Henry Birts has stepped down as deputy managing director/chief operating officer of Pizza Hut Restaurants, after eight years with the c260-strong company.

Birts joined Pizza Hut Restaurants in 2010 as its chief financial officer before taking up his most recent role four years ago.

Previous to that he was chief financial officer for Yum! Brands in the Middle East and spent four years at KFC UK as commercial director and regional operations director.

Earlier this spring, the company completed a management buyout led by chief executive Jens Hofma, who has run Pizza Hut Restaurants UK since 2009, backed by debt provided by US investment firm Pricoa, which valued the business at under £100m.

Hofma told MCA earlier this summer that the c260-strong group was “prudently” searching for new sites and would continue to evolve its core model while retaining its values.

Hofma said more self-service elements were likely to be added to the core model and work would continue on elevating the bar proposition in suitable sites.

He stressed that Pizza Hut was in a stronger position than many competitors without the distractions of building its delivery business, which is owned and operated by Yum! Brands.

The group’s results for the year to 3 December showed a like-for-like slump but Hofma insisted that on its core metric of trading EBITDA, which strips out royalties as well as exceptionals, there was an increase of 7% to £30.4m.

The business reported an operating loss of £400,000, as opposed to a profit of £7.36m last year, which Hofma said was largely due to a significant increase in royalty fees, which rose year-on-year under the agreement with Yum!.