Wagamama owner the Restaurant Group has reported sales surging ahead of pre-pandemic levels as the hospitality sector recovers from lockdowns.
In full-year results, the operator said like-for-like sales at Wagamama, plus its pubs and leisure divisions, were well ahead of the 2019 comparable.
Pub sales were up nine per cent while its leisure division saw a 14 per cent leap and Wagamama sales soared 15 per cent in the 33 weeks from 17 May 2021 to 2 January 2022.
For the whole year, the company reported total sales of £636.6m, up from 2020’s £459.8m.
Shares soared more than five per cent on Wednesday morning.
Hospitality venues were forced to close for the first five months of last year due to Covid infections.
The Restaurant Group (TRG) reported an adjusted EBITDA profit of £81.2m on a pre IFRS 16 basis, versus 2020’s £8.7m.
It also posted a statutory loss before tax of £32.9m on an IFRS 16 basis, compared to 2020’s staggering loss of £132.9m amid the first Covid lockdown.
Bosses said their current expectations for the 2022 financial year “remain unchanged.”
However, the group said it was “mindful about the consequential inflationary impacts arising from the conflict in Ukraine.”
The comments echo those from beverage maker Fever Tree, who also pointed to short term cost pressures relating to the conflict, in results on Wednesday morning.
TRG chief executive officer, Andy Hornby, said: “2021 was a year of substantial progress at TRG. The recapitalisation of the balance sheet and strong trading performance have allowed us to deliver a robust set of financial results despite the various restrictions that have impacted the sector.
“I’d like to thank every single one of our teams who have gone the extra mile on so many occasions during 2021 and delivered a market outperformance across all our brands.”
Nigel Parson, leading consumer analyst at finnCap, said: “Restaurant Group has served up an excellent set of prelims, ahead of consensus, current trading is strong and management’s expectations remain unchanged for the 2022 financial year, although they are mindful of inflationary pressures arising from the Ukraine conflict.
“The share price is down 35 per cent since outbreak of hostilities and represents good value, in our view. “