Drake & Morgan, the London-based bar and restaurant group backed by Bowmark Capital, will open two to three regional venues in the coming years, but will continue to focus its openings schedule on the capital, finance director James Sherrington told M&C.

The group, which saw its turnover increase 20% to £24.6m in the year to 29 March 2015, has announced it will open its first restaurant away from the capital in Edinburgh in autumn 2016.

Sherrington said the majority of the group’s growth will be focused on London but added: “It’s likely in the next two or three years we will look to do two or three sites outside of London, Edinburgh won’t be the only one.”

The eight-strong group saw like-for-like turnover climb 4.6% in the year, with adjusted EBITDA up 28% to £3.2m. Pre-tax profit stood at £1.6m, up from £139k in the previous 12 months.

The company said that trading had continued positively into the new financial year, with like-for-like sales for the four months to 2 August up 5.3%.

Sherrington said: “The two sides of  our business are core like for like growth at existing units and how quickly are we adding new units. The year to March on our core estate of sites saw sales increase by 4.5% which is very healthy and has grown year on year. On the new site side of it we added the Happenstance and the Fable, sites six and seven, so we got the benefit of a full 12 months which is what helped with turnover growth and eighth site opened this year so we got a few weeks benefit of that but will feel the full benefit next year.”

He said there was consistent, steady performance across the group and the strong start the group’s latest site had enjoyed since opening in March had given the group the assurance it can open in smaller venues.

“The Refinery in Regent’s Place is just under 5,000sq ft and that has gone very well from the start which helps to demonstrate we can flex down to sites of four or 5,000sq ft.

“All of our sites have still got the unique feel and originality and will feel completely different but in terms of space we’ve got the flexibility to do smaller sites but still be able to do the big sites as well.” 

Following a number of new managerial appointments over the past year, Drake & Morgan is now poised for continued growth.

“The management team is really bedded in now: I’ve been here a year now and so has our chairman (Tony Campbell); Dylan Murray has been here for six or seven months and  we’re looking to grow.”

“We’re working hard and moving in the right direction. We feel like we’ve got a good team and just need to do more of the same.”