Wagamama CEO Emma Woods has hailed the cost-effective way the brand closed its estate, as it focusses on the safe reopening of its restaurants.

She was speaking as the brand released its Q1 2020 financial update, which was impacted in the last five weeks by the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown.

UK turnover decreased 1.2% to £80.3m in Q1. Adjusted EBITDA decreased 7.5% to £11.5m.

Wagamama saw strong growth of 40.7% in the first eight weeks of the quarter, which was offset by the impact of coronavirus in the latter weeks.

Synergy savings as part of the wider TRG Group continue to be realised in Q1 2020.

Emma Woods, CEO, said: “I am extremely proud of the Wagamama team for such strong Q1 results and the cost effective way we temporarily closed the business. We are now looking forward to the safe reopening of our restaurants and welcoming our guests back to enjoy some noodles.”

Wagamama reported strong like for like sales growth in the first eight weeks of the quarter at 8.4%.

Sales generated from an increase in the number of sites from 135 open at the end of Q4 19 to 151 open at the end of Q1 2020 were countered by the impact of covid-19 in the final weeks of the quarter, including full closure of the estate in the final week.

Gross profit decreased 2.7% from £34.1m in Q4 2019 to £33.2m in Q1 2020.

Administrative expenses before exceptional items increased 2.4% to £29.7m in Q1 2020, with an increase in overhead costs and addition of new restaurants offset through operational efficiencies and synergy savings as part of the wider TRG group.