Restau­rant em­pire sales up but rates hit prof­its

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS / NEWS - Grace Ham­mond NEWS RE­PORTER @york­shire­post

Richard Car­ing’s restau­rant em­pire eked out a rise in sales in 2017, but prof­its at the Ivy owner were dragged back by soar­ing busi­ness rates.

Fil­ings for Mr Car­ing’s Caprice Hold­ings, which also in­cludes up­mar­ket haunts Daphne’s and Sexy Fish in Lon­don, show that turnover nudged up 0.8 per cent to £67.7 mil­lion in the year to De­cem­ber 31 2017.

Like for like sales were up 2.1 per cent, driven by strong per­for­mances at Daphne’s, J Sheekey and The Ivy, which was boosted by its 100th an­niver­sary year.

Pre-tax profit was up from £8.7m to £9.2m, but ad­justed earn­ings – a more closely watched bench­mark fell from £12.4m to £11.1m. Op­er­at­ing profit fell from £8.7m to £7.2m.

The group said it was stung by “well pub­li­cised cost in­creases in a num­ber of key ar­eas for the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try”.

These in­cluded wage costs and “sig­nif­i­cant in­creases in both rent and busi­ness rates”.

Nev­er­the­less, the board de­scribed the per­for­mance for the year as “sat­is­fac­tory” and “cred­itable” in a tough mar­ket.

A spokesman added: “Sales in our restau­rants showed good growth with in­di­vid­ual sites grow­ing by up to an in­cred­i­ble 11 per cent and an over­all in­crease of two per cent on like for like sales across the Caprice Group in what are very chal­leng­ing mar­ket con­di­tions with huge rises in busi­ness rates and rent.

“This year, we will con­tinue to go from strength to strength across the groups, of­fer­ing ev­ery­thing from ca­sual to fine din­ing.”

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