Belgo to accelerate roll-out of new UK brands

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The Independent Online

Belgo, the fashionable eateries group which is best known for its beer, mussels, and waiters dressed as monks, yesterday said it would focus on developing its two newest UK brands after a disappointing foray into overseas dining.

Belgo, the fashionable eateries group which is best known for its beer, mussels, and waiters dressed as monks, yesterday said it would focus on developing its two newest UK brands after a disappointing foray into overseas dining.

Belgo, which owns upmarket restaurants such as The Ivy and Le Caprice as well as its trademark Belgian-branded outlets, said that its restaurants in Dublin and New York had continued to underperform, despite a recent improvement in trading under new local management.

Earlier this year, Belgo issued a profit warning after admitting that sales growth in the overseas division had been "slower than originally anticipated".

Andy Bassadone, chief executive, said the group would now accelerate the roll-out of its Bierodrome bar-restaurants and Strada pizza and pasta chain across the UK. He added that the group was unlikely to take part in the expected wave of consolidation in the restaurants sector.

Belgo posted a 33 per cent jump in full-year profits before tax and goodwill amortisation to £4.8m for the year to 2 July. Turnover rose 32 per cent to £35.7m. Belgo shares yesterday closed unchanged at 4p.

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