‘Exceptional’ performance by Brunning & Price

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Good results: Brunning & Price site the Roe Deer in Wordsley, Stourbridge, West Midlands
Good results: Brunning & Price site the Roe Deer in Wordsley, Stourbridge, West Midlands

Related tags Pubco + head office Brunning & Price Multi-site pub operators Property Finance The restaurant group

The Restaurant Group (TRG), which operates the Brunning & Price pub brand, has reported an “exceptional trading performance” in the first half its 2023 financial year (FY23).

TRG said it has had a strong first half to FY23 and is confident of delivering its medium-term plan as it released results for the 28-week period from 2 January to 16 July 2023.

Its Pubs division saw a 5% rise in total like-for-like (lfl) sales for the first 13 weeks to 2 April 2023 versus the same period in 2022 while that figure rose to a 13% lfl hike for the second quarter of 2023 (13 weeks to 2 July) and the last two weeks to 16 July 2023 saw a 7% lfl sales uplift.

Overall, the Pubs segment of TRG delivered a total year-to-date (YTD) lfl sales boost of 9% against the first half of trade for FY22, which was up by 11% with VAT adjustments.

Outperforming the market

TRG said: “Brunning & Price pubs (B&P) has delivered another exceptional trading performance in the first half of the year, with dine-in covers in year-on-year growth. 

“B&P has continued its long-term trend of outperforming the market and the business has recently been recognised as the best pub group in the UK by the CGA PubTrack survey, further illustrating the core strength of the B&P proposition.”

TRG also operates about 80 Brunning & Price pubs along with other chains of restaurants that include Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s.

Wagamama has continued to trade strongly despite trading being temporarily impacted by the hot weather in late May and June. It saw YTD lfl sales up by 5% versus H1 FY22.

Its Concessions arm trade has strengthened even further in recent weeks, benefiting from the rapid recovery of passenger volumes and strong operational delivery leading to exceptionally strong lfl sales vs 2022 with YTD lfls up 28%.

Leisure lfl sales fall

However, the group’s Leisure division saw lfl sales in FY23 fall by 4% versus FY22. TRG said: “As part of the previously announced Leisure estate rationalisation plan, the group will have closed approximately 35 sites by the end of this financial year. The 35 sites include eight freehold sites.”

TRG added: “While we are pleased with the progress being made in delivering [our] medium-term plans, the board   has continued to review its wider strategic options with the assistance of independent advisers in order to examine the potential to accelerate TRG’s deleveraging profile and further enhance EBITDA margin accretion. 

“In evaluating strategic options, including potential disposals, the board remains mindful that any transaction must be at attractive levels for shareholders and must reflect both the strength of current trading and the long-term prospects of our businesses.”

It concluded: “Given the very encouraging trading performance in the first 28 weeks of the financial year, TRG is confident in delivering management's expectations for FY23.”

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