D&D London trading impacted by Omicron & transport strikes

Restaurantand bar group, D&D London's financial results for 15 months since reopening post-lockdowns have been adversely impacted by Omicron and transport strikes, with an estimated fall in revenues of around £5m and EBITDA of £3m.

UK
• Restaurants outside London trading significantly ahead of pre-Covid following reopening in April 2021. Particular strong performances from 20 Stories in Manchester and Issho, East 59th, Crafthouse and Angelica in Leeds.
• Central London restaurants slower to recover to pre-pandemic levels but (exluding transport strikes and Jubilee weekend impact) trading at 100%-105% of pre-Covid levels since April.
• Revenues at central London venues severely impacted by Omicron (Dec 21 to Feb 22) and by transport strikes in June.
• Significant inflation on all fronts averaging c. 10% p.a. but compensated by increased average spends.
• Central London venues demonstrating continued sensitivity to external factors but restaurants in Leeds and Manchester resolutely resilient e.g. in 2 day heatwave London venue revenues dropped 30%, Manchester and Leeds revenues increased 10%!
• Recently opened Haugen at the Olympic Park in Stratford now established and profitable.

Overseas
• Alcazar in Paris trading significantly ahead of pre-Covid revenue levels since reopening post-lockdown.
• New York slower to rebound post-Covid but now trading well. Guastavino’s D&D’s event space, recorded its best ever May in terms of revenue and EBITDA, and in June was D&D’s second most profitable venue.

Future plans
• Orelle, D&D’s Birmingham rooftop restaurant to open at 103 Colmore Row in October.
• Substantial pipeline of new projects in legals, advanced discussions. New sites located in the UK, USA, and in European cities.
• Strong cash position with substantial banking headroom to protect business from future economic uncertainties and to provide a platform for expansion over the next 2 to 3 years.

Des Gunewardena, Chairman and CEO of D&D London, (pictured), commented, “Six months ago Omicron and the swift return of workers to central London and New York were our biggest concerns. Now our major challenges are cost inflation and the continuing need for more staff as revenues bounce back.

'Initiatives to attract and retain the best people and providing them with tools to manage their restaurants better are what dominate our agenda. More positively our customers are spending well and I am confident will continue to do so through the Summer.

'Our revenues in central London have however been hit by transport strikes which will continue to have a negative impact on our business until the dispute is settled.
Looking ahead we have the opportunity to significantly scale up the business both in the UK and overseas. And we will do so. But we will manage the pace of expansion in the context of what remains an uncertain economic backdrop.”