Sushi and bento chain wasabi has recorded a 44% fall in EBITDA in the year to 2 January, despite revenue rising 14.3% to £72.7m.
EBITDA fell from £8.5m in 2014 to £4.8m last year while like-for-like EBITDA fell by 35.2%. The company said this was mainly driven by an increase in pre-opening costs as it opened more branches than the previous year (seven compared to four branches) and a “significant increase in external cost pressures”.
Operating profit for the year fell by 59.1% to £2.3m.
Of the seven sites opened during the year – taking the brand to 45 sites – three were outside London, making a total of five stores out of the capital.
The company’s strategic report stressed that it had “a strong platform for future expansion, both in the UK and internationally” and said the introduction of a new central kitchen in 2016 would allow for increased efficiency and capacity.
The company said it continued to invest in the design and layout of its branches and the use of new technology to monitor our customers’ buying patterns. The director said they regarded the investment in research and development as important and integral to the continuing success of the business.
“It also said it had developed its pay benefit package and training to allow it to remain competitive in recruitment.”