Casual Dining Group announces record festive trading driven by online pre-bookings

Jan 12th

Strong sales performance during the holiday period, like-for-like growth across all brands

Full year results for the year ended 29 May 2016; a year of progress and investment

Casual Dining Group (“CDG”), the operator of nearly 300 mid-market restaurant brands including Café Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas, announces an update on Christmas trading for the period 5th December to 8th January, and releases its historic annual results for the financial year to the end of May 2016.

The group reports a 10.8% rise in sales and like-for-like growth of 4.7% over the holiday period. The record festive performance was driven by innovative Christmas menus and a digital-first approach to pre-bookings. Web traffic increased by 37% across all brands with online bookings increasing 31% versus the previous year.

CDG also reports its historic annual results for the previous financial year:

Full Year Financial highlights to end of May 2016

  • Revenue of £299m, up 29% due to new site openings and sales growth from existing sites, as well as the acquisition of Las Iguanas
  • Continuing LTM sales of £303m and EBITDA up 40% to £34m
  • £185m long-term financing agreed with KKR, Pemberton and Barclays Bank; stable platform for investment in existing estate, Middle East franchise rollout and acquisitions
  • Acquired and completed integration of Las Iguanas (£89m purchase price, July 2015)

Full Year Operational highlights

  • Opened 26 new sites and invested in the conversion of 15 sites to alternative brands
  • Refurbished 50 existing sites
  • Synergy benefits from acquisitions are on-track
  • Substantial investment in technology, giving CDG the opportunity to improve productivity and take advantage of new payment IT
  • Investment in innovative digital platform led by Célia Pronto, Chief Digital Officer (appointed July 2016)


  • Challenging outlook for the 2017 fiscal year as expansion continues, with sector headwinds such as regulatory cost inflation and currency impact
  • Continued sales growth and realisation of further cost saving initiatives
  • Additional new site openings and brand conversions in current financial year
  • Increased focus on international expansion (Middle East)
  • Three franchise openings in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in H1
  • Confirmed development agreements for 55 additional sites in the Middle East over the next six years

Steve Richards, CEO of Casual Dining Group, commented:

“All brands saw strong growth over the festive period, driven by our innovative Christmas menus and advanced party bookings derived from our expanding digital platform and active social media engagement. Our restaurant teams have worked hard and smart over the period taking share and improving margin in what is a very difficult market.

Over the last year we have made strong progress against a challenging backdrop. We’ve invested across our brands and have now largely completed our refurbishment programme. We will continue to seek further opportunities as we look to grow the group.”

Martin Robinson, Chairman of Casual Dining Group, commented:

“The wider operating environment is undeniably tough and there are a range of cost pressures facing the whole consumer industry, which we are working hard to mitigate. We’re confident that through our continued investment, strong brands, outstanding team of employees and active engagement with consumers, Casual Dining Group is well positioned to navigate this difficult environment.”