Wagamama boss confident chain can bounce back after restrictions ease

16 December 2020 by
Wagamama boss confident chain can bounce back after restrictions ease

The chief executive of Wagamama said there is "real confidence" the restaurant group can return to market-leading performance once coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Emma Woods said the chain, which is owned by the Restaurant Group (TRG), had seen strong sales across its eat-in and delivery business during the third quarter of the year, which was the last point trading was close to normal.

Like-for-like sales rose 7.4% in the 39 weeks to 27 September, buoyed by the government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) also increased to £18.1m as the business managed costs and renegotiated a number of rent deals.

But the impact of coronavirus restrictions meant revenue for the year to 27 September decreased 37.4% to £158.9m, while adjusted EBITDA fell to £20.6m.

Woods said: "We are encouraged by the strong performance of the business in Q3, both for eat in and delivery.

"This was the last point we were able to trade in any sense normally and provides real confidence that the business can return to market-leading performance when restrictions are again lifted."

In April TRG unveiled a survival package which included adding £15m to Wagamama's credit facility, taking it from £20m to £35m.

TRG, which also owns Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito, reduced the pay of some of its senior team by 20%-40%.

Photo: Shutterstock

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