Frankie & Benny’s owner The Restaurant Group began to feel the benefits of its controversial Wagamama purchase as sales soared 57 per cent in the year to May.
Like-for-like sales rose 2.8 per cent, meaning the acquisition of Wagamama for £559m at the end of 2018, as well as a record number of pub openings last year, pushed the retailer higher.
Growth so far in 2019 far outstrips the one per cent revenue rise the Chiquito restaurant owner experienced last year, when profits fell eight per cent to £53.2m and earnings per share dropped by two-thirds to just 2.4p.
Pan-Asian restaurant Wagamama “continued to significantly outperform” rivals on the market while the firm’s pubs business out-traded the rest of the sector.
Chairman Debbie Hewitt said: “We are comfortable with the performance in the first 19 weeks of the current financial year and remain focused on realising the synergies from the Wagamama acquisition, executing on our multi-pronged growth strategy and optimising our leisure business.”
Earlier this month the Restaurant Group confirmed former Hbos chief executive Andy Hornby will take over from outgoing boss Andy McCue.
Hornby led the mortgage lender in 2009 when Lloyds TSB acquired the firm, before taxpayers were forced to bail out the merged entity to the tune of £20bn.