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D&D London savours record restaurant profits despite Brexit challenges

Published 26/09/2016

D&D London chief executive Des Gunewardena with MP Elizabeth Truss and Celebrity chef Ravinder Bhogal at the launch of South Place Hotel in London
D&D London chief executive Des Gunewardena with MP Elizabeth Truss and Celebrity chef Ravinder Bhogal at the launch of South Place Hotel in London

Fine dining group D&D London has dished up record revenues and profits, but had to stomach a blow from uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum result.

The owner of Almeida and Sartoria said efforts to reboot its current crop of restaurants and expand into hotels was bearing fruit , with turnover rising 3% to £107.8 million in the year ending March 31 2016.

However, it said the second half of the last financial year was challenging, while this year had been marred by a "disappointing early summer" and jitters over Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

But chairman and chief executive Des Gunewardena said the Brexit vote would not deter the group from its plans to drive investment into projects both at home and overseas.

"The second half of our last financial year was certainly not a bed of roses," he added. "But our restaurants' revenues held up well and we managed to post another year of solid sales growth and record profits.

"And in the current financial year, despite a disappointing early summer and uncertain period around the date of the EU referendum, our revenues have continued to increase."

He said the opening of the German Gymnasium - a grand cafe, restaurant and bar in London's Kings Cross - had helped total like-for-like sales rise 3%.

EBITDA, a measure of profits before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items, also climbed 16% to £13 million in the year to the end of March, up from £11.2 million in 2015.

The group said it would carry out an overhaul of its Bluebird restaurant in King's Road in September.

It also plans to open new restaurants in Leeds and Manchester next year, alongside new restaurants, cafes and bars at Land Securities' Nova development in Victoria, central London.

D&D London owns restaurants in London, Leeds, Paris, New York and Tokyo and the 80- bedroom South Place Hotel in London.

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