RNS Number : 5203D
Restaurant Group PLC
17 May 2012
The Restaurant Group plc
At the AGM of The Restaurant Group plc ("TRG" or "the Group"), to be held later today, Alan Jackson, Chairman, will make the following statement, which comprises the Group's Interim Management Statement as required by the FSA's Disclosure and Transparency Rules:
Trading for the first 19 weeks has been strong with total sales 8% ahead of the previous year and like-for-like sales 4% ahead. Since the end of February we have seen a significant uplift in sales with good growth in March, April and May to date. Margins are in line with expectations.
During the first 19 weeks we have opened one new Frankie & Benny's restaurant, two new Garfunkel's and one new Pub restaurant. These sites are trading well and are set to deliver strong returns.
In November 2011 we opened our first "Coast to Coast" restaurant, alongside an existing Frankie & Benny's restaurant at the Brighton Marina. "Coast to Coast" is a new TRG brand which we have been developing over the past two years. Our intention with this brand was to create a unique restaurant offering that has scaleability and which will complement our existing Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito brands. The performance of our first "Coast to Coast" restaurant has been superb and we are particularly pleased with how well it is complementing the existing Frankie & Benny's restaurant located adjacent to it. As a result, we have now committed to two new "Coast to Coast" sites which will open later this year. We are also exploring further site opportunities for new "Coast to Coast" restaurants.
In total we expect to open between 25 and 30 new restaurants this year with a strong pipeline developing for 2013 and beyond. We anticipate that one half of our new restaurant openings this year will be under the Frankie & Benny's brand.
Balance sheet and financial position
The Group's balance sheet remains strong and continues to benefit from good cash generation from our operations.
Subject to approval at the AGM, the final dividend in respect of the year ended 1 January 2012 of 6.5p per share (making the full year dividend in respect of 2011 a total of 10.5p per share) will be paid on 19 July 2012 to shareholders on the Register on 29 June 2012 - this represents a 17% increase on the previous full year's dividend.
The Group is trading in line with expectations and is on track to report a strong first half performance.
17 May 2012
The Restaurant Group plc Tel: 020 3117 5001
Andrew Page, Chief Executive
Stephen Critoph, Group Finance
College Hill Tel: 020 7457 2020
Notes for Editors:
1. The Restaurant Group plc operates over 400 restaurants and pub restaurants predominantly in leisure locations and airports. Its principal trading brands are Frankie and Benny's, Chiquito, Garfunkel's, a Pub restaurants business as well as over 50 sites in its Concessions division which trades principally on major UK airports.
2. "Coast to Coast" is an American restaurant and bar which takes its inspiration from the "Lincoln Highway" - which runs from New York to San Francisco. There is a broad range of food and drinks available, including many classic dishes and drinks from across the United States with a price point a little above Frankie & Benny's. The decor is stylish but not pretentious and has an inclusive feel to it. The "Coast to Coast" brand and concept has been designed to create a highly scaleable model with good potential for further growth alongside our Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito brands.
3. This statement is based on information sourced from management accounts.
4. Statements made in this announcement that look forward in time or that express management's beliefs, expectations or estimates regarding future occurrences are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements reflect the Group's current expectations concerning future events and actual results may differ materially from current expectations or historical results.
5. Reported like-for-like figures for 2012 are -2% for the eight weeks to 26 February 2012 and +4% for the 19 weeks to 13 May 2012. In 2011, like-for-like sales were +3% for the nine weeks to 6 March 2011 and +0.5% for the 18 weeks to 8 May 2011. Like-for-like sales for the 26 weeks to 3 July 2011 were +3% and like-for-like sales for the 52 weeks to 1 January 2012 were +3.25%.
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