The parent group of Wagamama has said it feels confident in its ability to open seven to eight new sites every year.
The Restaurant Group (TRG), which also owns Frankie & Benny’s and Brunning & Price Pubs, said that Wagamama’s recent openings had traded “ahead of expectations”.
TRG said it has confidence in its expansion plan to deliver highly attractive returns for shareholders.
This comes as the group releases a trading update for the first half of the 2023 financial year, during which its opened four new Wagamama restaurants and one pub restaurant in Shrewsbury.
TRG has also been continuing its leisure estate ‘rationalising’ programme, in which it is closing or repurposing existing sites.
By the end of the financial year, TRG expects to have closed around 35 leisure sites, including eight freeholds. The group expects to generate between £8m to £10m of cash proceeds from the freehold sales.
During the period, which covered the 28 weeks to 16 July, Wagamama saw an increase in year-to-date (YTD) like-for-like (LfL) sales of 5%, while TRG’s pubs division increased by 9%.
TRG’s leisure division saw a YTD LfL decrease in sales of 4%, while its concessions business saw an increase of 28%.