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Franco Manca to beat expectations as restaurants notch up record trade

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The business behind pizza chain Franco Manca is doing better than expected as many of its sites have broken their all-time records during the recovery from lockdown.

Fulham Shore said revenue in the six months to the end of September doubled compared with last year, to £39.5 million.

Even when looking at 2019, the year before the pandemic, revenue is 10% higher, the business said.

Chairman David Page said: “With strong revenue growth in the half year and continued buoyant current trading, Fulham Shore is performing ahead of management’s expectations, with many restaurants throughout the UK continuing to break weekly trading records.

“This augurs well for the group’s full-year performance, which we expect to be now ahead of market expectations, and our UK-wide expansion plans.”

The period saw a return to something closer to reality for the restaurant industry, with no Covid-19 restrictions on Fulham Shore’s sites for 10 of the 26 weeks.

It opened two new Franco Manca pizzerias during the six months, and one Real Greek site – in Norwich.

The business was also able to pay back the loan it took under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – a programme to pump Government-backed loans into private companies during the pandemic.

During the period it also announced Franco Manca’s first ever international operations, and will open at least six sites in Greece over the next three years.

Mr Page said: “We have seen continued trading momentum in recent weeks, with revenues in October and November ahead of 2019 comparatives.

“This includes our office and theatre district-located restaurants which are continuing to trade positively, over the four weeks in November 2021 achieving revenues ahead of the same weeks in 2019.”

The business swung from a more than £4.3 million loss in the first half of last year, to a profit of £3.1 million before tax this year.

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