Busaba has said that it expects to return to being cash generative at an operational level this year, following the easing of trading restrictions, despite challenges still remaining in the casual dining sector.

In its latest accounts published on Companies House, the Thai restaurant group said the successful roll out of the vaccination programme and relaxing of restrictions in the spring of 2021 had allowed for all of its restaurants to reopen “with sales steadily growing with improved footfall, especially in central London”.

“The surrender of onerous leases and renegotiation of remaining rents as part of the CVA agreement post year end has significantly restaurant overheads to result in a more profitable business model,” said managing director Terry Harrison.

Busaba undertook a CVA in October last year, which saw the business exit leases in Oxford Circus, Manchester, St Albans and Reading.

During the extended accounting period, from 27 May 2019 to 20 September 2020, turnover fell by 15% to £23.89m, while adjusted EBITDA fell from £1.33m to -£2.70m.

Loss after tax amounted to just shy of £6.5m, down from a loss of £2.9m in 2019.

The business said it had received £2.3m in government support via the Coronavirus Job Protection Scheme.

The Alan-Yau founded concept underwent a restructuring process in May 2019 before being acquired by London-based buyout specialist Tnui Capital last year.

It said that given the restructuring, and the resulting reduction in loan note debt and the cash injection, the near-term objective for the directors was to further improve the business through a continued focus on operating efficiencies, “the maintenance of a central cost appropriate to the scale of the business and the opportunistic growth of covers and sales through brand-wide and local marketing activities.

Busaba currently operates nine restaurants in London and is understood to have lined up a new site in Cardiff, in the city’s Brewery Quarter.