Wagamama ‘widens gap to competitors’ with 7% rise in like-for-likes

01/12/2017 - 07:00
British restaurant chain Wagamama has reported strong results in turnover, like-for-like sales and EBITDA for the first half of the year, proof, according to its chief executive, of a widening gap between the company and its competition.

Like-for-like sales across the Japanese-inspired restaurant group’s UK sites were up 6.9% on last year for the 28-week period to 5 November. This figure grows to 7.1% when only the last 14 weeks are considered.

Turnover across domestic and international operations increased 14% to £157.4m in H1 while EBIDTA jumped 2.2% to £23.5m.

During the period covered, Wagamama opened five new sites in the UK and two on the east coast of America in Boston and New York.

Six new franchise restaurants were opened, half of which were in Madrid with the other three in Jeddah, Bergamo and Doha.

According to chief executive Jane Holbrook, the 7.1% Q2 rise in lfl sales was ahead of the UK’s casual dining sector by 8.1%, meaning Wagamama had "outperformed the market for over three years".

‘We are delighted with the 7.1% UK like for like sales growth in the quarter," she said. "Such strong revenue performance has seen the gap between us and the competition continue to widen.

“This robust performance has allowed us to invest in our people, product and property in the UK and US, so that we are in the best possible position for long term success. We are also delighted to have grown our underlying EBITDA year on year.

“We remain relatively cautious about the immediate outlook given market conditions, but with our successful and growing UK and international footprint, combined with our consistent performance and strong cash generation, we remain confident in our ability to identify opportunities and manage through the challenges ahead.”

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