Wednesday 20 March 2019 9:54 am

Wildwood restaurant owner Tasty shares plunge as it warns further site closures on the way

Shares in Wildwood restaurant owner Tasty plunged this morning as the company warned that it may be forced to make further closures this year after shuttering eight underperforming sites.

The figures

Shares plummeted more than 17 per cent as the restaurant group posted dismal full-year results for 2018, blaming challenges in the casual dining sector as well as unfavourable weather conditions and the World Cup.

Read more: The Restaurant Group profits fall as like-for-like sales slip

The company, which also owns the pan-Asian Dim-T restaurant brand, reported an increased operating loss of £11.5m from £9.2m the previous year and a six per cent fall in revenue from £50.3m in 2017 to £47.28m last year.

Cash inflow fell from £2.7m in 2017 to £415,000 and the company will not issue a dividend for the year.

Why it’s interesting

Tasty closed Wildwood restaurants in Canary Wharf, Barnes, Gloucester Road, and South Woodford, and Centuno restaurant in Highgate, as well as three other sites outside the capital.

In its full-year results this morning the company, which currently operates out of 58 sites across the UK, said it did not expect challenging market conditions to improve in 2019, and would continue to focus on restructuring the business.

“There are a number of sites that the group is planning to dispose of and at present the board has no plans to open any new sites in 2019,” chairman Keith Lassman said.

The firm warned that any form of Brexit could cause food price inflation, and risks the supply of certain food items and labour.

What Tasty said

Lassman said: “As highlighted previously, the market conditions for 2018 continued to remain extremely challenging.

“In addition, unfavourable weather conditions and the World Cup impacted 2018 performance.

“The exceptionally cold and snowy winter suppressed sales. During the World Cup and an unusually hot summer, customers favoured wet-led establishments and outside seating.

Read more: Restaurant sector defies confidence slump as UK leisure spending grows

“Trading over the Christmas period was positive, though the uncertainty of Brexit has meant that 2019 has started slowly.”