Richoux, the Jonathan Kaye-led, listed company, has reported revenue down 17.4% in 2017, to £11m, with EBITDA falling to a loss of £800,000.

In the year to 31 December 2017, the group made a net loss of £4.5m.

The now 17-strong group reiterated in this morning’s update that is was putting further expansion on hold while it focuses on consolidating its existing estate.

The group confirmed that it is trialling a new format – The Broadwick – at the Chislehurst Richoux and the former Zipper in Chatham, as revealed by MCA earlier this month.

In his statement chairman Simon Morgan said there had been informal discussions with some of the company’s key stakeholders about a further fundraising and that the company proposes to seek the necessary authorities to allot shares at today’s AGM.

Following the AGM, a further general meeting will be held to discuss the fact that the company’s net assets now represent less than half of its called up share capital. The group said this was due to a number of factors, in particular the making of a provision against loans previously made by the company to certain of its subsidiary undertakings.

The group currently operates five Richoux restaurants, six Friendly Phil’s, four Italian-style restaurants under the Villagio or Zintino brand and two Broadwicks.

Morgan said: “Like many restaurant groups in the casual dining sector, trading during 2017 has been difficult. In addition, during this period trading in some of our restaurants was interrupted whilst we converted or refurbished them. The impact of temporary closures will continue during 2018.

“The cost of converting or refurbishing restaurants and of closing underperforming restaurants, the reduction of income due to temporary closures and the current trading climate all have had an impact on the Group’s cash balances. We continue to focus on cost reduction and, where necessary, will continue refining our portfolio. We are also conscious that, in this trading environment, opportunities may also arise for companies like ourselves which are ungeared. The Board has had informal discussions with some of the Company’s key stakeholders, who have indicated that, if during the course of the year the Board concludes that further funds are required, it would be their intention to support such a fund raising. We propose to seek the necessary authorities to allot shares in connection with such a fundraising at our 2018 Annual General Meeting.”