaurant operator D&D London served up tasty growth last year, despite a troubling second half, and has committed to investing in the UK after the vote for Brexit.

The figures

Chief executive Des Gunewardena has said the second half of the year "was certainly not a bed of roses", though full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation still increased by 16 per cent to £13m in the year ended 31 March.

Revenues at D&D, which owns Le Pont de la Tour in London Bridge and the Bluebird in Chelsea, increased three per cent to £107.8m – its highest ever turnover.

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Overall UK like-for-like sales were up three per cent. Restaurants including the Paternoster Chophouse and Quaglinos dished up double-digit like-for-like growth, at 28 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.

Revenues from the successful opening of its new German Gymnasium restaurant last November, however, were "offset by revenue reductions as a result of closures for refurbishment".

Why it's interesting

D&D has ploughed capital into revamping several of its sites this year and subsequently relaunching them, including Le Pont de la Tour in September last year and 100 Wardour Street in January.

Gunewardena said in the current financial year new ventures and refurbished sites have pushed revenues up, "despite a disappointing early summer" and the "uncertain period around the date of the referendum". ​

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On Brexit, Gunewardena said: "Despite the uncertainties surrounding the UK's relationship with the EU, we remain confident in and will continue to invest in new ventures in the UK as well as in projects overseas."

Consumer spending since the referendum has so far been positive, to the relief of many in the food sector, with spending in pubs, restaurants and other leisure sites up by 10.7 per cent in July after a sluggish June.

What D&D London said

Gunewardena added:

It's great to report such excellent results on the 10th anniversary of D&D. A lot has happened in 10 years.

In turnover terms we are today about 2.5 times the size we were when we bought the business from Conran in 2006.