Shares jump almost 10 per cent
Despite weak sales, Restaurant Group and owner of Frankie and Benny’s announced a pre-tax profit of £43.5m compared to a £49.3m loss the prior year.
The group also maintained a dividend of 17.4p, saying it reflected the board’s confidence in its recovery plan.
Shares in the group, which also owns Mexican eatery Chiquito and Garfunkel’s, were up almost 10 per cent in early trading after it announced plans to roll out a gourmet burger concept with a menu that will only be available via delivery.
Chief executive Andy McCue said: “As expected, 2017 was a transitional year for the group, with significant investments made in price and proposition within our leisure business, which is driving improving volume momentum.
“We start 2018 with a significantly more competitive offering in our Leisure business, a strengthened pipeline of growth opportunities in both our pubs and concessions businesses, and a leaner, faster and more focused organisation. I’d like to thank our colleagues for embracing the change agenda and for their contribution to stabilising the business.”