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TRG sees annual LFL sales dip by 3%

The Restaurant Group (TRG) has posted its final results for the 52 weeks ended 31 December 2017, showing that like-for-like sales fell by 3%.

The group, that operates brands such as Frank & Benny's (pictured) and Chiquito, reported that total sales were down by 1.8% on a 52 week comparable basis; down 4.4% on a statutory basis.

Adjusted profit before tax stood at £56.7m (2016: £77.1m), and statutory profit before tax of £43.6m (20162: loss of £49.3m). Adjusted EBITDA came to £95.1m (2016: £121.0m).

During the year, the firm invested £33.3m (2016: £55.0m) in capital expenditure. The investment in maintenance capital expenditure reduced to £14.9m (2016: £26.2m) given the one-off spend in 2016 of £7.0m relating to the Frankie & Benny's bar reduction programme and the re-phasing of major refurbishment projects into 2018.

The investment in new site expenditure reduced to £18.4m (2016: £28.8m) reflecting the lower number of new site openings in 2017 versus 2016.

During the period, the company closed 13 sites, including five concessions which had reached the end of their contractual life and eight leisure sites which no longer generated acceptable cash returns.

The group has a continued strong free cash flow of £84.9m (2016: £78.9m), and operating cash flow of £107.6m (2016: £122.1m).

Andy McCue, Chief Executive Officer, commented, 'As expected, 2017 was a transitional year for the Group, with significant investments made in price and proposition within our Leisure business, which is driving improving volume momentum.

'We start 2018 with a significantly more competitive offering in our Leisure business, a strengthened pipeline of growth opportunities in both our Pubs and Concessions businesses, and a leaner, faster and more focused organisation.

'I'd like to thank our colleagues for embracing the change agenda and for their contribution to stabilising the business.'