Restaurant empire sales up but rates hit profits
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.”