The Restaurant Group to beef up pub estate

By Hamish Champ

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pub restaurants, Inn, The restaurant group

Pub restaurant operator The Restaurant Group (TRG) said it expects to capitalise on the economic downturn forcing existing operators to downsize...

Pub restaurant operator The Restaurant Group (TRG) said it expects to capitalise on the economic downturn forcing existing operators to downsize their operations and deterring new entrants to the sector.

TRG, which operates 367 restaurants and pub restaurants and brands such as Frankie & Bennys and Garfunkels, said the combined effect of these factors would to put a brake on the number of outlets operated by rival groups, "with the positive impact of this likely to be felt for some time".

With larger indebted companies looking to offload sites, TRG said it believed there would be further opportunities to "accelerate the growth of our pub restaurant business in the future. In the meantime, we will look to steadily add to our pub restaurant estate".

Announcing its results for the year to December 27, 2009, TRG chief executive Andrew Page said the group's 42 pub restaurants had put in a good trading performance, with sites in the North West doing particularly well.

"Those pub restaurants located in the North West of England traded very well, without exception. Trading in the South East was more variable, with some very good performers and others where results were less buoyant."

The group said its strategy of aligning the majority of its pub restaurants towards a less formal (Brunning & Price) style of operation since the middle of last year had been "very encouraging with significant improvements in trading being secured".

TRG said it will have more or less finished this programme by the end of the year and was meanwhile on the lookout for new sites, expecting to open "between two and three" new pub restaurants in 2010.

The group said trading in the nine weeks to February 28, 2010, had seen like-for-like sales up 1.8 per cent.

Results in brief:

Turnover: £436m - up five per cent

EBITDA: £80m - up three per cent

Pre-tax profit: £50m - up two per cent

Earnings per share: 17.5p - up five per cent

Full year dividend per share: 8p - up four per cent

Related topics: Other operators

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