SFI narrows its losses

04 October 2004
SFI narrows its losses

Emergency financial surgery by SFI, the company behind the Slug & Lettuce pub chain, appears to have paid off, with the company reporting a significant narrowing of its losses in the past year.

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Slug: back on track
The chain was delisted from the London Stock Exchange in May last year after the revelation in November 2002 that an overstatement of the group's assets and liabilities over several years had left a £20m hole in its finances. In response SFI has wielded the axe on its pubs portfolio, cutting its estate from 183 pubs to 157 and has been working to put its finances back in order. In the year to May pre-tax losses came in at £25.4m, compared with losses of £110m at the same point last year, on reduced turnover of £128.7m, down from £153.2m a year earlier. On a like-for-like basis, the business even came close to breaking even, reporting operating losses of just £61,000, compared with £85m the previous year. SFI had also embarked on a multi-million pound refurbishment of its Litten Tree chain, it added in a statement. In April the company was given a new lease of financial life through a deal that saw its creditors write off £83.4m of debt in exchange for a 75% shareholding in the company. by Nic Paton Buy this week's *Caterer* magazine for more industry news and analysis
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