Alex Scrimgeour, chief executive of Cote, the BC Partners-backed group, has told MCA that the company has managed to deliver strong LFL growth over the last twelve months, against a backdrop of “unparalleled uncertainty in the wider sector”.
Scrimgeour was talking to MCA after the group’s 86-strong core eponymous brand saw turnover for the year to the end of July climb 12.5% to £121.5m. Adjusted EBITDA for the year fell from £20.1m to £17.9m, whilst pre-tax profit declined from £13.8m to £10m.
The group as a whole, including its Jackson & Rye and Limeyard concepts, posted turnover of £131.9m for the 55 weeks to the end of July 2016, which included a 29-week trading period for the newly acquired brands.
Scrimgeour said: “We believe that by consistently delivering high quality guest experiences at value for money prices, we are well placed as the market absorbs the full burden of recent rate legislation and increases in the National Living Wage.”
He also said the company was looking forward to further developing Jackson + Rye and Limeyard into scaleable concepts.
The company said: “During the period the company invested in a reward and incentivisation scheme for its restaurant teams to ensure they are among the best remunerated in the sector. This will enhance service and drive sustainable growth for the long term. Consequently administration expenses have increased to £42.8m (2015: £37.1m).
“The company is continuing to focus on its expansion within the UK for the foreseeable future. The group bank facilities include a £20m capex facility to help continue to grow the business and open new restaurants. In addition the company generates cash and will continue to use retained earnings to finance some of the fixed assets expenditure expected with these new openings. The company expects to open a similar number of sites in the next financial period.”
Cote recently added Maidstone and Newcastle to its openings pipeline for 2017.
The company, which opened its 86th site under its eponymous brand last month in Chester, has exchanged on 13-15 Earl Street in Maidstone. Opening at the site, which is scheduled for the final quarter of the year, is subject to planning, licensing and the developer handing over in shell. It is currently trading as Oxfam and Quicksilver Arcade.
At the same time, it has secured 120-122 Grainger Street in Newcastle for an opening in Q3 subject to planning and licensing.
The company has already secured the former Ed’s Easy Diner site in Gloucester Quays for an opening later this spring and a unit on Lewes High Street.
The group, which hopes to open 15 sites this year, has also secured sites in Shrewsbury, Bristol and Leeds for its openings under its eponymous brand this year.