Gondola Group, the operator of the Ask, Byron, Pizza Express and Zizzi chains, delivered a resilient performance for the year to 26 June with underlying earnings up 1.9% to £114.5m. According to The Times, revenues for the year rose 4.5% to £569.5m, while its losses after interest payments narrowed from £53.8m in the previous year to £41.2m. Operating profits fell 7.7% to £47.7m. The group opened 42 new restaurants across its brands during the year, but said it expected the economic backdrop to “remain challenging”. Chairman Chris Woodhouse told the newspaper that despite challenging conditions the company was pressing ahead with ambitious development plans for all its brands. Like most of its rivals, it is thought that the performance of the Cinven-backed group, which operates over 650 restaurants, in London is being impacted by weaker trading in the regions. M&C Report understands that this divide between London and the regions is reflected in the performance of the group’s brands, with the national chains of Pizza Express, Ask and Zizzi, all falling into negative like-for-like territory in recent weeks. This is set against the performance of the London-focused Byron, which is believed to have recently experienced like-for-like growth of over 15%.