Wildwood and Dim T owner Tasty Plc's shares slump again as losses deepen

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Tasty hopes to improve performance by ditching some of its underperforming sites (Source: Getty)

Pre-tax losses at casual dining group Tasty Plc deepened during the first half of the year despite increased revenue, as the company warned on a difficult trading outlook for the sector.

Shares in the operator of 65 restaurants, mostly Wildwood branches, fell more than 11 per cent this morning.

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The figures

Pre-tax loss in the 26 weeks to 2 July was £9.3m, down from £2.3m at the same time last year.

Revenue grew 11 per cent to £24.4m, but the cost of sales increased faster, rising 20 per cent on the year to £23.5m.

The company also racked up £9.3m in exceptional impairment costs on its estate.

Loss per share came in at 15.56p, more than three times as much the loss of 4.95p per share this time last year.

Shares fell as much as 14 per cent this morning and were trading down 11.9 per cent at 37p at the time of writing. This is the second slide in the group's share price in as many months, after it warned on profits in August.

Why it's interesting

Tasty, which operates the Wildwood pizza joints and Dim T dim sum restaurants, blamed the performance on a sector-wide slowdown in consumer spending since the beginning of 2017.

This tallies with warnings issued by similar companies in the last few months. Just last week Fulham Shore, the owner of Franco Manca, said it had experienced a slowdown, especially in outer London. Tasty has also flagged London as a particular cause for concern.

Today Tasty set out some ways in which it hopes to improve its position. Some sites will be disposed of, while those that remain will get refreshed menu offerings and be able to offer more special promotions in line with the rest of the market.

What Tasty said

"The group recognises the challenging conditions ahead and is taking action to strengthen its position. The directors are confident that the group's restaurants remain appealing to customers and the group will continue its growth in the future."

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