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Fridays owner Hostmore starts trading on London Stock Exchange

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Hospitality group Hostmore has floated on the London Stock Exchange, with former parent business Electra Private Equity saying it plans a strategic shift following the spin-off.

Shares in Hostmore, which runs restaurant chain Fridays – recently rebranded from TGI Fridays – started trading at 147p at 8am on Tuesday.

The flotation went ahead after Electra shareholders approved the move on Monday.

Hostmore chief executive Robert B Cook said the move is a “significant milestone” for its two brands, which also include the 63rd+1st restaurant and cocktail bar brand.

The group, which runs 85 Fridays and two 63rd+1st sites, also hailed a strong recovery in trading since reopening restaurants indoors in May.

The core Fridays brand has reported like-for-like revenues and earnings ahead of pre-pandemic levels for the past six months, Hostmore said.

It added that expansion plans will see four Fridays sites due to open over the coming year, as well as three more 63rd+1st sites.

Mr Cook added: “Whilst the industry continues to face the well-publicised headwinds of inflationary pressures and supply chain issues as a result and impact of the Covid-19 ‘whiplash’, our staffing levels and costs and other operating costs are in line with expectations, with utility and other supply costs largely fixed in the medium term.

“I remain confident in our ability to introduce appropriate mitigating actions to minimise any negative impact, as we have done to date.”

Meanwhile, Electra Private Equity laid out its trading strategy following the demerger, which will see it focus on its Hotter Shoes brand.

Electra said it will stop being an investment trust and rename itself Unbound Group plc, as well as moving from the London Stock Exchange’s main market to its junior AIM index.

The company said: “Unbound will leverage the highly attractive customer database and the scalable digital infrastructure of Hotter to become a broader business selling other products and services, with related consumer benefits, to the same targeted demographic.”

Shares in Electra plunged by around 78% following the demerger.

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