Restaurant Giraffe looks east after Johnson leads growth

RESTAURANT group Giraffe is set to open a branch in Dubai as its turnaround continues under serial entrepreneur Luke Johnson.

The firm, backed by 3i and Johnson’s Risk Capital Partners, posted an operating profit of £1.1m for the year to 25 March, after recording a £2.5m loss for the same period the previous year, when the results were hit by a major impairment charge.

Giraffe said it plans to open the Dubai branch later this year after signing a franchise deal with Emirates Leisure Retail, which owns the rights for a string of Western brands in the oil-rich state.

The restaurant firm said like-for-like earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the year jumped 17 per cent to £4m.

Johnson, the chairman, hailed the results as “another strong performance”.

Giraffe, created in Hampstead in 1998, expects to move to another four to six sites this year.

“Despite the continued growth in restaurants, there remain many well-populated towns, cities, and leisure parks that Giraffe plans to serve over the coming years,” Johnson added.