Eat makes loss after splashing out on new look

Kasmira Jefford
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THE BOSS of Eat has said it is on the road to recovery and that efforts to spruce up its estate are paying off despite falling to a loss last year.

The sandwich, soup and salad chain, founded 15 years ago by former hedge fund manager Niall MacArthur, fell to a £521,567 loss in the year to 27 June 2013 compared with a pre-tax profit of £1.1m the previous year.

Sales declined 1.4 per cent to £93.6m, accounts filed this week on Companies House show.

Former Costa retail boss Adrian Johnson, who took over the reins in June, said the retailer was hit by two major rent reviews last year while an investment in rebranding its stores also weighed on profits.

“Eat has great food and while I think the loyalty was still there, it was underinvested in and was waning amid the stiff competition in London,” Johnson told City A.M.

The group has now revamped 33 of its shops after receiving a £12m capital injection from its private equity owners Lyceum Capital in January. It will push ahead with refurbishing all 113 sites by the end of the year.

“We will have an estate that is up to date and fresh in the minds of consumers and that it really good,” Johnson told City A.M., adding that its rebranded stores are enjoying a double-digit uplift in sales.